If I’ve learned anything in recent years, and especially through running an online business, is that more people experience stress and anxiety than almost any other condition. The fast pace of our daily lives, and the pressure of our jobs and families can add up over time without us realizing it.
As someone with high functioning anxiety I have to make managing stress a daily practice. Most women who I have connected with in the online space have told me that daily self care and stress management is the most important thing that keeps them productive, happy, and successful.
I’ve spent a lot of time learning different ways to relieve my stress and anxiety. Many of these seem simple but all new habits take time to implement so give yourself a break, and try out one or two of these daily hacks for stress relief, so you can rock out without feeling burnt out.
Keep cell phones out of the bedroom
I know this one is so hard! I am a bit hypocrite for even writing this because I fall back into this habit all the time. It really does make a difference to take your phone out of the bedroom for many reasons. For one, blue light from screens has been known to disrupt melatonin in the brain which helps us wind down for sleep. This causes us to not only lose sleep but also lose quality sleep because our brains remain more active even when we are sleeping.
I can honestly say that I have a harder time waking up in the morning after nights when I use my phone before falling asleep- and everyone knows a good morning routine starts the night before. Secondly, when we are in the habit of seeing everyone else living their best life, we can start to get comparisonitis (the condition where you feel like a failure because you see everyone else doing seemingly “better” than you). Focus on you first!
Exercise or Yoga
Movement releases stress-relieving hormones, we know this. However, here’s where you can take it to the next level. Instead of just pushing through your workout, try turning down the volume on the workout video or stop watching the at the gym and listen to a motivational or personal development podcast while you workout. I seriously push myself so much harder when listening to this type of stuff. I get a better workout, and my mind gets a boost too!
When we move our bodies we are not just helping ourselves on a physical level, but on an energetic level as well. Emotions and energy we pick up and develop throughout our day can stick to us like velcro. By moving in a mindful and present way we can help clear our energy field of these unwanted energy bugs.
Establish morning and evening routines
Stress relief is often cumulative. When you do stress reliving activities on a regular basis you experience far less stress than if you only engaged in stress relief when you are really stressed out. Therefore, establishing a regular morning and evening routine that you do every day will help maintain your happy relaxed state over the long term.
A typical morning routine may include exercise, yoga, meditation/prayer, journaling, walking, reading , gratitude, and a quiet meal free of distractions. Make this non-negotiable. After just one week I found my productivity and focus significantly increase when it was time to sit down to my laptop and work.
Sleep hygiene refers to how well you take care of yourself and your environment in preparation for optimal sleep. I touched upon this earlier in the article, but it deserved it’s own paragraph. Some of the fundamentals of sleep hygiene include a dark space and limiting noises and light from phones, TV’s, and digital alarm clocks.
Maintaining an environment that promotes optimal sleep is key in sleep hygiene. Also very important are how we treat our bodies before bed. That includes limiting alcohol (oops, sipping wine as I write this no joke), caffeine, sugar, and any other stimulants several hours before bedtime, as well as turning off all screens at least an hour before turning in.
Guided Meditation or Deep Breathing
Yes I am a yoga instructor. Yes I tell people all the time how important the breath is. Does it ever get old? Absolutely not! Breathing is something you do every second of your life, yet so many of us breathe in away that promotes an increase in tension and physiological stress. No need to freak out though!
Guided meditations are everywhere these days, and most of the time you can find great ones for free on various apps and YouTube channels. Kundalini breath work has been a game changer for so many of us because it combines the physical action of breathing, plus important energetic work and mental shifts, necessary for bringing us to heightened states of awareness and feeling more focused.
These are some of the many simple tweaks you can make to your day. Remember stress management activities like these are important, even when you don’t think you are stressed out. Small stressors over time build up. Think of it like brushing your teeth or showering. You don’t do those things only when your teeth are falling out and you smell! You do them every day to maintain your health and hygiene. Your inner and outer life will reflect these small changes, and you deserve to live out the highest expression of who you are!