Has anyone else found out that their stress tolerance is wonky lately? If so, I have 5 tips to relieve stress for you!
It felt like pre-pandemic I could juggle so much more. I’ve noticed that even though I spend more time at home relaxing, my stress tolerance has gone down.
Stress has such a huge impact on your life. It affects your mental and physical health and your relationships. That’s why I’m such a huge advocate for self-care. While some self-care is about hard things like tackling procrastination and doing things you don’t want to do, a lot of it is also about relaxing.
Nowadays, stress seems to be a normal part of daily life, as many people habitually take on much more than they can reasonably handle. Sometimes, relationships, finances, and work-related issues, coupled with the inability to control certain factors, can leave you feeling highly anxious. Research by the American Psychology Association (APA) indicated that approximately 84% of Americans felt anger, anxiety, and sadness due to prolonged stress. While you can’t entirely prevent stress from coming your way, you can learn how to set yourself up to handle it. Are you wondering how to minimize stress in your life?
Check out these 5 Tips to Relieve Stress!
1. Focus on the present.
You know the phrase one step at a time? Live it. You can only do what you can do on any given day. If you find yourself getting frustrated over everything you have to do, break it into smaller pieces and then tackle one thing at a time. Creating a to-do list or writing your tasks down in a planner can help. Instead of ending the day feeling frustrated with what you didn’t get done, you can be proud of the things you *did* do.
Add stress-relieving activities into your day too. You need some time to relax. There are also herbs that calm the mind and body, that can help you relax. That’s one of the reasons I love herbal tea so much. Chamomile has always been one of my favorites.
2. Be forgiving. (Mainly toward yourself)
You’re doing the best you can. I truly believe in that statement. Even on the days when my best is complete crap, it’s still the best I can offer at the moment because it probably means that I’m exhausted or burned out. We have this idea that we should be able to work at an optimal pace all of the time 24/7 and if we can’t do that then we’re not doing our best.
This geeky logic by Twitter user @DavidSchenet made my heart happy: The Starship Enterprise is capable of traveling at warp 9.9 but it regularly travels at maaaaybe warp 5. Or thereabouts. Because if the Enterprise ran at 9.9 all the time then its engines would explode and kill everyone. You don’t have to sprint. Sometimes you can walk.
Lesson: Don’t operate at max operational power unless you want to explode.
3. Practice gratitude.
There are always, always, beautiful things in your life. Even if they’re tiny. I have a constant thing that I’m grateful for and it’s so silly. That first sip of coffee of the day that’s the perfect temperature and tastes like magic. No matter what is going on in my day, I know I’m doing to love that one little sip. And during the summer when I’m usually not drinking coffee (it’s always been a cold-weather drink to me) it’s morning sunlight. It never fails to make me happy. (Although if it’s a rainy day, I love those just as much. So practice gratitude.
You can create a daily practice by keeping a gratitude journal, recording all the things that made you happy in your day. Doing an evening inventory of everything that went right, or just saying a little thank you to the Universe.
4. Quit the comparison.
You are exceptional. Comparing yourself to other people will often only ever de-motivate you. Through my years of working on Blessing Manifesting, I’ve fallen into the rabbit hole of comparison and it never helps me be a better me. Focus on your own magic.
Do things in a way that nourishes you and if someone looks like they’re having an easier time of it, know that you’re only seeing a fraction of their story. Focus on writing your own.
5. Avoid putting too much pressure on yourself.
Stress is actually a good thing. We call that good-stress. It helps you work at an optimal pace that allows you to feel good about yourself, motivated to get things done, and overall fulfilled. When we put too much pressure on ourselves that stress transforms into bad-stress.
It’s like what happens when you’re physically pushing yourself. Maybe you want to become a runner, so you put good-stress on yourself to meet those running goals. But if you start pushing yourself too far and not listening to your body, you end up injuring yourself.
The brain operates pretty much the same way. Research shows that people living under prolonged pressure run the risk of experiencing depression, aggressiveness, and even physical illnesses.
Set boundaries with your stressors. Don’t take work home with you. Carve out time to spend alone and away from your responsibilities. Organize your day so you have time to work and relax. Look at your day and ask yourself where there’s too much pressure and how you can relieve some of it.