Stress: Reducing It In Four Small Steps
Stress. Just reading that probably made you stressed.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, wether you’re working or studying, is that life can get a little bit overwhelming.
And although having lots to do can fire up your passion at work, or motivate your student life, it can also be tiring. Draining. A tad bit too much.
Or the word people use often, stressful.
We’ve all read/heard of ways too reduce stress in our daily lives, and I’m sure you’ve tried to incorporate some of those steps, only to find that its not working for you, or it ended up stressing you out even more!
I’ve compiled a really small, dainty list of 4 ways to help reduce that “life is sorta overwhelming right now” feeling. The reason why I stress that these steps are small is because I believe that the best way to actually make a change in our routine is to start out small.
Lets start with these steps:
1. Waking up earlier.
“Dania, I hate you already.”
Please don’t. It really is for your own good, promise.
Waking up even just an hour earlier gives you extra time! These hours are for you to to practice self care. Use that time to relax, plan out your day, meditate, pray, have a nutritious breakfast, prepare your lunch and even exercise. The good news is you’re not going to feel as if the day is too short and you’ve got too much to do.
But of course, only wake up earlier if you’re sleeping early. Basically, make sure you get that 6-8 hours a night before trying to cook yourself a gourmet breakfast or put on a mask. Sleep > all that. Overall, you’ll have more time for yourself, so spend it well; watch some TV, read a book, put a face mask on, and relax hun.
2. Say no more often.
We’re caught up between meetings, deadlines, schoolwork and projects that sometimes we just want a break. So instead of saying yes to the first offer to go shopping with a friend or visit the zoo with the family, really ask yourself if it’ll help you wind down, or stress you out even more. Sometimes all you need is some downtime at home, with a good cup of cocoa (or a bowl of salad. Or popcorn. I’m not here to judge.) and a good movie. But that doesn’t mean saying no everytime your bestie wants to go out. Hang out in a cafe, have some coffee and take a breather. Say no to the outings that you believe you’re not ready for, instead of saying yes and regretting it.
3. Put that phone away (for a while).
Ironically, I typed this out on my phone, and you’re probably reading this post from yours (I love technology).
I don’t want to get into the whole phones are great but they’re taking over our lives so throw yours out the window right now talk because, well, I’m sick of hearing it too.
But honestly, try slotting in a few minutes (or hours) of being phone free. I started doing this 30 minutes before bed. Instead of scrolling around, I busy myself with my nightly skincare routine, which includes a warm shower, skincare and being mindful of the fact that I’m going to sleep. What better way to self care than to physically and mentally chill?
Taking an hour off your phone mid-day and using that time to do something else works too. It sounds cheesy to say read a book or take a stroll in the park, and for some that may not even be realistic (shout out to the girls hustling!), but really, do it. Or take a nap at least.
4. Plan your day/week.
Get yourself a notebook. Any kind you like will do, and plan your day/ week.
Planning can be a chore for some and literally the best thing ever for others, so if you’re not much of a planner, this can seem stressful. But having an idea of what your week is going to look like means you’ll be prepared for it. Just simple write the day and date, and list down what you know you need to do. Make sure the planning that you’re doing is realistic. If you know you’re not going to be able to finish your assignment, do the laundry, pay the bills and make dinner by 8pm, don’t ‘plan’ to do it.
On that note, don’t leave projects or scoolwork to the very last minute. I know procrastinating can be super attractive, but for your mental health’s sake, please get things done earlier rather than later.
Those are my 4 small steps to reducing stress in your daily life. These steps can even become healthy daily habits over time. What are some ways you like to destress? Comment down below!
Here’s to a less overwhelming life.