Diet & Weight Magazine

5 Ways to Decrease Stress

By Fitfulfocus @fitfulfocus
When things keep piling onto your to-do list and you feel your blood pressure rising, try these 5 ways to decrease stress and find a little zen despite the busyness. 5 Ways to Decrease Stress This post is sponsored by NOW Foods.

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5 Ways to Decrease Stress

Going on vacation out of the country is amazing. You get to explore new cultures and worlds, but another major perk: no cell service! Let me tell you, it is beyond liberating to not be able to check my email and social media accounts 24/7. Instead, I enjoyed my surroundings and only took my phone out for pictures. I had Wi-Fi at hotels and Air BNB's so I could check things at night, but for the majority of my time in Europe, I wasn't burdened by the stress of wanting to check my phone every two seconds. Maybe I should start putting my phone in airplane mode during the day and only turn it on for a few hours at night... Hmm...

The point I'm trying to make is that vacation was completely stress free, as it should be. Unfortunately, vacation had to end sometime.

The second I landed back in NYC, I felt my blood pressure rising. The crowds. The cab drivers complaining about having to take us to Brooklyn (uh... that's your job, buddy!). The angry, impatient New Yorkers trying to get everywhere as quickly as possible. The relaxation floated away and the stress flooded in. I started thinking about all the things I had to do now that I was home. Catch up on work emails. Catch up on blog emails. Unpack. Do laundry. I wanted to turn around, catch the next flight to wherever and keep vacation going forever.

Alas, vacation was over and it was back to real life. I needed to find my vacation woosah and keep my stress in check. Luckily, living in NYC has taught me to develop stress management skills.

So for all of you busy bees, busy mamas, busy go-getting, race-running, fit & focused rock-stars, I'm here to say that I know stress can get the best of you, and I'm here to help!

5 Ways to Decrease Stress - coming at ya!

5 Ways to Decrease Stress
  1. Get sleep! - When we're stressed and have a million things on our to-do lists, sleep tends to be the first thing we sacrifice. But it shouldn't be! Sleep is so important for our health and our sanity. That said, sleep can be hard to come by when we're stressed. Our minds are reeling and we just can't seem to shut off, but I do a few things each night to help me unwind and catch some quality Zzz's:
    • I set the mood by diffusing lavender essential oil. The scent is nice and calming and soothes me right into sleep mode.* I use NOW Foods oils and bamboo oil diffuser.
    • I (try to) log off my phone and computer ½ an hour before bed time and try to keep up with a bedtime routine (wash face, brush teeth, get into pjs) to signal to my brain that it's time for bed.
    • I take this ZMA supplement. Zinc supports your immune system and muscles; Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production, normal neuromuscular function and helps improve sleep quality; and vitamin B-6 may boost energy. Together, these three nutrients are excellent for building muscle strength and stamina and speeding muscle recovery all while you sleep.*
  2. Just say no - When you're feeling overwhelmed, take a look at your plans and your to-do list. What can you nix? I hate flaking out on plans, but life happens. In fact, I was signed up to run a half marathon this weekend. A bunch of things came up and I was trying to figure out how I could still run the race, but every time I thought about it, I got so stressed out. I finally decided to back out of the race. You know what? I felt instant relief. I was really looking forward to the race and hated to cancel on the friend I was going to run it with, but if something that should bring you joy is bringing you anxiety, it's probably a sign that you should just say no to it.
  3. Do something you love - Why is it that when we're stressed we put the things we love on the back burner, telling ourselves they aren't important right now? If you love it, it's important! Doing what you love, while it does take time out of your day, means spending time not being stressed. So make time to run or paint or read a book. You may have to say no to something else to make time for it, but it's important for your sanity.
  4. Take a deep breath - I know this sounds cliché, but taking deep breaths can be very cathartic. When you feel your blood boiling or your mind racing, close your eyes and take at least 5 deep breaths. Try to just focus on inhaling and exhaling. Take more breaths if you need - as many as you like until you feel your body calming a bit. Then open your eyes and refocus on the task at hand.
  5. Get outside - Sunshine and fresh air are powerful beasts. If you have a phone call to make, why not make it while walking your neighborhood or sitting in a nearby park? The outdoors will do your brain some good, and you won't feel chained to a desk or an office. Whenever you can, try to spend a little more time outdoors and take a break - even if it's just 5 minutes. A little break and some outdoor time will bring a little more joy and woosah to your day.

I hope you'll be able to implement a few of these tips and bring a little more calm to the storm that is stress. If all else fails, enter the lottery, win the lottery and then just go on vacation for the rest of life.

While you wait for you winning numbers to be drawn, be sure to join in on the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up!

Let's Chat:
How do you deal with stress?

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
5 Ways to Decrease Stress

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