No matter what age or stage of life we’re in, no one is immune to stress. Whether it’s that big work project breathing down your neck, an upcoming move, your kids’ graduation party, or a never-ending to-do list around the house, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you feel like you’ll never get caught up. Never fear. When everyday stresses are getting you down, these 5 quick and simple tips can help pick you back up.
Get your heart pumping.
We know, we know … you’ve heard this one before. But we’re not talking about running a marathon here–or even running at all. We’re talking a brisk 15-minute walk. A 10-minute YouTube video. A 5-minute Yoga routine. According to the ADAA, exercise has a profound effect on our stress even in small amounts. “Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.” And just like almost everything else, working out is easier when you have a friend struggling through it with you. Buddy up and browse these 10-minute-or-less workouts now.
Phone a friend.
Chatting with a friend on your drive to or from work could be just the pick me up you need, according to research. Some studies show that friends can play a big role in helping you reduce stress and cope with major life changes. So next time you’re feeling a bit down, schedule that coffee date or better yet, pencil in a weekly walking date with a bestie.
Ignore your phone.
If your phone is the first thing you reach for when you wake up, you’re automatically triggering anxiety and stress without even realizing it. Why? Because according to business analyst Michael McQueen, looking at your phone first thing means you’re spending the first 10 minutes of your day reacting versus being in charge of your actions.
A long list of missed notifications triggers a sense of overwhelm and a feeling that you’ve missed out on something, when in fact, you probably haven’t. Instead, take control of your mornings by easing into it slowly. Resist the urge to look at your phone until you’ve enjoyed your coffee, spent some time reading, walked your dog or spent some time doing morning stretches.
Bonus: While you’re at it, disable notifications from social media and/or your email, if possible.
Get some sun.
If you’ve been stuck inside all day, refreshing your email, cleaning house, or working, open your front door and soak up the sun. Not only will those rays reduce your stress, they will lift your mood, help your memory, and give you a boost in vitamin D (just remember to wear plenty of sunscreen if you’re outside for longer than 15 minutes).
Here’s a fact: Clutter is scientifically proven to cause stress. The feeling that your home is cluttered or full of unfinished projects sends a signal to your brain that you can’t relax, because there’s always something that needs to be done. Sound familiar? We hear it all the time from clients who hire our professional home organizers to come in and help them take back control of their house. Even if it’s just organizing the kitchen or a few closets, bringing order back to chaos can play a huge role in uplifting your mood and making you feel more relaxed when you’re home.
Start small, with one drawer, the guest bathroom, your cleaning supplies, or even your email inbox (junk mail, much?). You’ll be surprised at how cathartic tackling just one small space can feel.