10 Tips for Coping with Everyday Stress
By Amy Preston, LPC
We all have stress that shows up in our lives every day. So, we need to have ways to relieve that stress every day, too. Letting that stress build up over time can lead to a number of mental and physical health problems. The following is a list of my favorite ways of dealing with daily stress.
One of the best ways to relieve daily stress is to engage in some kind of physical activity. The most important thing is that you enjoy doing it. It doesn’t have to be something that takes a lot of time, just 10 minutes can help. If possible, do something in nature. Being in natural, green spaces has been shown to help lower stress.
Connect with people that you love and that make you feel good
Spending time with people who are supportive and important to you helps boost your mood. Talking to those in your support system can help reduce your stress.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation and mindfulness have been shown to help people feel calmer and more relaxed. Meditation is not just about clearing your mind, its about being aware of your thoughts but not attaching any judgement to them. Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment. A lot of our stress comes from our mind constantly thinking about the million and one things that we have to do.
Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing exercises bring oxygen into your body and help you feel more relaxed by stretching out the muscles in your torso that tend to get tense when you are stressed. One deep breathing technique is called square breathing. You inhale through your nose to the count of 4. Hold that inbreath to the count of 4. Exhale through the mouth to the count of 4. Hold that exhale to the count of 4. You can repeat this technique about 4 times for a total of one minute.
Take Things off Your Plate
Make a to-do list or use a planner to help you keep track of the things you have to do. Prioritize the most important tasks and move less important tasks to another day. Ask for help or delegate tasks to someone else.
It’s okay to treat yourself with kindness, in fact, it’s better for your mental health. The use of harsh and negative self-talk will not motivate you to do better or get more accomplished, it actually demotivates you and makes it harder to accomplish things and feel good about yourself.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting good sleep is extremely important to your mental and physical health. This is the time that our body and mind resets. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling grouchy and short tempered and make it harder to problem solve, which can lead to more stress.
Eat Healthy Foods and Drink Water
Having a good, healthy diet promotes improved mental and physical health.
Watch Something Funny
Laughter can improve mood, strengthen the immune system, and relieve stress by increasing oxygen and relaxing your muscles. It helps lower blood pressure, reduces the stress hormone cortisol, and increases your endorphins.
Engage in a Hobby
Discover a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to learn or pick up an old one that you haven’t done in a while. Bonus points if it’s something creative.