Y’all may have noticed, but I’ve been trying to do less lately. Whether that’s posting less on Instagram (or rather, scheduling things out better!), hanging more at home, or even buying less, I’m in a state of less – and I’m really liking it. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a lot going on and internal pressure and freakouts that I’m not doing enough and stress, but overall, doing well!
I hit a wall a couple months ago and had somewhat of a stress breakdown, and it sucked. I figured the only way to feel better was to remove some stress from my life – or to do more stress-relieving activities. While I’m not perfect and like I said, I’m still dealing with stress (human, duh), I’ve been feeling a lot better.
Here are 10 things that I’ve been doing (or at least try to incorporate here and there). I know it’s a busy season and thought this list can’t hurt right??
Y’all probably know this about me by now, but I really love walking outside. Even if it’s just around my neighborhood, there’s something magical about getting out of the house and moving. I actually just spent my birthday in the Highlands because I was craving nature – and it felt sooooooo good. Nature is scientifically proven to help humans de-stress + it usually means you’re being active, so it’s just a smart thing to do for stressful times.
Try to get outside once a day, even if that means drinking your coffee by a window or a quick walk after work. And if you can, try to make that next trip surrounding more nature than hotel life. At least if you’re stressed!
Drink less caffeine
While I love me a good cup of coffee in the morning, too much of it can actually make me really jittery and anxious – aka the opposite of chilled out. I’ve made the switch to green tea if I need a little more energy or even something yummy like peppermint after my first coffee. It still makes me feel good because I’m drinking something warm, but it’s cut the habit of too much caffeine in my body. There are even special teas (like this one) that are good for stress relief, but so is good ol’ peppermint, green, and chamomile.
Y’all are probably sick of me talking about brain dumping at this point, but I bring it up so often because it’s seriously helpful. Y’all can read about it more here and learn how to do your own, but essentially, it’s dumping all the STUFF in your head. Even a quick list of things to do or a journal session helps – but when I really want to relieve the stress, it’s brain dump time. I’ve been doing one about every Sunday and woah.
The last year or so, I really tried to make it a habit to see my friends more – and I got creative with it. I’ve always done bible study and like happy hour, but sometimes nights are hard for people. I love both of those activities but I really really love grabbing coffee (or tea!) with a friend or going for a walk. It seems to be the combo of chatting with a friend, human connection, and doing something soul-filling that’s the perfect mix for stress relief. I try to schedule one of these on my calendar weekly. It’s a highlight of my week for sure!
Yep! Super simple but getting more sleep leads to less stress in our lives. Here’s how I get more + how a nightly routine chills me out. It might be worth it to think about creating your own!
OK SO I’VE BEEN BAD AT THIS! But. I’m getting better and I have a plan. I’ve tried not to let my lack of working out stress me out, but man, a good workout always makes me feel better. I notice a huge difference in my stress levels when I’m working out vs. not. It’s like a lingering thing in my head when I’m not #ugh! If you’re feeling stressed and can’t figure out why, ask yourself if you’ve been working out. Probs not!
Remove something from your calendar
I’ve gotten really good at saying no to things and doing less and I suggest doing the same if your life is feeling like a hot mess. Can you make it a habit of looking at your calendar once a week or once a month and removing something? Specifically something that feels stressful or doesn’t make you happy. It’s pretty amazing what removing one little thing can do. It might feel guilty or bad at first, but I promise y’all – in the long run, it feels freaking fantastic.
Quiet time in the morning
I’ve shared my morning routine with y’all, but I feel like people get intimidated by the words “morning routine”. Think about it as doing SOMETHING before jumping into your day. Or setting the tone for your day! It doesn’t need to be some huge list of wellness things or whatever – you can make it your own. I promise that once you find what feels good, it can really do wonders for your stress levels. Here’s a good article on how to choose a morning routine that feels good for you personally!
Spend less time on your phone
If you have an iPhone and one of the newest versions of iOS, you can literally see how many hours you spend on your phone – and how. I know you can do this with apps too but I’ve just been using Apple’s system. (Just go to settings and then Screen Time). It breaks down if you’re spending most of your time on apps or whatever, and it’s kinda scary (well at least it was to me). If you’re feeling stressed, give yourself a challenge of cutting your phone time down by 10% – and then another 10 the next week and so on until you feel more zen. I promise it helps!
Cut out expenses
This is kind of like the less phone idea. If you feel stressed around money or after doing a big shopping binge, it might be a good idea to go on a shopping freeze. Or see how much less you can spend in a week. Do you really need that 3rd Starbucks? Can you cook at home instead (ps sharing a fun cooking at home post soon, so that could help!)? Do you really need another pair of jeans? This is HARD for me but it’s something I’m consciously working on as we speak. It really gives me peace of mind when I’m spending less.
I hope these 10 things help friends!!
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