We all experience varying levels of stress. The difference in how we feel on a day to day basis lies in how well we counteract our stress with healthy daily habits. Without healthy coping mechanisms and regular self care, stress will continue to accumulate and eventually can lead to burnout, depression and physical discomfort or even disease. With the collective stress of the past year that we have all endured, prioritizing taking care of our physical, mental and emotional health has never been more important. Small daily habits can make all of the difference, and can ultimately determine how calm and centered we feel on a daily basis. Practice the following daily habits to help you re-center and de-stress.
Meditation is the practice of present moment awareness. Through meditating, you learn to witness the thoughts, stories and chatter of the mind and return back to the present moment through the breath. This practice helps us gain an objective perspective of our thoughts and emotions and return to the peaceful and still state that resides underneath the noise of the mind. Even meditating for a few minutes a day can make a huge difference in our stress levels and emotional well-being. Try this 5 minute meditation for inner peace.
Breath-work is a powerful way to clear stagnant energy from the body and release stress and anxiety. There are many different kinds of breath-work, and all will work to help calm and strengthen your nervous system and help you return to a more relaxed state. Try this alternate nostril breath practice for a more gentle type of breath-work or work with this Wim Hof method if you are craving something a little bit more fast paced and invigorating.
Take a few moments each day to jot down your thoughts in an unfiltered way. Let yourself empty your mind onto the paper. Journaling is a wonderful way to process different emotions and experiences. There are also different prompted journaling exercises you can do like gratitude journaling or affirmations. Either way, writing is a powerful release to help you destress and release stuck emotions.
Creating a tea ritual can be a powerful way to destress and invite some mindfulness into your day. A tea ritual may sound daunting, but it really can be as simple as brewing your favorite herbal tea and taking time to sip and savor it mindfully. Set up a soothing space and allow all of your senses to tune into your cup of tea, becoming completely present with it and allowing the warmth of the beverage to soothe your body and mind.
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, if you are stressed or anxious or generally just feeling off, move your body. Movement can help release feel good hormones and endorphins that help release stress and improve mood. Choose your favorite way to exercise or simply throw on your favorite songs and dance and shake your body.
Never underestimate the healing power of water. Something as simple as a bath or a shower can make a huge difference in our day and our emotional landscape. If you’re feeling stressed, light some candles and take a warm bath with a few soothing essential oils. If you don't have or dislike baths, put essential oils in the corner of your shower and take a long hot shower, relishing in the different smells, sounds and sensations of your experience. Breathe deeply and take all the time you need.
Reading is another activity that helps us drop into the present moment and can be quite meditativer. Next time you’re feeling stressed, pick up your favorite book, light some candles and spend some time lost in a story. Practice deep belly breaths as you read to enhance your relaxation.
Yoga is an incredible tool to help you relax and boost your mood. Practice gentle yoga alongside meditation when you are feeling stressed to ease your mind. There are plenty of online yoga sequences you can follow along with for free.
Certain sound frequencies and instrumental music varieties can help relax our minds deeply. Practice listening to this crystal sound bath either while you lie down or when you are on the go next time you are feeling stressed.
Spending time in nature
20 minutes in nature a day can make all of the difference in our mental and physical health. Make it a habit to get outside every single day to help relax and recalibrate. Even a gentle walk around your neighborhood can do the trick. Prioritize activities in nature and trying out new things and exploring new areas near you.