Whether you are pursuing new goals or simply “getting by,” chances are you’ve encountered feeling stressed. Sometimes it feels like there’s no getting around it but it all comes down to how you manage stress. In this post I’m going to share 10 ways you can manage it so that it doesn’t hinder you from progressing in life.
Stress is defined as “a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation,” according to the World Health Organization. Unfortunately, feeling stressed is more common than it should be these days. Especially here in the United States, the push to “hustle” and do more without taking breaks can seem like the norm, which can also cause you to reach a breaking point. There are lots of other factors that can cause you to feel stressed to “keep up” with others. Comparison, impostor syndrome, doubt are just a few. At the end of the day though, it all comes down to how you handle these mental challenges. Continue reading for 10 ways to handle stress!
1. Use breathing exercises
The first way you can handle stress is by focusing on your breathing. It can be so simple. All you have to do is take a deep breath through your nose and exhale out through your mouth. Doing this until you feel better can make all the difference. You can also try “box breathing” which consists of breathing in to the count of 4, holding your breath to a count of 4, exhaling to a count of 4 and then pausing to a count of 4.
2. Try a guided meditation
If you prefer to follow along to instructions, then opting for guided meditations will do the trick for you. I suggest you use headphones and sit somewhere you’ll feel safe without distractions. There are countless guided meditation options on YouTube you can find. You can even select one based on the length of time you have. Here is a 5 minute one you can start off with.
3. Go out in nature
Another way you can manage stress is to go outside. Chances are you spend most of your time inside possibly in front of screens so going out in nature will help you feel better. Even if it’s for 5-10 minutes a day, feeling the sun on your skin, breathing fresh air, and feeling the breeze will relieve any stress you have. You can even “earth” in order to ground yourself by sitting on the grass.
4. Journal your thoughts
If you’ve been following me for a while you won’t be surprised to see me recommending you to journal. If you’re feeling stressed, writing down your thoughts in order to release them on paper will help you feel better. This is the way I personally manage stress and it works every time. It helps so much to physically see the thoughts consuming your mind on paper and you’ll feel lighter afterwards.
5. Call a friend
If journaling isn’t your thing, you can call a friend you trust. This way you are also releasing your thoughts and feelings out of your system by talking things out loud. I suggest you choose someone you trust and give them a heads up that you just want to vent (unless you’re seeking their advice too). That way they’ll simply listen and hold space for you.
6. Sleep more
My next way to manage stress is to make the effort to get more sleep. I understand that it can be difficult to sleep if you are feeling stressed but by making this a priority, getting more sleep and feeling well rested will minimize your stress levels. By not sleeping enough you’ll feel more irritated and it’ll just make things worse, so do what you can to get more rest. I have a blog post dedicated to the importance of sleep with more tips for you.
7. Laugh it off
Since stress consists of a state or worry, a way you can manage it is by making the intention to laugh more. Watch funny videos on social media or stand up comedy skits. Remember funny moments that have happened to you in the past or moments you’ve witnessed. Choose to see the bright side of things and laugh more.
8. Move your body
When you’re stressed sometimes it’s easy to implement unhealthy habits and it can feel like an excuse to not take care of yourself. Make it a priority to move your body by practicing yoga, exercising, hiking, or even intuitively moving your body (jump up and down or “shake off” the stress). When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins which cause you to feel happier. So choose any activity you enjoy. It can be as simple as walking outside.
9. Reduce screen time
As mentioned previously, feeling stressed can almost feel like an excuse to implement unhealthy habits such as scrolling mindlessly on social media, watching tv or eating unhealthy. Reducing screen time can help you manage stress especially if you typically watch stress related content such as the news, crime tv, violent shows, etc. Even if the content is “fake” (movies/shows), it’s still putting your body through added stress. So instead, reduce your screen time and choose to do any of the other tips on this list.
10. Fuel your body correctly
My last way to manage stress is to fuel your body in a healthy way. I suggest limiting your caffeine intake because it increases cortisol levels causing you to feel even more stressed. Also avoid eating processed foods, smoking, consuming alcohol, using drugs, etc. Those options may feel like a relief but it is just a temporary bandage. So choose to consume healthy whole foods, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and you can even try using supplements.
Bonus: Cuddle or hug it out
My bonus way to manage stress is to use physical touch. Cuddling with someone you love releases the hormone oxytocin which calms you down. It can also lower your cortisol levels (stress hormone). Cuddling also helps you feel connected to your partner and helps regulate your nervous system. If you don’t have a special someone in your life at the moment, you can hug a friend or cuddle with a pet or with your child!
One final thought I have on how to manage stress is to remember to always be kind to yourself. Going along with reducing stress, make it a priority to take care of yourself. Self-care is not selfish! If anything, it’s the opposite since you’ll show up in a better way for others and it can be a trickle effect. (It can give others the permission to also take care of themselves).
All of this can be easier said than done. If you need support with managing your stress, I can help. I have space for 2 private coaching clients so book your consultation call here. Let me know your thoughts on this post too! Feel free to DM me on Instagram at any time. Also, follow me on Tik Tok! Yes, your girl is on there now. And finally, make sure you sign up for my newsletter so you never miss a blog post or other things I’m up to! Thank you for reading!!
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