Stress is a real killer. It induces us to overeat, procrastinate on tasks that need our attention, and it interrupts our sleep. Don’t let stress win. Use these 9 easy self-care tips to reduce stress.
Can you tell when you’re getting stressed? The early signs are sneaky and I often miss them. But I sure know when I’m officially stressed. Sometimes I can’t even finish a thought!
But the words ‘stress management’ alone seem daunting.
And I don’t have the energy to put together a stress management plan when I’m in the midst of life’s storms!
But reducing your stress isn’t just helpful to stop procrasting or to sleep better at night. Studies show that prolonged unmanaged stress can contribute to long-term health problems like cancer or heart disease. So it’s important. But, here’s the thing.
Stress management doesn’t have to be super complicated.
Fortunately, it’s possible to alleviate the effects of stress by actively taking care of yourself.
Plus, you don’t have to be perfect with these self-care tips – do what you can – when you can!
In my experience, aiming for perfection can become a barrier and make stress management even harder, so don’t make it complicated.
Here are nine easy self-care tips to reduce stress.
Get some fresh air: spend time outside in the fresh air as often as you can!
Even a few minutes can help.
Fresh air rejuvenates your lungs and leeches away tension in your muscles. So breathe deeply and pay attention to the beautiful colors around you.
Try this: spend a few minutes activating your 5 senses:
- Listen for sounds of nature. (Do you hear any birds or insects?)
- Inhale and notice what you smell. (Do you smell flowers? Fresh cut grass?)
- Observe the colors you see. (Count the number of different colors or shades of the same color.)
- Touch the pokey grass, soft leaf, or rough tree bark.
- If appropriate, for example if you’re in a garden, can you try a sample of something picked fresh? If not, try eating your lunch or enjoying a coffee break in a quiet place outdoors.
Move Around – At Least a Little
Exercise regularly: Go for a nice walk, make time to run, or hit the gym.
I know you hear that all of the time. So don’t be intimidated if you currently don’t run or go to the gym because you hate to exercise. Just move around a little – that’s all you need to do!
You can stand up and walk around your workplace if you can’t leave. Try standing as you work.
Stretch your shoulders. Do arm circles. Touch your toes.
Do anything that helps you move around a little bit more.
It’ll improve your mood because it releases endorphins in your body and makes you feel good about yourself. In addition, research shows that exercising regularly can lower a person’s perceived stress by up to 50%!
Exercise completes the stress cycle. There is a lot of science in the statement ‘exercise reduces stress’!
Actively Work on Eating Healthy Food
Foods high in fiber have been shown to reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and may also provide some protection against heart disease and cancer.
Besides that, if you eat plants, they can help keep inflammation at bay and assist with detoxification.
If you do eat meat, make sure it’s good quality (and without fillers).
A simple way to start eating healthy food is to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.
Get Some Sleep – My Favorite of the Easy Self-care Tips to Reduce Stress
Need a nap? Take one if you can.
Sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Not only that – if you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system also becomes compromised, and you’re more susceptible to illness!
Make sure you’re getting the right amount of sleep each night by going to bed at a reasonable hour and sleeping in a dark room.
Studies show that social support is beneficial not only for mental health but for physical health as well.
Spend time (in-person is best) with friends or family, or even strike up some conversations with strangers at the store or your local library.
Meditation – 1 of the Best Easy Self-care Tips to Reduce Stress
Mediating can help you reduce the effects of stress. According to meditation research, it can help you control high blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia. There is also thought about meditation helping pain management and smoking cessation treatment, although evidence is uncertain.
Take a nice warm bath or shower, get a massage, or even have a favorite snack. Spending time on your own is a great way to make sure you’re treating yourself well!
Pampering is different for each of us, so pick what you enjoy, and it will help you relax.
Set aside a few minutes to relax and unwind each day.
Try meditating, listening to music, reading a book, spending time with family or friends – whatever works for you!
Perhaps sitting outside and listening to the birds. It doesn’t matter; just set aside a few minutes every day to allow your mind and body to take a moment and reset.
Giving thanks has been shown to improve well-being in general and lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and reducing stress hormones.
Easy Self-care Tips to Reduce Stress
In conclusion, you need to be diligent and take steps to manage your stress so it doesn’t get out of control. Ignoring it won’t make it go away, in fact, it can make you sick. So pick 2 or 3 of your favorites from above and start doing them as soon as you notice your first signs of stress. You’ll be glad you did!
Hi, I’m Lisa! Thanks for visiting My Life Nurse, where we provide people who serve and take care of others with easy self-care plans and systems, wellness strategies, and scripture-based encouragement so you can stay happy, healthy and rejuvenated. I’ve found that many people struggle with caring for themselves while taking care of others, but they also feel called to serve others, so they keep working even when they’re stressed and exhausted. That’s why I combine my nursing expertise with Scripture-based teaching. Our readers love learning how to walk closer to the Lord to improve their self-care – so they can begin their journey to feel better – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care StarTer Guide!