5 Ways to Immediately Lower Stress

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As summer winds down, that means “back to the grind” for the majority of us.
Back to School.
Back to after school activities.
Back to jam-packed schedules. 

Consequently, as our schedules and priorities rev back up, so does our stress levels. 

While stress may seem like low-hanging fruit amongst the ever-growing list of other daily responsibilities, it’s certainly not something to overlook.  Not only can it lead to a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and chronic aches and pains… Stress can ALSO inhibit you from reaching your weight loss or fitness goals due to increased cortisol levels.

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. 

Here are 5 tips for helping you to “stress less” this week. If you find one or two that work well for you, continue practicing them regularly.

  • Say No. Grant yourself permission to decline one non-essential engagement this week so you can slow down and really enjoy life’s precious moments.

  • Unplug. Committing to a timeframe to unplug from electronics. Whether it be the computer, tablet, phone… while those tools are a way-of-life and way-of-work for many, it can also contribute to elevated stress levels. Unplugging for a few hours each night or on the weekend to truly embrace the day and savor moments with loved ones can make a positive impact on your mental health.

  • Take 10. Minutes, that is ;) Listen to a podcast, comedian on YouTube or turn up your favorite tunes (both great during long drive times!). You can also just simply set the timer and sit quietly in your room, at a coffee shop, soak in a bath, and simply recharge.

  • Deep Breaths. Something as simple as a few deep breathes can lower your heart rate, decrease stress and feelings of anxiousness. Try this 1-minute breathing exercise now and see how you feel afterward.

  • Move More. Yes, we know time is limited and a full workout may not work with your daily schedule.  REMEMBER: something is better than nothing when it comes to movement. Not to mention, the benefits of reduced anxiety and depression, improved sleep, better blood pressure control, and healthy weight control. Enjoy a peaceful walk, commit to a 30-minute at-home circuit, or even head outdoors to play with your kiddos. You’ll be moving, lowering stress levels, all while making special memories with your littles. 

Grant yourself grace, let go of the expectation that everything has to be perfect, and remember that you matter too. 

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