Sometimes life can get overwhelming and that is perfectly okay. You have work, assignments, relationships to deal with, an apartment to clean, and that seemingly endless pile of laundry to tackle. You are one person, and some days it feels like you’re being required to be 5 different people. But when life gets rough, learn to play tough. (clever right?)
Seriously though, my stress levels go through the roof sometimes. Recently, I’ve focused heavily on how to eliminate my stress and anxiety and I’ve attacked the causes head on. Here are a few tips that have helped me and some of my friends:
- Use a planner to time manage
I used to say that I wasn’t good at time management and I refused to schedule out my days. Well, guess who is known for forgetting events and being late to everything? *hand raise* NOT ANYMORE THOUGH – I’ve been addicted to my new Passion Planner recently (it really is as great as everyone says) and it now travels with me everywhere I go.
It can be really good for you to find a physical “space” (aka a planner) to write out your thoughts and your goals for the week, as well as organize what your week actually consists of.
- Keep a “Ta-Da” List
Along with my planner, I keep a running “Ta-Da” List on a yellow legal pad. I have to have everything written out and can’t stay organized when things are in my phone, but people are different and maybe this same concept will work on your phone for you too!
A “Ta-Da” List is exciting. The title takes out the yucky feelings we have associated with “To-Do”‘s and rather than focusing on what I didn’t get done at the end of the day, I can focus on what I “Ta-Da”‘d. It is about how much I got done rather than how much I didn’t.
I organize my tasks into a “ASAP” versus “Do” section. ASAP are things I need to get done that day and Do are things that eventually need to happen. Whatever “Do” tasks I didn’t complete, I move them to the next day.
- Add candles and/ or incense to your home
Soy lavender candles and lemongrass incense do something magical to me. They make my apartment feel so much cozier. Find some scents that you adore and fill your home with them. It will make you feel more at peace and calmer in your space. Simple and easy.
- Create a solid morning and bedtime routine
It is nice to start and end your day with consistency. Fill your morning with things that make you excited to wake up and end your day with tasks that calm your mind. Mornings for me look a lot like hot tea in my pjs, meditating, and a work out. I end my day with an intense dental hygiene routine and some poetry (yes, a little hippie and a little strange I know, but I love it and I count on it every night). Find your hippie and your weird.
- Clear out the clutter
6 months ago I could’ve been on Hoarders. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but seriously I had Chipotle receipts that dated back to 2012 stuffed in drawers AND THAT SHIT CONSTANTLY HAUNTED ME. There is nothing worse than not being able to find the remote when you want it, but somehow being able to locate every graded paper you wrote in high school. CLEAR THE CLUTTER.
That pile of papers on your desk? Go through it.
Your beauty cabinet that’s stuffed with old mascara? Go through it.
You get the idea.
Stop avoiding the clutter and stepping over the piles. Your outer space totally affects your inner space and we could all use a tidier inner space.
Check out: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo or at least what this chick got out of the book: 8 Lessons Our Editor Learned from the Decluttering Bible
- Spend time outside daily
I added spending AT LEAST 10 minutes outside into my daily goals earlier this semester and it was one of the best things I’ve done for myself. ATTENTION READER: THIS DOESN’T MEAN YOU GO OUTSIDE AND SIT ON A BENCH FOR 10 MINUTES ON YOUR PHONE. Go outside and be quiet and breathe in and face the sun and if it is cold then freeze and feel it. Pay attention to the way your heart races. Notice what your breath looks like in the cold. The way your skin tingles. The feeling of the ground underneath your feet. Be present and see what happens.
I began looking forward to being outside and those 10 minutes quickly turned into 20, then 30, and now I find myself looking for any excuse to be outside.
CAUTION: This has emphasized my tree hugger-ism so just prepare yourself for that because you will fall in love with the Earth and the way our natural world works.
My mom tells me that the basic human needs go in the following order: 1. Air 2. Sleep 3. Water. I’ve never confirmed if this is actually scientifically true or not but ever since I’ve started living like a grandmother and going to bed by 10 (most nights), I’d have to say that she’s probably right. There are plenty of studies on how lack of sleep basically paralyzes certain parts of your brain, therefor causing stress to your entire body which, in turn, keeps you anxiety-ridden.
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.” – Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde”
They just don’t.
Get yourself in the gym daily and pump your body with endorphins so that you are inevitably happy, have a stead-fast alibi, and can sport a rockin’ 6 pack.
- Keep your bed made
According to Elite Daily and Psychology Today, people who make their beds every day are happier and more productive.
I do it every day except on Sundays (mostly because it is impossible to make your bed while still in it). Include it into your morning routine and make it a staple in your day. I mean, what do you have to lose right? And your mom will be proud.
- Self care/ Self love
Have one “Spa Night” for yourself per week. Block out 3 hours to mask, pluck, shave, moisturize, soak, scrub, lather, and whatever else you like to do to yourself behind closed doors. You deserve some self-lovin’ and your adrenals will thank you for it.
There are probably a thousand more things that I could list off to help you reduce your stress and anxiety, but that long of a list would kind-of counteract my point here, so I kept it to the top 10 things that helped me personally. If you have any that you would like to contribute please share it with us below!