Are you stressed? You are not alone! April is Stress Awareness Month, and this is a great opportunity to look at some of the ways stress can affect us, and work to change them. The Pillows.com team would like to offer 10 simple strategies for minimizing the impact stress has on your daily life. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for the many stresses life may bring, these 10 tips may help bring some relief for this all-too-common affliction.
1) Enjoy the Little Things
One of the most common manifestations of stress is feeling the combined pressures of different parts of life, whether they are associated with work, school, family or friends. Often these situations will make it hard to notice the small, happy things that enrich our lives and put things in perspective. When something small makes you smile, even it is just a very small thing, try reminding yourself of how important this type of thing really is, and savor the moment.
2) Look at the Big Picture
In the same way that little things can make you smile, life’s little challenges can sometimes have an oversized impact on your state of mind. Give yourself a foundation for dealing with these challenges by playing the long game and remembering how they fit into your long-term goals. Think back to a time when you faced different challenges that you were able to overcome, and remind yourself that you have what it takes this time as well.
3) Do What You Love
Is there an activity you really enjoy, but feel you never have time to do? Consider the feeling you have whenever you are able to do it, and the impact that can have on the rest of your life. If there is any way you can prioritize your schedule to work a little bit of this activity into your routine, make it happen! Even if it is difficult to find the time and / or energy, you may find that whenever you manage to do it, you will end up feel refreshed and more ready to face life’s challenges.
4) Ask For What You Need
Stressful situations can often make it difficult to reach out for help when you need it most. However, just the act asking can immediately bring some relief, since you no longer have to bear the entire load on your own shoulders. When you show others that you’re willing to ask for help when you need it, they are also more likely to come to you for support, which will allow you to return the favor. In short, remember that you’re not alone, and neither is anyone else.
5) Take a Moment to Breathe
Our breath is what gives us life, and concentrating on even just one breath immediately reminds us of that fact. When facing a stressful situation, taking a moment to take a few slow, deep breaths can have an enormous impact on how we are able to manage our feelings. Doing this during a moment of calm can also help increase the flow of oxygen to the brain and helps us organize our thoughts and reflect on them.
6) Express Yourself
One way to manage stress is to write about it. Sometimes something as simple as putting your thoughts down on paper can help you come up with ways of dealing with stressful situations. Some people may find it helpful to express their thoughts in other ways, such as by drawing a picture or writing a song. Whatever way you choose to express yourself, remember that it is entirely your own, so you will almost always learn something about yourself in the process.
7) Change Your Routine
Stress can happen anywhere and anytime, but often it can be a direct result of our own patterns of behavior. Think of ways you could make small changes in your routine, and pay attention to whether any of these changes seem to have a positive impact on your state of mind. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Whether it provides stress relief or not, a change in routine will help you to stay alert and ready for anything.
8) Eat Well
The simplest way to have a nutritious diet is by preparing your own meals whenever possible. The more fresh produce you incorporate into your meals, the better. Try cooking large portions of healthy entrees that will yield plenty of tasty leftovers. Use moderation when it comes to sweets and packaged, processed foods. Finally, drink plenty of water throughout the day! As you become more accustomed to a healthy diet, it will get easier to maintain the habit, and your body will thank you.
9) Move Your Body
Numerous studies have shown a clear connection between regular exercise and mental health. Keeping active, whether by walking, biking, yoga, or otherwise, will encourage your body to produce natural enzymes that are associated with positive feelings. Furthermore, getting your body moving during the day will help things go smoothly when the time comes to rest. That brings us to the final tip for stress relief:
10) Sleep Well
This is obviously our area of expertise! Getting a good night’s sleep is invaluable for managing stress, as well as for overall well-being. Engineer your sleep environment (bedroom) with a focus on comfort and peacefulness. The ideal environment is different for everyone, but when it comes to finding the ideal bedding for you, you know who to call! Here’s wishing you a stress-free day and night from all of us at Pillows.com.
Blog Author: Kenneth, Bedding Expert