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We’ve talked about the ways stress is connected to disease, and things you can do to help combat stress. While both of those are very important to be aware of, it’s also important to make sure you’re taking actions daily to help you manage your stress level. Here are a few ideas you can implement into your daily life to help you manage your stress. Normally, a daily routine starts in the morning, but this one is a bit different. To be prepared for the next day and any stressors that may come with it, it’s important to start the night before.

Night Time

Before bed brain dump.

Many people struggle with going to sleep right away because they’re still thinking about all the things that happened during the day or of the things they need to get done the next day. Taking 5 minutes to dump everything that is on your mind down on a piece of paper helps you to clear your head before you lay down to rest. There doesn’t have to be any organization to it; you’re just putting thoughts down on a piece of paper that you can look at later. This brain dump may also help you to remember tasks you don’t want to forget.

Plan for tomorrow.

If you have a long list of to-dos without a plan for it, even if you complete a brain dump, your mind may still be running away from you. Write down all of the tasks that must be completed the next day and a plan of attack. When you wake up without a plan there’s a greater chance that your day will be frantic, and you may not get the most important things on your to-do list done. Start with a plan from the time you open your eyes. Give yourself time to complete the tasks you need to with wiggle room so that you’re not overwhelmed if something runs over on time. It’s not just about all the typical accomplishments of the day either. Schedule in some of the things farther down this list.

Morning

Quiet time.

There is something about a new day that is so refreshing. A fresh start; a chance to accomplish what you may have not done yesterday. Take a few minutes all to yourself. If 5 minutes is all you can manage, start there. Work your way up slowly over time to try to devote up to 30 minutes just to yourself. You can sit there in silence, meditate, pray, journal, read, etc. This is your time, enjoy it. It’s therapeutic.

Exercise

Whether you take a walk or go for a full body workout, getting your blood pumping will release those feel-good hormones and help you start your day off with a positive attitude. Not to mention all the other great health benefits, of course.

Afternoon

Take breaks

Whether you work from home, commute to work, or you’re a full-time parent, it’s important that you take time throughout the day to take a break and regroup. If you go non-stop without a break you may get overwhelmed and burned out, but if you take a chance to relax for even 5 minutes, you can recharge and take on the rest of the day.

Eat healthful foods

It’s so easy to grab unhealthy foods when you’re pressed for time, but those foods are often paired with guilt, and usually don’t leave you feeling the best physically, either. Eating a balanced diet can help you feel your best all day. And don’t forget to keep snacks with you. There’s nothing quite like being hangry to get your stress levels up.

Say no

It’s easy to add to your already busy schedule when a friend, family member, or coworker asks you to come to an event or help them with something. If it’s something that is going to prevent you from accomplishing what you need to and add stress to you, say no. It’s okay, and actually a good thing, to protect yourself from unnecessary stress.

Evening

You time

I know that for some people, evenings are just as hectic as, if not more so than, the rest of the day.  But if you can spare just 5 or 10 minutes again to take some time for you, you’ll end your day feeling so much better than if you’re constantly running around. This could mean blasting some of your favorite music, quiet time outside, a hot bath, or cuddling up with a good book. Whatever you can fit in and whatever works for your life, you deserve at least a little time to yourself.

Time with loved ones

We can get wrapped up in all that has to be done, but don’t forget what’s more important than the stuff and the to-do’s; those you love. Whether you snuggle up with your kiddos on the couch, your significant other, or even your dog or cat, spending time with your loved ones is therapeutic.

REPEAT…

While everyone’s lifestyles and schedules are different, having a daily routine to help you combat stress is important. Take this routine and make it your own. And to be sure you’re taking care of yourself fully, don’t forget to schedule your next massage here at Graceful Touch!