How to Combat Stress with Mindfulness

There are certain things about life that are just true. And one of these is the fact that life will give us situations and obstacles that may stress us out! Because we live in some of the most uncertain times, I often stop to think about how we can take better care of ourselves while balancing our responsibilities. It is just as important to Make Impact on others as it is to Make Impact on yourself, and by doing so with a peaceful mind.

Check out these five tips for managing the stress in your life.

  1. Journal it Out – You may think it’s slightly cheesy, but it really does work. Try carving 15-30 minutes a day out of your hectic schedule to write about your feelings or the events of that day. Get in the habit of journaling at the beginning of each day and writing down what you want to accomplish so you can visualize what you’re thinking. By putting pen to paper, you can stop letting these thoughts take up space in your mind and lead to unwanted stress. You may even feel better about your stressful situation when it’s out of your head and down on paper. 
  1. Practice meditation with online videos or apps – I am loving mediation these days. The popular app Headspace has seen an increase in users since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the app, you can set a timer, follow along with a video, close your eyes and meditate to unwind. Many videos on YouTube also teach mindful breathing techniques that you can utilize to slow yourself down during a busy time. This is a short and sweet strategy, but it can help feel like you are hitting the reset button on your day. For more information on meditation apps to try, look no further than here.
  1. Establish an Exercise Routine – Studies have shown that exercising for thirty minutes to an hour daily leads to increased feelings of happiness and makes you healthier. You don’t need a gym membership for this tip. Try to program your phone or smartwatch to track your steps as you walk and/or run around your block for an hour. You can even get in some quality time with your pets and go out exploring the neighborhood with them. It’s a win-win; they love the outdoors, and you get the exercise! When you take the time to increase the happiness in your life, you can then Make the best Impact on others. 
  1. Set Yourself a Sleep Schedule – Scrolling mindlessly through your social media feeds can be fun…but still, it has a place and time. When we use technology too close to bedtime, the bright lights send “wake-up” stimuli to our brains making it difficult to get quality rest. If you intend to start using this tip to combat stress for a good night’s sleep, it’s best to be strict with yourself. For example, set an alarm on your phone for 9:30 p.m. every night and make that the time you get ready for bed. Change into comfortable clothes, conduct your bathroom routine, perhaps read that book you’ve been meaning to, etc. By 10:00 p.m., it can be “lights out” time. Then, turn your phone upside down so you don’t let any text or email notifications wake you up. Now you’ll be ready to get a good night’s sleep and wake up able to Make the most Impact with your day. 
  1. Pick a Weekly Self-Care Activity – Ultimately, acts of self-care look different for everyone.So Changer, at the end of your busy week, make sure you’re doing something to take care of yourself. Watch a movie, take a long bath, clean your home. The possibilities are endless, so do what feels right for you!

Join me in the movement to Make Impact by spreading just one act of kindness every day, and watch your positive everyday interactions, like a simple wave to a stranger, turn into lasting results for your community and beyond. 

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