My top 6 tips on how to deal with stress
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Feeling so inspired today, because I met up with a friend of mine who is here for a quick visit from Amsterdam. I meet her a few times a year and we already have a little routine we repeat. We lunch at the same spot while we jump straight into those” taboo” topics. No polite small talks. I LOVE that! We have a meaningful history together, filled with both happy, but also very sad moments. We’ve shared a lot, especially when we skipped school together for weeks when her mum passed away way too early in life. I’ll always carry that very special time with me.
A couple of days ago I mentioned that I’m feeling very stressed at the moment and most of all exhausted. I also mention that I’ve set a deadline for myself for feeling this way. A deadline of “when not to be so exhausted and stressed”. No, I can’t control my feelings I know that, but I can set up a deadline for myself for when to start prioritizing differently. I refuse to accept feeling stressed constantly if there are things I can do to change it. Temporary stress is acceptable but taking on more than I can handle for long periods is not.
I know my priorities has led me to this point of exhaustion, therefore I’m going to act differently starting today. Today, because I had my final exam at school which has put a lot of extra pressure on me. By Friday, I’m hoping to have lowered my pulse a lot and feel better. I need to make this conscious decision, otherwise I’ll just fill the “empty” spot with other stressful things.
This long venting story is just the beginning of what lead me to share my ways to destress and find mindfulness in stressful times in life. We talked about this today with my friend. Hence the idea to share my top 6 list on how to reduce stress under stressful circumstances:
1. Be mindful in your everyday chores and tasks. Take a long hot shower in the evening, cook with love, do the dishes while listening to music, give yourself a manicure and do that 10-step skin routine morning and night. This is my best tip, because it is what I call “active mindfulness”. I get to complete my to-do’s while I take time for myself to think, feel and be present.
2. I suck at breathing to be honest, but no I’m really giving it a try. Just five long breaths as a start. I can’t do a 15-minute meditation twice a day just yet. I need more realistic goals as a start, otherwise I know I won’t do it.
3. Watch an easy-going series. This is actually really helpful for me, because it keeps me away from work on all devices! All I have to do is find a good mood series and force myself to watch one episode every evening before I go to bed.
4. Talking it out. Long phone calls or even better evening walk with a friend helps me to destress and reduce anxiety and it improves my sleep a lot! Talking through the day releases pressure and helps me come to peace more easily.
5. Eat in company. If possible, I love sharing a little night snack in the kitchen with my husband. We rarely have the chance but when we do, we both enjoy it a lot.
6. Say no! I’ve become so much better at saying no (without feeling the need to explain myself) but can be even more strict. I rarely attend any events just for fun, say no to a glass of wine constantly and say no to taking a lunch with friends when I know I really need to work.
Pictures by Juuli Rönkä