We’ve all been there – some days can be seriously stressful! Pressures from work, school, relationships – whatever it is – can add up quickly at the pace we’re moving at. Since we are pressured to be on “go go go” mode 24/7, we need these moments to unwind more than ever. Bringing back that stillness and relaxation into our lives is a great place to start.
Reasons why it’s important to reduce stress in our lives
- stress can wreak havoc on our digestion, which can leave us feeling bloated and uncomfortable
- stress throughout the day can deplete our energy making us feel sluggish and exhausted, unable to complete our daily tasks
- stress can leave us feeling “empty” and make us unavailable for the people or the things we love, which is why it’s so important to fill up your cup
- when stressed, your body uses up your cortisol hormone which can contribute to many long-term health issues, such as adrenal fatigue, hormonal imbalance, acne and more.
- when stressed, your body uses large amounts of zinc and vitamin C, which can negatively affect our immune system (hence why we get sick so often when we’re under large amounts of stress).
How do I reduce stress in my life?
- Focus on small daily activities that you can do to wind down and relax
- Learn how to say “no” to people or things that do not serve you and deplete your energy
- Schedule in “me time” whenever possible – stillness is important, don’t underestimate the power of alone time
- Plan weekly, monthly and yearly ways to reduce stress in your life, such as yoga retreats, exercise goals, holiday time and family time.
How to de-stress after a long day
Reduce external stimulation
One of the easiest ways to calm down after a stressful day is to reduce external stimulation. Your body uses its senses to pick up on its external environment which can affect your mood and physical feelings. Overwhelming stimuli such as bright lights, loud noises and busy areas can contribute to stress.
Here’s what to do: when you arrive back home, dim the lights, put on some calming music (I love Norah Jones) and light a candle. If you have an essential oil diffuser, pop in some lavender to feel extra calm. If you have the luxury of living alone, this is a huge bonus. If not, try creating a space that you can come home to that makes you feel calm – such as a corner in your bedroom or living room.
Quiet the mind
Just as I mentioned in the paragraph above, excessive stimulation can make us feel stressed, anxious and create the feeling of a “busy” mind. Stepping into a quiet space can provide massive shifts in our energy and stress levels.
Here’s what to do: If you have space at home to be quiet, try meditation (try the Calm meditation app!) or laying on your bed with one hand on your heart and one on your belly and breathe deeply. If you don’t have this option, look for a local yoga or meditation studio in your area and carve it into your schedule on your way home from work.
Legs up the wall
This is one of my favourite EASIEST exercises ever! Sit with your back on the floor and put your legs up the wall. Do this for 10-30 minutes – this helps to flush the energy (and blood) from your feet and feels so relaxing! This also can help with digestion.
Calm the body
Calming the body plays an important role in reducing stress in our lives. While high-intensity workouts are amazing for blowing off steam, integrating slow movement is just as important. Try a slow-flow yoga sequence, taking a hot shower or soaking in an Epsom salt bath. Going for a simple walk after dinner is also a great way to calm the body.
Nourishing the body is one of the best ways to reduce stress in your life. When we eat foods that nourish our cells, agree with our bodies and make us thrive, we will feel optimal! There are a few ways to go about doing this but here are my best tips:
- Avoid foods that you are sensitive to (most people are sensitive to dairy and gluten but I’ve also seen caffeine, grains, eggs and nightshade vegetables) – know what foods don’t make you feel good and what foods do.
- When you feel stressed, try drinking a cup of herbal tea. My favourites are chamomile, Tulsi tea or peppermint. Four Sigmatic also has a great range of energizing and calming medicinal mushroom teas – my favourite is this reishi and hot chocolate blend.
- Make yourself a nourishing, fibre-rich and blood sugar balancing meal such as this Miso Edamame Power Bowl, Lentil Burrito Bowls or this Red Lentil and Tomato Soup.
Write it down
Journalling is so trendy and so it should be! Getting your thoughts on paper is a great way to “brain dump” and release anything that’s on your mind.
Here’s what to do: try different journalling methods to see what works best for you!
- Give yourself 5 minutes to write, whatever comes to mind! Get it all out on paper. Here’s a longer post about intention setting, which is great too!
- Write a gratitude list: write down 5 things you are grateful for
- Try affirmations such as “I am exactly where I need to be”, “I am loved” or “all is well in my world”.
I hope these tips help you unwind after your next busy day! Feel free to share below any tips you have for reducing stress throughout or at the end of your day. And don’t forget to share this post with a friend if you think they’d feel inspired by it! XO, Sisley