A recurring theme on this blog this year is balance. With my crazy schedule, I sure could use some and I bet you could to.
Achieving some sort of balance and routine in your life is great because it can help eliminate stress and tension. A few months ago, I got involved in some leisure research about some of the oldest people in the world.
It turns out that women tend to live longer than men and one of the oldest verified people in the world is French woman Jeanne Louise Calment who lived to be 124 years old. Another was American woman Lucy Hannah who lived to be 117 years old. It surprised me to find out at least the top 10 oldest people in the world were all women (sorry men).
When I look into what their lifestyle was like, it was very active and while I can’t confirm whether they had boatloads of stress or not, I could take an educated guess that they must have kept their stress levels low in order to live so long. Mind you, these women were from all over the world and not just one specific area.
Historically, women were not expected to go out and get jobs and stayed home and took care of the children. While raising kids can be quite stressful at times, I assume that most men wore themselves out throughout their lifetime by overworking themselves and stressing out over the family’s finances – since a lot of pressure was put on the man.
The American Psychological Association confirmed in a 2014 survey that money is the leading cause of stress among Americans especially for parents and adults from the ages of 18-49. While we’re all striving to hustle and earn more money these days, it’s important to understand that we need to find healthy ways to relieve our stress in order to improve our quality of life.
I’m going to get off my soap box now and share 7 easy and much-needed ways to de-stress after you’e had a long day.
When I leave work each day, I have about a 30 minute commute to get home. While most people would balk at the sound of a hefty commute, one of my coworkers who lives less than a block away from our office is envious of my commute.
A few weeks ago he told me how he felt like he could never decompress and shift his mindset from work to home after he clocked off since his drive home was only about 10-15 seconds long. I have to admit, my commute home is rather relaxing – even in mild traffic – because I can turn on my music, reflect, and decompress before I even walk in the door.
Since my son greets me with open arms each day before I can even get my shoes off, my commute helps me de-stress after a long day quite a bit. If you feel tense and don’t have a commute, try driving around the block a few times every once and a while.
Go on a Walk or Run
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and maintain your health. The problem is, most people don’t have time to do it (self-included). An easy way to de-stress would be to go on a 10-15 minute walk or run after a long day.
In the winter if it’s too cold to go outside, you can always stretch or do a quick workout or some yoga at home instead.
I don’t do much meditating, but I hear it’s a great way to relax your mind and body indefinitely. Most people meditate right when they wake up or before they go to bed, but I encourage you to meditate for a few minutes whenever you need to de-stress.
Focus on your breathing and your thoughts – Oh, and do it in complete silence.
Read a Book or Magazine
Reading a book can help your mind escape from your everyday thoughts and worries. When you’re trying to relax, it’s best to read a fiction book and not a non-fiction personal development book that requires critical thinking and for you to stop every few pages to take notes. Escaping in a book with a great storyline is a pastime I truly enjoyed when I was a child and now miss.
Take a Bubble Bath
Bubble baths are a great switch to make if you’re usually a shower person. It takes more time but it relaxes you more and you can even play calming music during your bath. I know Bath and Body Works always has some nice bath oils, bath salts and stress relieving soaps to use.
Drink Some Tea and Do Nothing
I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I love tea. Chamomile tea is a great relaxant and also a sleeping aid. When you come home, make yourself a cup of tea and sit outside or on your couch and just do nothing for a few minutes. Sound simple enough?
While electronics are great tools to help you get things done and speed things up, you run the risk of feeling like you can never slow down. We have a rule in our home that means we don’t use electronics for at least 30 minutes to an hour each day. This means no use of phones, tablets, the computer and more. I receive emails constantly and always feel like I have to respond as soon as I get them or risk letting them pile up. Unplugging and leaving my phone in a separate room is a great low-effort way to de-stress.
When I’m trying to de-stress, I tell myself that everything else can wait and it can. Having your health and your mind is more important than anything so it’s best to do everything in your power to maintain it.
What you can expect from this series…
Yes, I decided to create a ‘De-Stress Series’ and include 3 to 4 more additional posts just like this one to help you determine your go-to methods when it comes to de-stressing in other areas of your life. Some topics I’m considering covering include:
How do you deal with stress on a day-to-day basis? Do your finances affect your stress level in any way?
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