When you are constantly steam-rolling through the day to get everything done on your to do list – whether at work or home with the kids – it can be difficult to switch off and slow down. For the sake of our health and happiness, it is vital to relax and de-stress, so that we can face whatever life throws at us with a calm mind and a relaxed body.
Here are 9 self-care practices to help dial down the stress, without resorting to unhealthy habits.
Go for a Walk. Walking boosts endorphins and makes you feel good. It can ease anger, stress, tension, fatigue and confusion in just 10 minutes.
Take Magnesium. All mums should take a magnesium supplement daily. Why? Currently over 60% of adult Australians are deficient in this mineral. It gets used up at a rapid rate when you are stressed. Known as the essential “calming” mineral, Magnesium is responsible for the activity of up to 800 enzyme systems that make energy, digest food, support the adrenal glands, detoxify heavy metals, and relax your muscles and nerves.
Have Sex. Having sex can help alleviate stress by releasing brain endorphins, which automatically lift your mood and help relieve stress. It is also good for your heart and lowers blood pressure, helps you sleep, fights aging, improves your mood, tones your body, boosts the immune system and improves your pelvic floor – so what are you waiting for?
Eat a Stress-Busting Breakfast
The importance of breakfast cannot be overstated. After 12 hours of fasting our bodies need fuel, and the right kind of fuel, to set you up for the best possible start to your day. Try this stress-defying shake – it improves your mood and quiets stress without withdrawal, rebound cravings, or overeating: In a blender, mix 1 banana, ½ cup of pineapple, handful of blueberries, scoop of magnesium powder, 1 scoop of protein powder, 2 teaspoons of flaxseed oil. Process until smooth.
Chat to a Friend. Studies show that just talking to someone else about what’s stressing us out can alleviate the feelings of stress. Choose someone out of the home, such as a friend, colleague or a sister, and offload. You’ll feel so much better for it.
Listen to Music. Music has the power to affect our perceptions, emotions and physical well-being. Create music playlists for different moods. Slower “chill-out” music can help regulate and relax our systems, and happy songs can help lighten the mood quickly. If you’ve had a REALLY stressful day, a session of hard rock music can help us release our frustrations before we can calm down enough to relax.
Write a Short Daily Priorities List
You may already have a working To Do list, but often they are so long just looking at the list is overwhelming in itself. At the end of each day jot down a short list of your top 3-5 priorities for the next day. Having your thoughts down on paper and not in your head will enable you to relax your busy mind.
The act of writing helps you unwind and reflect about your day. Just let loose! Write down anything that comes to mind – no matter how bad or gruesome! There is no right or wrong, just a chance for you to get out your true thoughts or feelings, even if they are ugly ones. This way you vacate the space in your head for more positive thoughts.
Just the very act of putting things back in their correct places and clearing surfaces can be therapeutic and calming. Not only that, but if we are in an ordered, tidy and decluttered environment, it can help to put our thoughts in order too, leading to clear, calm minds.
Incorporating simple self-care rituals into your daily life until they become habit go a long way to building your resilience to stress.