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Lately, I have, to be honest, I am stressed to the max with everything that I have going on in my life right now. Is anyone else struggling with this out there? I feel like I am constantly on the go, making me feel like my life is pure chaos. So finally this past week, I decided enough is enough and that I had to find ways to destress my work week somehow. I feel like I barely have time for all of the things that I must get done during the work week, yet alone doing anything for myself. I have finally found seven ways to de-stress my work week that not only provide me with more time to complete all of my necessary tasks but also some time for myself. We cannot forget to take care of ourselves during the stressful times in life; it is so important to remember that.
1. Make a Plan
Sunday has become my planning day, and let me tell you it has been life changing. When you plan out your week ahead of time, you will feel more in control. You will be able to focus on what you need to accomplish that week. Block scheduling is what I have found that works best for me, but I know that everyone is different when it comes to that so know what planner works best for you. I use a weekly planner where each day is listed by the hour so I can plan out my time more efficiently. Once a week just jot down all of the things that you have going on that week and then that way you can see what openings you may have to fill those spots in with something that you enjoy doing. You will be surprised how many hours in a day that you do have open. On Sunday’s I not only plan out my week according to my work schedule, but I also plan out my meals for the week, exercise routines, blog/social media content, and even relaxation time. If you do not plan out things like this that you want to include in your weekly activity, the chances are that they will never happen because you didn’t make time for it. So do yourself a favor, grab that planner of yours and start planning out your week!
2. Brain Dump
We often feel so stressed because we have a million things going on in our mind. For most of us, people are always throwing things at us like meeting times, upcoming events, last minute to-dos, etc. On top of that, we fill our head with multiple ideas and plans that we have for ourselves. No wonder why we are always feeling stressed out, we have so much junk in our minds that we can’t even think straight. We need to let all of that go and on paper, so it is out of our minds. I started doing this recently, and I feel so much better now! I feel like it has de-stressed my work week. Some people use sticky notes, journals, their phone, whatever works for you, try it out and see if it doesn’t make you feel so much better to get that off of your mind!
3. Just Breathe
Do you ever find yourself winded after a long day? I always struggled with excessive yawning and feeling the need to take an enormous deep breath. The reason why was because I wasn’t even taking the time during my day to breathe. How sad is that? I decided to start trying deep breathing exercising during my time to see if it helped, and of course, it did! I use the Breathe app on my Apple watch to remind me to take a minute to inhale and exhale during my day. There are multiple apps and devices to help you with this, but for those who are not that tech savvy you can monitor it yourself. Just close your eyes (at your desk, in your car, wherever you are) and focus on your breath. Inhale through your nose, hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale through your mouth. Do this at least for one minute, three times a day to feel more relaxed. Deep breathing is a powerful thing, my friends that we are taking for granted.
We all need to take time for ourselves and have a peaceful, quiet time for ourselves. Some people enjoy meditating before their day starts; others prefer it after their stressful day to let it all go. I find it works for me to start my day with this as part of my routine. I seriously add this into my block schedule each day to make sure that I do not miss it. We all meditate in different ways; some people prefer total silence, some read, whatever works for you get in that place and just relax. I am a religious person, so I use my meditation aka quiet time reading the word and spending time with God each morning before I start my day. My quiet time is crucial for me because it allows me to focus in on what is important to me before I begin each day. Go into a quiet space and just spend 30 minutes each day focusing in on what is important to you.
5. Sweat It Out
One of the best ways to relieve tension and stress is to exercise at least three times a week. I love to work out in the morning time because I love the energy that it gives me throughout the rest of my day. I have found that I sleep better at night whenever I work out in the morning as opposed to working out in the evening. Exercise releases endorphins throughout the body that will reduce stress. Find a fitness routine that empowers you! I have discovered that I love yoga and the way that it makes me feel. My body craves a good relaxing yoga workout. Every morning, I start my day with a mix of energizing yoga and a healthy cardio workout for the perfect exercise routine. I encourage you to find what makes you tick each day because if you love it then it, will no longer feel like you are forcing yourself to do something.
Whoever said that laughter is the best form of medicine is a genius because it is so true! I could be having the worse day, but if someone makes me laugh, it does turn my day around for the better. Surround yourself with positive people who make you laugh. If you don’t have that type of support in your life, then read a funny write up online or watch an old sitcom that makes you laugh. You work hard and deserve to crack a smile every day. I promise that it will make you feel better.
7. You Are What You Eat
You knew that I had to bring food into the mix somehow, someway with my background in nutrition, that is because what we put into our bodies really can affect the way that we feel each day. If you are feeling sluggish each day, with very little energy, please do yourself a favor by putting away the caffeine and junk food. Caffeine only provides our body with a quick sugar high that diminishes after an hour or so. If you consume superfood options that provide your body with real energy that it needs, then you will feel so much better. A lot of people use stressful times as an excuse to binge eat, trust me I totally get it and I have been there myself. Let me tell you, though, eating like that is only going to give us a temporary satisfaction until we hit the guilty stage where we feel awful about the fact that we just ate that whole box of Oreos. Try starting off your morning with something like an energizing fruit smoothie (Pinterest is a gold mind for recipe ideas). I am slowly learning that our morning routines have an impact on how the rest of our day goes, even when it comes to eating. Changing the way that you eat, is probably one of the most challenging things for people to do; but once you make the change and start replacing the bad eating habits with the good, you will start seeing the benefits I promise!
Now that you have read about the seven ways that I have found that de-stress my work week, I hope that you accept my challenge to try them out for yourself. Talk to me, let me know what is your greatest challenge when you are trying to overcome stress? Leave me a comment below. I would love to read about any ideas that you have to de-stress your work week or which of these seven ways is your personal favorite?