We all know that stress is bad for us. It can lead to all sorts of health problems, and it’s just generally not a good feeling. So what can we do about it in a holistic and positive way?
A lot of people turn to meditation or yoga as a way to reduce stress, and those are definitely great options. But today I want to share another technique that’s been working really well for me lately! And that is how to reduce stress with a daily ritual!
What does that mean, exactly? Basically, you come up with a specific set of activities that you do every day (or every week) in order to help you relax and de-stress. It could be something as simple as reading before bed, taking a hot bath, or cooking your favorite meal. The important thing is that makes you feel good!
Below, I will list out some examples of how to reduce stress with a daily ritual, so you can make your own!
What are the best ways to reduce stress with a daily ritual?
There are many ways you can reduce stress with a daily ritual! Here are some of my favorites!
Focus on Getting Good Sleep
According to Dr. Lawrence J. Epstein of Harvard.edu
People who have problems with sleep are at increased risk for developing emotional disorders, depression, and anxiety
Sleep is an integral part of being a healthy, energized, and well-adjusted person. It can also deeply affect the amount of stress you have. If you already have a good deal of stress, not sleeping is only going to make it worse. It is possible that you are struggling falling asleep or getting quality sleep because of your stress, which then causes sleep deprivation, more stress, and the cycle continues.
Stop the cycle now by first focusing on getting good sleep, whether that means shutting off your phone at night, starting a new nighttime routine, or trying natural sleep aids. That should hopefully help a little with reducing the daily stress you are dealing with.
At one point, I was so stressed out, I had to listen to meditation music before bed or I’d wake up with a fast heartbeat, already anxious (not in a good way) for the day.
Eat Nutritious Foods
You probably already know that having a healthy diet is important for weight management, reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke, and even keeping away diabetes. It can also be tremendously helpful if you deal with daily stress.
You can’t always do much about the stress that hits you eat day from unexpected sources, but you can reduce it and help manage it by eating a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, and whole grains and fiber. A well-balanced diet provides the nutrients your body and mind need to handle stress as it comes.
Go Outside Whenever You Can
Being outside is wonderful for your mind, body, and spirit. For your body, you will get both fresh air and vitamin D, both of which are really important to help reduce your stress levels. Being outside can bring you motivation and inspiration, help you relax and unwind, and give you an opportunity to be in nature and understand that the things you are stressed about are really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
Eat outside during your lunch break, take your dogs on an extra walk, play in the backyard with your kids. There are so many ways to spend more time outdoors, and your stress will be naturally reduced each day as a result.
Trade in Your Coffee for Tea
Caffeine is unfortunately going to make your stress worse as it can increase the stress hormone cortisol. If you drink a lot of caffeine from coffee or soft drinks, now is a great way to reduce it. You don’t have to give it up completely, but try switching to tea for at least one of your cups of coffee each day, then gradually increase how much low caffeine or no-caffeine beverages you have that are replaced with the caffeinated beverages.
Reduce Technology and Social Media
Have you ever noticed that your stress is worse on days when you spend a lot of time on Instagram or Facebook? This is because social media rarely has good news. Most of the time, it causes stress whether from the latest tragedy in your city or state, political or religion debates, or just drama with people you know in your life or that you work with.
Social media can be really toxic, and doesn’t help someone who is already dealing with a good deal of stress. Now is the perfect time to start cutting back on using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media sites you frequent.
Have a Nighttime Self-Care Routine
Self-care is amazing for you and can really help you to relax each day. If you have a lot of stress at work or home, give yourself a few minutes every evening that are just for you. Listen to calming music, meditate, practice mindfulness, write in your journal, draw or paint, take a bath, or just do anything that relaxes you and helps you feel at peace.
What are you going to make a part of your daily ritual to reduce stress?