Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How I Handle Stress & Anxiety

Lets be real: life can be very stressful at times. Some times more than others, especially when life gets busy. For me personally, I have always been an extremely busy person. I grew up as a competitive dancer, so I had early release from school and would dance from 3 pm on until about 930 most nights. On top of that I was a low-key nerd and my school work took up a lot of time. Add a few part-time jobs, boyfriends, a social life, and everything else you can think of on top of that and you could probably figure out I always had a booked schedule. Fast forward to my life now and I still have a pretty hectic life working two jobs, running my blog, spending time with Jon, my family, and friends, etc. I guess you could say I enjoy being busy😝 

My point of sharing this is that I had to learn how to handle stress and anxiety of life pretty early on. Some times I handle it better than others but I wanted to share with you my top tips on how I handle the craziness of life.

Tip #1: Take a Deep Breath/ Meditate
This may sound cliche but it is the ultimate fix. It is really easy to get caught up in everything going on around you and work yourself up. We all know the feeling: you feel like you have a million things to do and no time to do it. Take a step back for a few seconds and take a few deep breaths. This works so well it feels like magic. When you take a deep breath, it slows down your heart rate, which lowers your blood pressure. In turn, this calms down your nerves and counters the effects of stress. If you want to take it a step further, meditate. If you are new to meditating (like me), Jon and I found this amazing app called Headspace. It will walk you through step by step what to do and only takes up ten minutes of your day! I highly recommend trying it out. 

Tip #2: Make a List
This may be my OCD talking, but writing a list is a great way to visually see everything you have to do. Most anxiety and stress comes from a stressful situation or occurrence in our life. Whether it be a busy schedule, a breakup, loss, or whatever else that triggers stress, write out a list. For example, if you are stressed due to a busy schedule, write out everything you need to accomplish for that day and focus solely on that. Think of it as a mental checklist written out on paper. If you can visually see what all you need to accomplish, it will become much easier to get it done. On the contrary, if your stress is related to a more personal situation, write a list of things that lift you up. For instance, spending time with friends & family, working out, going shopping, etc. I love going home to my parents and spending time with my mom and dog, Mia or I will go to the mall and buy those pair of shoes I have been eyeing for a while. 😇Whatever it may be that makes you happy and lifts you up, do more of that. 

Tip #3: Hit the Gym
Working out is probably the first thing ill turn to in order to get a control on my stress level. Elle Woods said it best: "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy." Anything from an hour session in the gym or even just a quick walk around the block will help reduce stress levels.

Tip #4: Sleep on It
It is very possible that a lot of your stress is coming from a lack of sleep. Whenever I am very busy, the number of hours of sleep I get each night is greatly reduced. In turn, this can make me even more stressed and anxious. By getting more sleep, you are allowing your brain and body to relax which will help you wake up feeling refreshed and hopefully less stressed. At times, it can be hard to fall asleep when stressed. I have a diffuser that I LOVE and keep on my nightstand. I will diffuse some lavender essential oil in it and it really helps my body and brain relax and get a good nights rest. A lot of times I will wake up the next day and laugh at myself for stressing myself out over something small.

Tip #5: Stay Positive
This one speaks for itself. Whatever it is you may be stressed about it, realize it will pass. You wont be stressed forever and try to look at all the amazing things in your life. Focus more on the positive than the negative and you will feel much better! Big picture y'all! 

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