I heard on the radio this week, that last Monday and this past Monday are the most depressing and stressful times of the year. I paid close attention this week and noticed that you know what; this study is on to something! People are a little “off” more than usual – myself included. For that reason, I decided to do this week’s blog on how to reduce stress. It reiterates it to myself, and in the interim, maybe it will help you too! Hey, the last thing we need is extra belly fat from the stress hormones. Here are my tips and advice through research, as well as trial and error.
Get some sleep. Sleep is important and it affects your mental state and well-being. Make it a point to get yourself to bed for a solid 7-8 hours. If you have so much stuff on your mind that you have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, try some natural melatonin. It’s a hormone we naturally produce when its bed time, therefore it is not harmful to your body, and doesn’t induce a groggy morning. That being said, it’s not something you want to take all the time, but it is something to help when you’re having a hard time.
Workout. Working out is awesome at reducing stress because it releases feel-good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. Try to get a sweat session in when you’re feeling stressed, but also be mindful not to overdo it. Working out too much can cause the body to go into a stress mode, and can actually inhibit the effect you’re actually going for. Working out 3-5 times/week, for 25-60 minutes of your time is enough to do the trick. If time is against you, work your ass off for 25 minutes – trust me, it works!
Take a relaxing bath. This is something that I find very relaxing; especially when I enjoy it with Epsom salts, a beer, and maybe a good book or music. Doing this an hour before bed, can put you in a nice relaxed state. Hello piece of amazing.
Start your morning off silent. Sometimes stress comes from over stimulation, and in this day and age, we have plenty of that. Take even 15-20 minutes for yourself in the morning to eat breakfast, enjoy a tea, write a to-do list, or read a book. Don’t wake up, throw the news on, start checking emails, and set your day up to be fast paced before you’re even on your feet.
Have sexy time. Even though you may be tired and this is the last thing on your mind, it is one of the best ways, like exercise, to increase feel-good chemicals in your brain naturally! Additionally, the last thing you want to be stressed about is you and your significant other, so make it happen. It makes you feel connected, and the more you have it, the more you want it! Even a quickie will do the trick here people.
Have a girlfriend bitch-fest. We need to vent to release stress and work out our thoughts, so who better to do it with then a compassionate girlfriend, who is a good listener and has some great advice. Invest in your friendships, because staying in touch can really increase the quality of your life. Love you boys, but there’s something to be said about some “girl time”.
Lastly, enjoy life and don’t stress the small stuff! It’s important to stay focused and get things done, but it is also important to step back and realize that you’re only one person and you may need to prioritize your time, and reorganize your mental state, so you’re not stressing over the small stuff. Being optimistic is like a muscle, the more you work it out, the stronger it becomes. So is saying the word “No”. Start journaling your thoughts and internal dialogue, and notice when you’re stressing over the small things, or taking too much on. Talk it out with yourself, and learn how to be your own cheerleader. You can’t depend on anyone to pick your mood and confidence up but yourself. Bam.
Showing you the difference between liking and loving your body,
ashley dale roy