I’ve spent a lot of time since the New Year trying to find ways to mitigate my stress levels. One of my flaws is that I am easily overwhelmed – not necessarily by unexpected events, (I am actually quite calm in situations that I cannot control like: car accidents, disrupted travel plans, last-minute deadlines, etc.) but I am working on being a more positive person. Once I start to lose confidence in myself, I spiral down a path of focusing on everything wrong in my life. Learning to harness that negative energy and transform it into a positive is one of my greatest challenges – but recognizing that it’s a problem is the first step to improvement! Here are a few (small) things I’m doing that are making a big impact on my stress levels.
Keep a gratitude journal
Every night, I write three things that made me happy that day. The good days are easy – it’s the hard days that force me to pull out the positives.
I realize this seems so simple, but it’s made a huge difference. I bought chapsticks for all my purses and I carry around my favorite hand lotion and water bottle every day. I love when my body and skin feel hydrated because it makes me feel like I’m taking care of myself.
Splurge on healthy snacks
I am seriously obsessed with Whole Foods, and while it’s not the most budget-friendly store, I give myself some flexibility to splurge on a fresh-pressed juice, or a bottle of kombucha. I would rather spend more money on something I know I will love and is healthy, than feel unprepared and buy a convenience item on the go (that is most likely not healthy.)
Set aside an hour each week that is just for you
Every Wednesday, I get up early to teach and when I’m done, I walk to one of my favorite coffee shops in Capitol Hill and just sit. Whatever I feel like doing that morning, whether it be writing in my planner, drafting a blog post, or reading the newspaper, I do it. It’s my time to relax and decompress before heading to work.
Do something for someone else
Send a birthday card or a ‘just to say hello’ card to someone you love. Call a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while. Send an email to someone who has inspired you recently. By focusing on making someone else feel better, it will take your mind off of your own struggles.