What a year 2021 has been.
Unsurprisingly, stress was a part of all of our lives this year as we attempted to process being in a global pandemic and adjust to a “new normal.” For many, the pandemic brought out pressures they weren’t planning on facing this year: additional work stress, family and relationship tensions, health concerns, and general uncertainty about the future.
Prolonged stress can have serious negative side effects on mental and physical health. When unaddressed, tension can manifest in a number of ways, including a weakened immune system, digestive problems, headaches, body pains, heightened blood pressures, and other serious concerns.
To prevent and manage stress, I like to make mindfulness and meditation a regular part of my self-care routine. By connecting to myself, I’m able to better identify my feelings and emotions which helps choose healthy and productive coping mechanisms.
Below are the best ways I have found to reduce and deal with stress. I would love to hear how you all unwind and combat stress. Let me know in the comments!
Get enough sleep - Sleep is so important! Getting enough sleep can play a big role in regulating mood. My best tips for getting eight hours is to avoid screens at least 30 minutes before bed and really invest in a mattress and pillows you love! Morgan and I just switched to an avocado mattress and Brooklinen sheets and it’s a dream!
I also like taking magnesium at night for better sleep, I use Calm and like to drink it 1-2 hours before bed.
Cut back on caffeine - This one can be so hard for us coffee lovers but caffeine can actually heighten stress! I’ve been loving tea lately and it still gives you the pick me up without any jitters or crashes. If tea doesn’t do it for you another pro tip is to switch to decaf espresso in the afternoon. I love an almond or oat milk decaf latte in the afternoon.
Follow a guided meditation - I love taking Kelsey Patel’s 6 Mim Release Stress class and 15 Min Emotions Meditation by Ameerah Omar whenever I feel like I need to come back to a place of mindfulness. If you’re looking for a restful night’s sleep try Kelsey’s 6 min Rest + Reset meditation.
Do a self-care night - One of my favorite ways to destress is to take some extra time for self care. I love to light candles and take an epsom salt bath, do a facemask , get into comfy clothes, and curl up with a good book or TV show. If you’re looking for a good show, I’ve loved The Maid, Dopesick, and Only Murders in the Building.
Connect with family & friends - Especially now that we don’t get to see our friends and families as often as we would like, calling or facetiming those who you haven't seen recently can really lift your spirits. Sometimes a good chat and a vent can go a long way.