It seems the whole world is looking for tips on ways to manage stress. It’s a stressful time and we all seem to be looking for ways to cope. When I’m stressed its very noticeable to me. My stress manifests itself as tightness in my jaw. The tightness can last for hours, days or even weeks. Here are a few ways I deal with stress and hopefully implementing some of these tips will help you as well.
[one_half padding=”0 15px 0 0″]Have a Routine & Plan Like No Tomorrow
The number one way I deal with stress is having a solid routine and planning. It helps that I’m already a very Type-A person and writing things down, organizing and planning is my jam. I find that I’m most stressed with I have a lot of things to do and feel the pressure of not being able to do it all in a timely fashion. Planning has been instrumental in helping me get my shit together and my life in order. My 40 hour a week job schedule is pretty set so when it comes to blogging I have to write everything down such as when sponsored post are due, when to shoot, when to post what and events. I have a large calendar and update it at the beginning of the month to stay organized. Having a daily routine and planning helps to cut down on unexpected things, which can throw you off and cause stress.[/one_half]
[one_half_last padding=”0 0 0 15px”]Journaling
I find that writing out my thoughts and feelings also helps to decrease anxiety and stress. I actually wrote in diaries for a few years as well but stopped in 2015. It’s always nice to go back and read the wild things I wrote in them and laugh and be a little nostalgic. I plan on giving them to my daughter when she turns 18, that’s if I ever have any children. If not I’ll burn those bad boys (all 4 of them) because… I was on one for most of 2013-2014. Journaling has also stopped me from imploding on people as well. I used to have a really bad habit of saying anything I knew would hurt someone when I felt hurt by them. Journaling was the first step to getting out of that cycle and finding more constructive ways to vent, without severing relationships. I also got into letter writing and burning those to release those feelings.[/one_half_last]
So yeah, a good cry goes a long way. Trust me I always feel better after a quick little tear feast. Crying is known to release stress hormones and toxins. I recently wrote about my little crying episode at work that finally pushed me to ask for what I want. Whew, I am thankful for those tears. I encourage you all to watch this quick video about some of the most powerful women and men in the world shedding a few tears at work and break the cycle of thinking it’s weak.
And by exercise I mean have sex. Unless that’s not you thing. If it is I recommend having as much of it as possible. It’s great cardio and definitely releases tension and stress especially after orgasm when those endorphins flood your entire body. An orgasm is just natures Xanax, therapy session and therapeutic massage all in one. But no you can actually exercise too. I used to get angry a lot and when I got angry, I would run. I actually hate running but it was and still is one of the only things that takes me out of my anger and focuses me. My breathing, my feet hitting the pavement, shin splints, tiredness, burst of energy, a clear mind. Those are all the things running does for me. I’m actually gearing up to start this year. I only run in the Spring, Summer and Fall. My throat doesn’t do well when running in the cold. Winter is made for loving.
Meditation, Reading and a Good Prayer Session
[one_half padding=”0 15px 0 0″]When I just can’t break through the tightness in my jaw I try my hand at meditation. I listen to a few guided meditations on YouTube. The main 3 types of videos that I listen to are guided meditations for anxiety since I know that’s the root of most of my stress. I also found that listening to heart chakra alignment videos calm me before going to sleep as well as settle me when I getting ready in the morning for work and a thousand thoughts flood my mind. I think the simple thought of thinking about something else or taking your mind off what’s causing the stress can help to alleviate stress which is where reading comes in. The shelves in my apartment are filled with books and I’ve read them all. [/one_half][one_half_last padding=”0 0 0 15px”]I love some good fiction to wake up my mind, spark my imagination and leave the world as I know it behind. Some of my favorite books include Nefertiti by Michelle Moran, Death A Life by George Pendle (hilariously witty and will have you laughing to yourself on the train) and The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Reading before bed is a great way to calm your mind before sleeping as well instead of thinking about everything you need to do. I also love a good prayer every now an again. I’m convinced I’m covered a hundred years over by the prayers of my Grandmother Mary. But I’ve fallen asleep many a night praying away, only to wake up and start again.[/one_half_last]
Photography by Rose Lazard; Editing by Monroe Steele
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Lay off the Caffeine
I have a Nespresso Vertuoline machine so I you know my love for coffee is real. I do take periodic coffee breaks for weeks at a time though and it’s mostly when I’m super stressed. I find that coffee makes my stress so much worse, especially if I drink a cup in the morning without eating a proper breakfast, which is the norm for me. It makes my jaw extra tight and I spent the first half of the workday anxiety ridden x 10. I replace my coffee addiction with Coconut Water or Matcha Tea during these times.
Treat yo’self. No really, life is way too short to be stressed and the only thing stress gets you is closer to the grave. Sometimes I have to stop and think about just how lucky I am to wake up and breathe and live the life I’m living. That thinking alone helps with my anxiety. You know what else helps? Listening to this motivational YouTube Video that makes me feel like a super hero who can do anything if I just put my mind to it.It also reminds me not to live a mediocre life. A beauty masque, preferably a super indulgent one like Farmacy Honey Potion which warms up while saging your entire home while reciting Drake’s Nice For What lyrics. A glass of Merlot while smelling my favorite candle burning. Setting my timer for 1 hour and doing something that I really want to do, like read a magazine, doing my nails, binge watch Sex and the City or ordering myself a Tres Leche Cake from Carpi Bakery in East Harlem and eating the whole damn thing.
How do you manage stress? Sound off in the comments. I’d love to hear your tips.