We all know that April showers bring May flowers, but they can also bring our spirits down and zap positive moods and motivations. Perhaps this is why April is considered stress awareness month. In honor of this little-known "holiday" of sorts, we are giving you our best tips for combating stress in the springtime.
Get your sweat on! Whether you take advantage of the warming temperatures and go for a run outside or just lift some weights at the gym, working out will take your mind off of your anxieties and allow you to release stress in a constructive way. Yoga incorporates mindfulness into exercising, which makes it a great option. Exercise releases endorphins that immediately elevate your mood, and you'll look and feel healthier overall! This one really is a win-win.
This one may not relieve stress in the moment, but it goes with exercising and will help you feel better in the long run. Eating healthy foods in portioned amounts will help your body and mind perform their best. If eating is one of the causes of your stresses, try meal prepping one day a week to maximize your time and cut down on poor food choices. A lot of times we end up opting for fast food because it's all we have time for or we can't make a decision. Erase that possibility! In addition to eating, improve your drinking habits! Switch coffee for tea sometimes if caffeine makes you jumpy. Drink more water or try to cut down on soda and alcoholic drinks.
Meditating for 10 minutes each morning can set your entire day in motion in the best way. If you wake up stressed, the anxiety will only build up and get worse as time goes on. But if you wake up and clear your mind, you will be much more likely to remain in a relaxed state. Meditate before bed as well to clear out the bad thoughts that accumulated during the day, and you'll get a better night sleep and be ready to take on whatever is thrown at you tomorrow.
Check your attitude.
Keep the meditative mindset going all day long! If you feel yourself getting sucked into a stressed out train of thought, stop yourself and take some deep breaths to calm your body down and clear your mind. Remind yourself that you are doing your very best, and that is all that anyone can expect of you. Some things you can't control, and that is okay, but your reaction is something that you can (and should) exercise control over. Put up some visual reminders in your workspace (i.e. a dream board or motivational printed quote) to keep you in check as well.
If a specific task is giving you anxiety, take breaks periodically while you work through it. Laying down and closing your eyes for ten minutes or stopping your work to watch a quick YouTube video can work wonders. Just make sure that your breaks are short so you don't fall behind on the work to be done!
Plan & Schedule
The best way to minimize stress in all areas of your life is to plan out your day as much as you are able to. Having a schedule to fall back on takes out the ambiguity of the day and breaks tasks down so that they seem much more manageable. Don't just plan your tough stuff either…make sure to include breaks and fun activities with friends into your schedule. You'll be able to enjoy the fun times more when you know that there is a time for them and also a time for work. You won't have to worry so much constantly about balancing the two, and you'll know in the back of your mind that you really CAN get it all done.
Wishing you all a stress-free April!