Feeling stressed is something many of us are familiar with—so much so that we may not even realize just how stressed out we really are. If you’re feeling off or emotionally drained or disconnected or overwhelmed, it can feel like an impossible cycle to break free from, but there is hope!
As I share in my book, The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety, small lifestyle changes can make a big (and positive) impact on our overall well-being—emotionally, spiritually, and physically. In my book, I share 50 different stress management tips and little life hacks which help build healthy habits that support our goals and help us stay on track even when life gets real.
Here are 10 of my favorites simple stress-fighting techniques you can incorporate into your everyday life:
- Focus on blood sugar balance—akak “hanger management.: It’s hard to deal with stress when you’re not properly fueled. Make sure you have a balance of protein, fat, and carbs at your meals and snacks spread out through the day to keep your blood sugar stable so you can deal with the crazy at hand. Whenever possible, try to avoid waiting too long between meals, so that your blood sugar doesn’t drop to the point where your energy, focus, productivity, and mood take a hit.
- Try the “overthink-proof plate” to keep blood sugar stable and mood steady so you can think and communicate clearly. I recommend my clients fill half their plate with non-starchy veggies, a quarter with protein, and then that last quarter with carbs or split into ⅛ carbs and ⅛ healthy fat.
- Embrace shortcuts with cooking. Stocking my freezer with frozen veggies, making sure I have the simple pantry staples I need taking the time to pre-cut my produce after returning from the grocery store (or buying pre-cut produce or prepared proteins when I’m really busy), and ensuring I have a good stock of healthy staples in my pantry, have all been game changers in my life and for my clients. There’s no shame in shortcuts. And for those times cooking’s just not going to happen, have a list of healthy takeout items you can refer to to avoid last minute decision-making.
- Schedule yourself in. Try putting your own name on your calendar to ensure your “me” time happens and to remind yourself that you are just as important as other priorities. It doesn’t have to be a ton of time or be anything fancy; even a 15-minute break can be a game-changer.
- Embrace routine. Having even just a few little habits to add some loose self-care structure to your day can help you feel more grounded. Check out my post on establishing a healthy morning and evening routine for more information on this.
- Make movement part of your day—and remember that the “best” workout for you is the one you’ll actually do. The research on this is clear: even a little bit of exercise can help with stress levels, so choose a physical activity you enjoy and move your body. Exercise helps with the production of endorphins which boost your mood and can also lead to better sleep — win-win! You don’t need to be a perfectionist about it—the best workout for you is the one you’ll actually do and enjoy.
- Find a moment of peace in a hectic day. Even on the busiest of days, finding something calming to focus on can go a long way in helping you feel more peaceful and calm. Pause to appreciate a beautiful flower or enjoy the simple pleasure of a cup of your favorite tea–whatever works for you.
- Work meditation into your day. Start with just a few minutes of meditation each day, and anchor it to something else in your day that’s already a solid part of your routine, like brushing your teeth. Because I’ve found meditation to be so transformative, I’ve even created content for Simple Habit, a meditation app designed to help busy people stress less, achieve more, and live better.
- Set aside worry time. We all worry from time to time, but we don’t want our worrying to consume our whole day. Give yourself the freedom to worry for a few minutes each day, but stop when your time is up. You can write down those worries to get them out of your brain and stop an anxiety loop.
- Make a loneliness game plan. We all get lonely at times, which is why having a game plan to help you get through these times in a healthy way—by avoiding destructive behaviors —is so important. Come up with a few things you can turn to when you start to feel lonely.
Want to learn more about these techniques and some of my other life-changing simple and no-nonsense tips which will help you focus on healthy living for your real life? You’ll find them all in my book, The Little Book of Game Changers: 50 Healthy Habits for Managing Stress & Anxiety, which you can purchase on Amazon. If you’ve read my book, I’d love it if you would write an Amazon (or Goodreads) review about it…they help so much!