As a first-time father of a 4 week old baby girl, I have come to experience a new level of stress during these past few weeks. And although there are lots more moments of pure joy and love, there are definitely times when I need to stop, pause and breathe.
So it got me to thinking of ways to reduce stress during this mentally challenging time. Things I can do to ease my stress levels as much as possible. Learning how to manage your stress takes practice, but you can, and NEED to do it!
Heres some ways to make it easier:
Working out regularly is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. Plus, exercise will improve your mood. But you have to do it consistently for it to pay off. Focus on setting fitness goals you can meet so you don’t give up. Most of all remember that doing any exercise is better than none at all.
RELAX YOUR MUSCLES
When you’re stressed, your muscles get tense. You can help loosen them up on your own and refresh your body by:
- Stretching / Yoga
- Enjoying a massage
- Taking a hot bath or shower
- Getting a good night’s sleep
Stopping and taking a few deep breaths can take the pressure off you right away. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel once you get good at it. Just follow these 5 steps:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your hands in your lap and your feet on the floor. Or you can lie down.
- Close your eyes.
- Imagine yourself in a relaxing place. It can be on the beach, in a beautiful field of grass, or anywhere that gives you a peaceful feeling.
- Slowly take deep breaths in and out.
- Do this for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
Eating a regular, well-balanced diet will help you feel better in general. It may also help control your moods. Your meals should be full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein for energy. And don’t skip any. It’s not good for you and can put you in a bad mood, which can actually increase your stress.
Modern life is so busy, and sometimes we just need to slow down and chill out. Look at your life and find small ways you can do that. For example:
- Break down big jobs into smaller ones. For example, don’t try to answer all 100 emails if you don’t have to, just answer a few of them.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to get somewhere if you need to be there by a certain time. Avoid leaving late, forcing you to hurry.
- Try to never rush a meal. Sit, relax and take your time.
MAKE TIME FOR HOBBIES
You need to set aside time for things you enjoy. Try to do something every day that makes you feel good, and it will help relieve your stress. It doesn’t have to be a ton of time, even 15 to 20 minutes will do. Relaxing hobbies include things like:
- Doing an art project
- Playing golf
- Watching a movie
- Doing puzzles
- Playing cards and board games
Some of these tips have helped me these past few weeks, I’m sure you can benefit from them too!