No matter if you are stressed about money, about work, family, friends, or something else entirely, stress is not good for your body or your budget.
Of course, some amount of stress in life is natural. But left un-checked at high levels or for long periods of time, stress can be very damaging to your health.
When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to blow our budgets too. We are tempted to go out to eat, indulge in a little retail therapy, or throw caution (and our budgets) to the wind.
If you’re feeling especially stressed right now, which is common leading into the holidays and the end of the year, here are 5 easy ways you can reduce your stress.
Easier said than done for most, but relaxing is one of the easiest ways to reduce your stress. It sounds simple, but it can be very difficult, especially if you are an up-tight person (like me).
Relaxing can be difficult, especially when your stress hits a super high level, but it’s one of the easiest ways to prevent negative side effects from stress. When I really need to relax, here are a few things I do:
- Light candles – The flickering light is mesmerizing and the wonderful smells from my favorite candles always help me relax.
- Take a bubble bath – I don’t do this as often as I’d like, but soaking in a warm tub is a great way to put your mind and your body at ease.
- Indulge in a little wine – Drinking excessively is not a good way to deal with stress, but a little wine can be a great way to relax after a stressful day.
- Get a massage – To be honest, I’m not a big fan of massages, but I know they help a lot of people relax and let go of stress.
Take Control of Your Life
Whenever possible, take control of the things you can control and forget the rest. If you can avoid stressors by taking control of your life and happiness, then do it!
This is something I’ve been actively working on in my life over the past few months. I’ve made quite a few changes in my life to reduce my stress. I quit my part-time job, I quit my full-time job, and I resigned from one of the community boards I was a member of. These changes have greatly reduced my stress as I’ve been able to take more time for myself and the things that make me happy.
One of my favorite shirts in my capsule wardrobe says “Do more of what makes you happy” and every time I see it and wear it, it’s a good reminder to make sure that the decisions I make in life and in my business are the ones that make me happy.
Don’t Fret About What You Can’t Control
On the other hand, try not to worry so much about the things you can’t control. No one can control everything in their life and trying to just induces more stress into your life.
I’m a total control freak, but I’m trying to let go of that self-destructive habit. For example, when my cleaning lady comes I sometimes get annoyed that the furniture is all moved around and not put back in the proper place, or that she closes some of the doors to rooms that I normally leave open. These are tiny things that I let myself get worked up over. Lately I’ve been reminding myself that if I really don’t like these things I need to either: say something to fix it, say nothing and let it go, or fire her and clean my house myself. Out of those solutions the one that makes the most sense is to just let it go!
Not my circus. Not my monkeys.
Live a Healthy Life
I need to lose some weight and get back into better shape. I also struggle to drink enough water. These are all things that I need to change about my lifestyle.
Living a healthy life means more than just looking good, it also means feeling good. Reducing stress by working out, eating right, and getting enough sleep are all important parts of living a healthy life and reducing your stress.
Make Time to Care for Yourself
None of these other strategies are possible though if you don’t make time to care for yourself. You can’t spend time relaxing in a bubble bath, going for a run, cooking healthy meals, or taking control of your life if you don’t make time for yourself.
Making time for yourself is difficult when you have lots of goals, dreams, and aspirations. We all have lots of things going on, but making time to care for yourself and doing all of these other things to reduce your stress is important. After all, what is life for if not for living as happily as possible.
How do you reduce your stress?