We're in the second week of 2021 and as much as I have hope for this year, at this particular moment, things are still a *little* stressful. I'm coming up on a full year of being out of work, a year since my girls have last been inside of their school buildings, a year of spending more time online/looking at a computer screen than I had in (maybe) all of my prior years combined, and a year with extremely limited interactions with people that live outside of this house. I'd label myself as an extreme introvert, but even I miss people.
Much of the time, I am okay, but there has been a lot of chaos in our world lately and it's all provoking my anxious tendencies. A quick perusing of my social media 'feeds' indicates that I'm not alone, so I thought it might be nice to share a few of the things that have been helping bring my stress level down a bit.
1. Take a Break From Social Media/Devices
This is my number one stress reliever. Between staring at a screen for extended periods of time, reading about all of the craziness in the world, reading people's posts about all of the craziness in the world, and fighting every urge not to respond to people about all of the craziness....my spirit is exhausted. The best way I've found to perk it back up is to just walk away for as long as I am able. Sometimes it's a few hours, but my favorite is getting away for a day or two.
2. Go Outside
It's a cold winter here in Connecticut, but I'm still heading outside every chance I get. Mama needs the air and the sunshine. These last few days we've been really enjoying some wonderful (and short) walks.
3. Take a Shower
It's like a cure for what ails you. Got a headache? Take a shower. Back bother ya? Take a shower. Tired of all of the ugliness in the world? Take a shower and then go make someone smile.
4. Send an Encouraging Message to Someone
Speaking of going to make someone smile- I like to send encouraging messages to people. I'll often Tweet out random "virtual hugs" or just send a text or private message to someone to say hi and let them know I hope they are having a good day.
5. Give Yourself a Bedtime Routine
I saved the best for last! This one has been a real big help for me, especially because I struggle with falling asleep. Since the beginning of the month, I've been improving!
My goal every night is to be in bed before 10:30pm and asleep before midnight because I wake up early to help care for my nephew while his parents work. Falling asleep around 2am did not help me want to get up for 6am, but falling asleep before midnight has helped me wake up easier and in a much better mood. Starting the day with no/low stress helps me get through the day with no/low stress.
I hope that you are able to put some of these to use if you feel your stress reaching peak levels. We are in crazy times and we can all use a little extra help. If you have suggestions to reduce stress, please feel free to leave a comment.
I hope that you are having a great day 💜