10 Simple Ways to Keep Stress at Bay

In last week’s newsletter, I talked about my recent experience with stress and how I took the opportunity to do some deeper reflection and decide how I was going to get back to bringing my A-game in the self-care department.

What emerged was a newly-designed, super solid lifestyle that prioritizes stress management, rest and relaxation.

Investing in your well-being pays off every time.  I feel like I’ve reached unprecedented levels of energy, momentum, and creativity, and even my business manager noticed I’m operating even more effortlessly.

And what’s more, last week even the universe recognized the recent investments I’ve been making in myself, and sent me a little cosmic wink, in the form of a license plate.  On the way home from driving my daughter to gymnastics, I noticed that the car in front of me had a license plate that said: “SOAR” (the title of my debut book).  For real.  I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried.  I just smiled, sent the universe a great big THANK YOU!!

This week I’m excited to share with you 10 simple, practical, and powerful lifestyle practices to keep stress at bay.

But before we do that, let’s first understand the “why” at a deeper level, shall we?  I totally geek out on Neurosci and thought you might want to too :).

There are two systems that play a key role in keeping our bodies in balance:

  • The sympathetic nervous system activates when our body experiences a perceived threat or stressor.  The body doesn’t know if you’re being chased by a tiger or worried about a test – all it knows is that you need to be protected, and therefore activates the fight or flight response. In varying degrees, heart rate increases, the body tenses up, blood pressure rises, and breathing speeds up.

Even exercise places stress on the body, which is why it’s so important to rest and restore by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which we will review next.

  • The parasympathetic nervous system helps to restore the body, bringing it back down to a state of calm.  

If we don’t address the stress and allow it to remain too high for too long, it can have long-term effects on the body, and impact overall quality of life.  

When we’re living in a state of stress and overwhelm, the sympathetic nervous system remains overactive, unless we counterbalance it by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Here are 10 ideas for kicking your parasympathetic nervous system into high gear.  Try incorporating a few this week, and then layer on more next week.  

1.)   Spend time in nature

2.)   Drink herbal teas – chamomile, nighttime blends

3.)   Deep breathing

4.)   Try yoga

5.)   Meditate

6.)   Visualization

7.)   Listen to relaxing music

8.)   Get a massage

9.)   Use essential oils

10.) Play with an animal

I suggest intentionally creating time to try some of the above activities.  Don’t wait until you find yourself with extra time on your hands.  Schedule in time for rest and relaxation every day, and you and everyone in your life will enjoy the benefits.

Have a wonderful week!!