Self-care. A word ingrained into our day to day life. Audre Lorde said it best, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”
With all the talk about self-care going on, we don’t often discuss stress and how best to avoid it for the health of our bodies. Stress, the enemy of self-care, can take shape in many forms. I’ve often called stress the silent killer, because of its ability to affect us without us ever knowing we are dealing with its results. Since stress is a part of life that we have to deal with, it’s best we learn how to handle it while protecting our peace. Here are some tips on how to kick stress’ butt:
1. RELEASE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR A BIT
In our ever-changing world, it can be hard to unplug, trust me I know, but it is indeed necessary from time to time. There’s a notion that you have to be “in the know” on what’s going on around you, but too much knowledge can be just as damaging as a lack of knowledge. Today everyone is constantly scrolling and paying more attention to their phone than people. Many aren’t taking into account that this can be draining. The constant cycle of scrolling, refreshing and absorbing what we see can take a mental, physical and emotional toll on us. Sometimes it’s more than necessary to take a break from Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and even your phone. Do something that will add and maximize your peace instead of dwindling it. Read an interesting book, take a trip, do yoga, go for a walk or a run, anything that will contribute to bringing you peace.
2. DITCH THE ROUTINE AND TRY SOMETHING NEW
Believe it or not, living habitually can lead to very high stress levels. Stress is attracted to the propensity of a routine. Don’t get stressed out by the day to day routine that you have created. Ditch the routine and try something new. Whether it’s learning something new or doing a new activity, anything to break the monotony is a plus. Learn to do something that’s always been on your wishlist, but you haven’t yet been able to do. Learning something new will always give you a sense of accomplishment as well as help you refocus on your long and short-term goals.
3. IDENTIFY STRESS FACTORS & LEARN HOW TO COPE
Many of us know we’re stressed, but we don’t always know the root cause. Identifying our exact stress factors is a major key to learning how to cope with stress. Whether it is our job, finances or personal life there are many triggers for stress. It’s important to note your physical and mental reaction to negative events. By learning your triggers you can figure out how to either avoid a stress meltdown or if possible eliminate the factor. One important fact I’ve learned about life is this, we may not be able to change situations or people, but we can definitely change how we deal with both.
4. LEARN TO HAVE FUN
Laughter and fun are always the best medicine for stressful situations. They can instantly change your mood from overwhelmed to relaxed. “Having fun” doesn’t always have to be a grand production, it can be doing the simplest activity YOU enjoy. Whether it’s watching a hilarious movie, having a chill night with your friends or hosting a dinner there are many ways to find enjoyment and have genuine fun to take your mind off of stress. Life is too short to be unhappy because of stress. Create your own version of fun to promote happiness in order to eradicate stress. Happiness helps to alleviate stress. So, go ahead and learn how to have fun not only to alleviate stress but just to keep yourself happy.
I hope these tips help you to live your best stress-free life. Stress is something we’ll all deal with but it’s important to learn how to properly manage it. Protect your peace and kick stress’ butt.
Image: Solange for Glamour Magazine