This week I’m thinking about ways to step back and stop letting life stress me out, after a weekend away helped me realize just how much I’ve been bogged down in the little things lately. Instead of just telling myself I’ll do less (like that’s ever going to happen), I’m hoping to tweak my routines a bit to not only try to enjoy life a little more, but to also take better measures for dealing with stress and the effects it has on my body.
1) Take a day off from my to-do list each week – this comes from advice from my lovely Aunt Linda, who takes a “down day” at least once a week and says it helps her be more productive the rest of the week. I felt so recharged after taking an entire weekend to just relax that I jumped into my Monday with zest, so I can definitely see the benefits of adopting this policy! I’m going to try to get as much done as I can on Saturdays so I can truly relax on Sundays.
2) Start each day with 5 sun salutations – I read an interview with Giada DeLaurentiis where she said she started each day off with sun salutations and that it really helped her get calm and centered for her day. I’ve already been seeing the benefits of regular yoga for managing stress through taking classes a few times a week, and I think a short daily practice will help even more.
3) Share dinner prep more often – my husband and I frequently cook dinner together, but I tend to take the reins when we’re cooking indoors while he steps up more when we’re cooking outdoors. So this is an easy one for me – plan more dinners on the grill It’s so much less stressful when I don’t have to deal with the meat, and he enjoys grilling so never minds firing it up and spending a little quiet time out on the porch. I started this one off right away on Sunday with 2/3 of our meal courtesy of Hubs’ grilling skills!
4) Go to bed earlier – this one is going to be the hardest one I think, because I like staying up late to enjoy our evenings to the fullest. Neither of us gets tired particularly early, so we often head up as late as 11PM. I’m hoping to back that down slowly towards 10PM instead. I’m thinking that getting to sleep earlier will both help my stress levels and my eating habits, since I often find myself reaching for sugar when I feel tired.
5) Remember that the to-do list will still be there tomorrow – there will always be something to do. Most of the time, it can probably wait. I’m going to stop getting so hung up on what I said I’d do on a particular day and focus more on getting it done at some point during the week. Most of all, I need to remember the important things aren’t on my list…
So, there you have it – we’ll see how well I can keep up!
What measures do you take to deal with/avoid stress?