Sadly, entering a new year didn’t fix everything and there are still plenty of things to worry about.

Yet chronic stress takes a serious toll on your health; it affects your sleep, your physical body, and the condition of your skin as well as how you interact with others and cope with everyday problems. 

The health benefits of properly managing stress cannot be overstated including better quality of sleep, improved mood, lower blood pressure, fewer headaches, easier weight loss, and getting sick less often.

Manage Your Stress

  1. Eat well – regularly fuel your body with fruit and vegetables instead of fat and sugar
  2. Move more – stand and stretch, or go for walk every day; the endorphins gained from even light exercise will help you stress less
  3. Relax – take a bath or mediate or give yoga a try
  4. Practice gratitude – there will always be people who have more than you, and there will always be those with a lot less; focus on what you have instead of what you don’t
  5. Get enough sleep – our ability to deal with stress is severely handicapped when we’re tired
  6. Embrace a hobby – carve out time for knitting or reading or crafts or baking or whatever activity soothes your weary soul
  7. Tackle problems – procrastination just makes everything worse; rather than avoid issues or unpleasant tasks, choose one thing to accomplish each day
  8. Reduce triggers – identify the biggest sources of stress in your life and do what you can to mitigate them or remove them entirely
  9. Talk it out – call a friend, purge in a journal, or seek out a professional therapist if need be

What Works for Me

Here are some other ideas you can try to stress less based on what works for me: aromatherapy baths, warm tea, meditation, no electronics, look at a lit candle in a dark room, or 5 minutes of stretching (move however you want to). I also spend 10 minutes outside regardless of weather breathing fresh air, and choose one day a week where I don’t listen to the news at all. That last one helps a lot! 😉

Self-care at Home

Take time each day to do something for yourself that helps you relax and rejuvenate. Use the following DIY skin care recipes at home to help you stress less:

Sugar Scrub – combine 1 cup fine or coarse sugar, 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup melted coconut oil, and a few drops of essential oil like lavender, rose, lemon, or peppermint. Mix thoroughly. Store in the fridge in an airtight container; it will harden but melts quickly in your hand. Use this homemade sugar scrub in the shower to keep your skin soft, smooth, and smelling delicious.

Bath Salt – pour 1 cup Epsom salt, 1/2 cup baking soda, and 10 drops lavender essential oil under running water to create a muscle soothing, relaxing aromatherapy bath. Soak away your troubles.

Whatever tools you use to stress less, I hope your 2021 is healthy and happy!