Like millions of people around the world, this has been one of the most stressful years of my life. A million things have gone wrong this year it seems, and I had never had to experience or deal with so much stress before in my life, which of course proves what a comfortable, privileged life I’ve led. Of course, that doesn’t mean that things haven’t been really rough lately. I have been working on learning ways to manage stress, relax, and take care of myself when things get tough, and I want to share them with you today in the hopes that when things get rough, you’ll at least be able to take a step back and take care of yourself.
As part of the Alexis Ren workout challenge I wrote about last month, I’ve been stretching every day, for at least 25 minutes. This has not only helped me feel better and more flexible, it’s also forced me to slow down, and focus on my movements and my breathing, as opposed to focusing on my thoughts and worries. Stretching can take my mood from 5% to 80% positive in just a few moments, it’s been incredible.
Go For a Walk
I love few things more than spending time in nature, so whenever I feel a bit out of sorts, I go for a stroll with my husband. It’s a great way to get some fresh air, exercise, and spend time with my best friend.
I’ve been doing yoga at home on and off since this whole situation started, and it’s been so relaxing. I couldn’t go to hot yoga classes anymore once gyms were shut down, and this has been a fantastic alternative.
Working out, and I mean breaking a sweat, making my legs shake, working out is the best way I’ve found to unwind at the end of a really stressful day. Physically exhausting myself means there’s not a lot of energy left to stress and worry.
Drink Fresh Pressed Juice
I have been sharing some of my favorite fresh pressed juice recipes on my IG stories, and this has been such a fun thing to do in the morning. I love making juice form celery, kale, lemons, and ginger, or sometimes making fresh pear and apple juices. This helps me get lots of vitamins and minerals, and has improved my skin, since I’m drinking more nutrients. I try not to drink fruity juices too often, since they have a lot of sugar in them.
Plan Out Meals
There’s something very comforting to me, when everything else feels out of control, about planning out my meals for the day or the week. I have gotten into the habit of logging all of my meals and recipes into a nutrition tracking app to plan ahead so I know what I’ll be eating, what I need to pick up from the store, and what I’ll be cooking. It takes a lot of uncertainty and conversations that end in “I’m not sure, what do you want to eat?”.
Eat a Healthy Meal
This sort of goes along with planning out my meals and drinking fresh pressed juices. Eating well helps me feel well, so I love to eat big salads (without dressing), smoothie bowls, or make homemade soups for filling, comforting, and nourishing meals.
I take vitamins everyday to help me stay healthy and to help me get all of the nutrients I need in a day to live my best life.
Drink 10 Glasses (80 oz) of Water per Day
Staying hydrated has improved my mood and my health, which is why I make it a point to drink as much water as I want, at least 10 glasses a day, every day.
I hate messes, so when I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I start by cleaning my space, although things are usually really clean anyway. I make our bed, do the dishes, put away any laundry that needs to be done, vacuum, and straighten up spaces like our couch and kitchen table until everything is spotless and it helps me feel so much better.
I love taking a warm bath to relax and take my mind off of things that stress me. I light some candles, add bubble bath to the water, and soak away my troubles. I love doing this after working out, stretching, and showering for best results.
Sheet masks, moisturizing, or facial massage can make a world of difference to not only my skin and my outward appearance, but how I feel on the inside too. Lately, I’ve been using sheet masks and massaging my face with cryosticks while I soak in a warm bath and it’s truly transformative for my skin and my mood.
Spend Time with My Husband
My husband Robin is my best friend, and nothing picks me up like spending time with him. We play games together, read together, cook together, workout or go for walks together, or sometimes he will just rub my feet and list off reasons he loves me when I’m feeling sad or stressed, and it’s the most wonderful thing. Spending time with a loved one or a dear friend is the perfect way to destress and ground yourself.
I hope these self-care ideas help you take care of yourself, and be more gentle with yourself during difficult times.