Christmas, New Years, and now Valentine’s Day… Days that are surrounded by more food and drink than you would usually indulge in on any given day. In addition, there’s the stress of meeting expectations, falling short, and running around… And we haven’t even touched on the pressure we put on ourselves to keep our, sometimes outrageous, New Year’s resolutions (or intentions).
It’s time to cleanse ourselves of all that stress and sugar.
Before we get into what to do about that stress, why do we need to reduce it in the first place?
What Stress Does to Your Body
Stress does a number on your body. And especially when it goes unchecked, it can cause a number of health implications such as…
- Heightening of stress hormones (i.e. cortisol) – did you read my blog on how hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc on your body’s systems?
- Holding onto weight and eventually storing unwanted fat cells
- Experiencing headaches or migraines that lead to lost productivity when they strike
- Weakening of your immune system because you, as a business owner, a spouse, or a parent cannot afford to be sick
- Fertility problems (i.e. missed periods, erectile dysfunction)
- Insomnia resulting a never-ending cycle of exhaustion
If you do not manage your stress and regularly unwind when your body is stressed, your body will begin to break down. High stress is not sustainable.
6 Simple Tips to Unwind When Your Body is Stressed
You may find that yours are a little bit different than mine, but I think we could all use a few ideas to help us think outside the box a little. Here are some of my favorite tips to unwind when your body is stressed.
Rather watch a 9 minute video with the same information?
1. Practice Yoga or Stretch Your Muscles
Yoga not only helps the physical body, but it can also improve mental health as well. Studies have shown that yoga may be effective in treating depression and anxiety. According to American Family Physician, “yoga is a therapeutic option for depression, and it also has positive effects on anxiety disorders.”
When you practice yoga or stretch your muscles, it promotes relaxation, improves your mood, and reduces your stress response – allowing you to be more productive and effective in all areas of your life.
2. Get Moving
There’s also great evidence that exercise has been linked to greater self-esteem and a sense of well-being. This happens because it actually causes a chemical change to take place in the brain. The best part is it doesn’t require us to spend hours in the gym. You can do some sort of exercise for even 15 to 30 minutes per day and see improvement.
What is the best exercise? Well, it’s the one you actually are going to enjoy doing. My suggestion is just to get moving by:
- Riding a stationary bike for 15 minutes
- Setting an alarm every hour to take 5 minutes to do deep squats, lunges, and even push ups
- Creating more opportunities to walk longer distances (i.e. parking far away from the doors, taking the longer route to get to a destination, etc.)
3. Connect With Other Humans
When was the last time you really connected with another human without technology present? We live in a technologically advanced world that sometimes requires us to have our phones in hand and our eyeballs staring into a computer screen all day. Unfortunately, this doesn’t do much for human connection. Did you know that the more you give, the happier you feel? Think about things you can do to give back to and serve the community around you.
Don’t have time to get involved? Then grab a cup of coffee with a friend.
You could also combine this tip with the previous tip and invite a friend to take a walk with you in your favorite park.
Even the smallest act of kindness can count. Something as simple as smiling or saying thank you goes a long way in our disconnected world.
In March, I’m starting my popular Seasonal Cleanse Challenge where my community starts implementing these tips to live a happy-healthy-whole life. Learn how to start here.
4. Catch Up On Your Z’s
Sleep is so underrated these days. I hear many people (especially entrepreneurs and business owners) say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” or “sleep is very overrated”.
Many people feel like sleep is an inconvenience.
But the truth is, when we have disrupted sleep patterns or we are not nurturing ourselves when it comes to sleep, it leads to illness.
Sleep is a time when our bodies actively recover.
While the average person sleeps less than 7 hours a night, it’s critical that you give your body the best opportunity it has to recover. Try to be in bed by 10pm and sleep until at least 4am – 6 hours at the minimum.
The goal is to have enough sleep, but also to make sure you have quality sleep. With all my clients, we work to create a bedtime routine that helps facilitate quality sleep. I wrote a little more about what that looks like here.
5. Laugh a Little More
Laughter truly is a good medicine. One of my other tips to unwind when your body is stressed is to laugh a little more.
“A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”– Proverbs 17:22
And not only is it biblical to be cheerful, joyful, and able to laugh, but there is science behind why laughing is so good for us. Research has actually shown that humor not only lowers our stress, improves our hormones, but it also improves our memory and can protect us against the damaging effects of stress. Good enough reasons to start laughing a little more!
6. Take a Little Journey into the Outdoors
If you ask me what my favorite stress reliever is, it has to get outside in nature. I believe we were created for nature. It is where creativity comes alive, where freedom lives, and where we can connect with the world on a deeper level. It reminds me that I’m a part of this great big universe, and it feels so good to be surrounded by life. There is something so powerful and freeing about that to me.
Next time you have an opportunity, take it outdoors. You could:
- Drink your coffee outside on a patio
- Eat your lunch in an outdoor eating area
- Take walking meetings outside the office – break down barriers between manager and subordinate, remove distractions, and be more productive in the meeting
- Play with your kids outside
Let me know what some of your favorite ways to de-stress are in the comments below.
Join My Next Cleanse Challenge
When was the last time you cleaned yourself out? I mean… Really cleaned? We’re not talking about spring cleaning here.
We’re talking about cleaning up what’s inside.
Only twice per year, I launch my popular Seasonal Cleanse Challenge to help individuals like you:
- Increase your energy naturally without needing caffeine
- Lose weight and get rid of belly bloat for good
- Reduce or get rid of allergy symptoms
- Boost your immune system to protect yourself against infection
- Get rid of your aches and pains by reducing inflammation
You can learn more about how you can join this Seasonal Cleanse Challenge here. It’ll be the best investment you can make for yourself and your business this season.