When left unchecked, chronic stress can wreak havoc on your health, causing issues like respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, hormonal dysfunction, and increased muscle tension and pain.
To avoid these kinds of conditions, it’s important for women to prioritize self-care and manage their stress. But, a lot of people don’t take steps to keep their stress in check, partly because they feel like they can’t afford to. If you’re currently in this boat, give these five affordable techniques a try today.
1. Establish a Morning Routine
Taking some time for yourself in the morning can have a huge impact on your whole day. Rather than rolling out of bed and immediately answering emails or scrambling to get out the door and into the office, try waking up just twenty minutes earlier and dedicating that time to getting yourself in a calm, positive headspace.
It doesn’t cost any money, but spending 20 minutes reading the paper, practicing yoga, or even just sitting down and drinking your coffee without any distractions can help you feel more prepared for the day ahead and help you handle stressors with more ease.
2. Find Something to Laugh About
Laughter might not be the best medicine, but it’s an awfully good one, especially when you’re feeling stressed. Laughter releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of positivity and relieves stress.
Watch a funny TV show or stand-up special on Netflix, or listen to a comedy album and let yourself laugh out loud when you think something is funny. After laughing for just a few minutes, you’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel.
3. Give Yourself a Massage
A professional massage at a spa might not be accessible to everyone. But, a foam roller or massage ball is a more affordable massage alternative that you can use in the comfort of your own home whenever you’re feeling tense or stressed.
Foam rollers are great for working through tension in larger areas like the upper back, legs, and glutes. If you have smaller points of tension in the neck or feet, a massage ball can help you target those specific areas.
Whichever tool you use, regular massages can release oxytocin, a hormone that can boost your mood and help you deal with stress in a healthier way.
4. Get Outside
Spending time in nature is another simple — and free — way to boost serotonin and relieve stress.
Instead of hitting a sweaty, stuffy gym, consider moving your workouts outdoors. Or, take your lunch outside instead of eating in your office.
Even just taking a ten-minute walk outside to clear your head when you start feeling agitated or overwhelmed can make a major difference.
Meditation is the perfect tool for chronically stressed people to take back control over their emotions. Try meditating first thing in the morning — as part of your new morning routine — to help you feel more grounded and capable of handling things that trigger your stress.
Meditation is much easier than a lot of people think. Start by simply sitting comfortably in a quiet place with your back straight and your eyes closed. Then, take some deep breaths and focus on the way the air feels as it moves in and out.
Five minutes is a great starting place, but even meditating for just one minute can make a difference, especially when you’re feeling extra stressed.
As you can see, you don’t have to break the bank to fight stress and improve your health. Give these five stress busters a try today!
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Momshells Founder and CEO,
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