Are you feeling overwhelmed and burnt out?
Trust me, I get it! We’re all trying to juggle it all- running a business, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids and maintaining some form of a social life. What usually happens? If you’re like me (and most other women) you put everyone else first and your own self-care gets pushed to the back burner and before you know it, you’re exhausted and resentful wondering, “Why am I so miserable?”
Here’s the truth: No body is perfect! We all have good days and bad days. And there is going to be stress and overwhelm whether we like it or not.We can't always control what happens in the world around us, but we can control how we react to it. Click To Tweet
Making time for yourself is one of the most important things you can do to keep those feelings of stress and overwhelm to a minimum, even if it’s just a few minutes a day- every little bit counts.
What are the benefits of reducing stress & overwhelm?
Feeling the weight of the world living off your shoulders for one thing. But you’ll also noticed yourself having more energy, better health, increased happiness and productivity and an overall more balanced life.
Reducing the negativity will create more space for positivity to move in. So even if it’s just a few minutes a day, look at this as an opportunity to make an investment in yourself. You’ll be glad you did!
Just in case you need some inspiration, I’ve compiled a list of 45 ways to spoil yourself with minimal time and effort.
I challenge you to commit to choosing one activity a day for the next 7 days.
Then come back and let me know either in the comments below or on Facebook how you feel!
- Take a hot bath. (My favorite bubble bath cocktail: bubble bath, 5 drops lavender essential oil, 1/4 cup epsom salts, 1/8 cup coconut oil) I light candles, have a glass of tea or wine within reach and put on my headphones so that even if the kids are loud and crazy 5 feet away, I can zone out in my own world of heavenly bliss.
- Read a good book. Not the kind for personal growth and business development, either (though I am a total nerd who loves those!). I’m talking about the ones that make you feel good or take you into a world of fantasy. The kinds that force you to paint a picture in your mind and exercise your creativity. I happen to be a Nora Roberts fan, but go with whatever works for you!
- Call an old friend. Remember when we were teenagers and the phone was the most important device in the world? Back then we used it for talking. Not texting or social media. It felt good to hash things out with a friends and make each other laugh. And it still does. But it takes picking up the phone and dialing a number. It’s well worth making the time for it!
- Listen to the comedy channel. If you have satellite radio, find the comedy channel and program it on your presets. If you don’t, get a few skits downloaded on your phone or pick up a cd. All you need is something that will make you laugh when you need it most. Laughter is often the best medicine. Not only does it relieve stress, it also increases blood flow and increases your immunity too!
- Get a mani/ pedi. Do I even need to explain why this is effective? I didn’t think so.
- Get creative. Paint, sketch, scrapbook, sew. Do whatever hobby it is that you enjoy. Making time for this gives you something to look forward to, takes your mind off of the worries of life, expands your creativity and leaves you feeling accomplished.
- Get a massage. Muscle tension builds up regardless of how stressed we are. Massages should be required by law. (Just my opinion).
- Have sex. Sex causes the brain to release oxytocin, our “feel good hormone” causing an immediate anti-stress response. Plus it’s a great calorie burner!
- Cuddle. Just like sex, cuddling causes the brain to release oxytocin. So if sex isn’t in the cards for you, opt for a good cuddle session. It’s just as effective!
- Go shopping. Retail therapy always helps to take the edge off, doesn’t it? You work hard for what you do. Whether it’s you that gets the paycheck or you’re the one running the household, you deserve to feel valued for that job and part of doing that comes in the form of little rewards once in awhile. So reward yourself! Splurge on something that says, “you’re worth it!” Now, spoiling yourself is important but be sure to keep your spending within limits. Going into debt as a result of a shopping spree is sure to increase stress rather than eliminate it.
- Buy yourself something sexy. Even if it’s only a sexy pair of panties that no one will ever see but you, just knowing that they are there is a surefire way to boost confidence. And when confidence is up, stress comes down.
- Try out a new makeup look. Playing makeup is just girls and plain old fun. Plus, looking like a million bucks will make you feel like a million bucks, which will boost your confidence, which will reduce your stress levels. It’s a win-win!
- Get your hair done. Pampering is always a great way to ease away tension and relax.
- Dance. Go dancing or turn up your favorite playlist and get jiggy with it in your living room. I do this often. I call it the 30-minute dance party. Yes, my kids think I’m goofy and a little off my rocker, but it puts me in the best mood and instantly melts my worries away. Plus, it’s a great way to sneak in exercise!
- Sing like it’s your job. Karaoke at the local watering hole, at home or in your car. It doesn’t matter. Just turn the music up and sing your heart out.
- Do something challenging. Play trivia crack, words with friends, or put together a puzzle. Not only will you be forced to focus on the task at hand, thus putting your stressors on pause, you will also feel accomplishes and smarter when you’re done.
- Watch a tear-jerker movie. Sometimes a forced tear session is just what the doctor ordered. When we have negative emotions built up inside (like stress) crying can be an effective way to let them out. You don’t have to know why you’re crying, Just let it out until you feel relieved. A good tear-jerker movie will help you do just that.
- Have a lazy p.j. day (and maybe watch a Friend’s marathon). Here’s what you do: You lay around in comfy clothes, with your phone off and laptop in the other room, order delivery and watch your favorite tv shows while you think about absolutely nothing. It is a purposeful way to take a mental break. Whatever problems and stresses you have will be there for you when you return to reality. And more often than not, the mental break will help you recharge and return to the problems with a newfound clarity and perspective helping you to rid yourself of them once and for all!
- Write in your journal. The simple act of getting your thoughts on paper allows you to sort through and process the mental chaos that is swimming around in your head and serves as an outlet for venting and negative emotions. Whatever you’re feeling or thinking, write it down. Burn it afterward if you must but get it out of your head and on paper. It’s instant therapy.
- Meet a friend for lunch. The more stressed and overwhelmed we feel, the more alone we begin to feel, as if no one would understand or “get it”. You’d be surprised! Chances are talking it through with a friend over lunch will help you shed new light on the issue. And even if you don’t want to talk about it, simply getting together with someone you care about will certainly lift your mood and relax you. So either way, it’s worth making the effort.
- Plan a girls night. Girls. Wine. Giggling. Just like the sleepovers from days gone by. Everything is better after a girls night!
- Take a walk or go for a bike ride. Fresh air helps with mental clarity and gets your blood pumping which in turn relieves tension. Double whammy!
- Play with a puppy. Puppies just make everything better!
- Play with your kids. Kids don’t get stressed out. Why? Because they play! We can learn a thing or two from just watching a child and doing our best to act like one once in awhile.
- Get a facial. Pampering just works! Need I say more?
- Take a yoga class. Stress causes our muscles to tense up and get tight, limiting our range of motion and mobility over time. Yoga, besides being a great form of exercise, stretches our muscles, helps to increase our range of motion and facilitate a stronger mind-body connection. Great for the body, mind and soul.
- Try kickboxing (punching a heavy bag will not only relieve stress, it will make you feel like a bad ass!)
- Take dance lessons. In order to learn something new, you must first step outside of your comfort zone. Something we should all do regularly! You’ll feel incredibly powerful, strong, confident and so ready to conquer the world, whatever it was that used to stress you out will seem like small potatoes!
- Go golfing. Disclaimer: For some this might actually increase stress. (depending on your level of patience for the sport). But for many, this is a game of focused attention and skill that presents a new challenge at every hole. It’s a powerful way to step away from one world and into another one.
- Play a sport. Whether it’s an organized group sport or your just practicing your racquetball game on your own, you’re building on your own skill, getting some exercise in and calming the mind.
- Power Nap. A mid-day with a power nap is an excellent way to minimize stress, and recharge your body. All it takes is 20 minutes to make a world of difference. Way better than a double shot of espresso, if I do say so myself.
- Go to church. Having a powerful spiritual relationship is important for your own personal well-being. Some choose to worship from afar. While others prefer an organized environment. Just being around like-minded people helps to reassure you that what ever it is that’s plaguing your mind, you’re not it it alone.
- Cook. You don’t have to be Chef Ramsey to whip up a delight in the kitchen. But feel free to experiment and get creative.
- Get up early and watch the sunrise. First of all, getting up early allows you to maximize productivity because it provides a little time for yourself in the peace and quiet to organize your thoughts and gain mental clarity before the day even begins. But watching the sun rise on top of that will start your day off on a positive, happy note.
- Watch the sunset. Nature is a miraculous beautiful thing. When you stop to watch the sun set, it’s almost as if time slows down. The hustle and bustle of the world is forgotten and for just a few moments, the world is peaceful and beautiful and calm. It’s a gift. If we accept it, we too will feel peaceful and calm.
- Make a gratitude list. We have so much to be grateful for in our lives. But sometimes it’s hard to see the forest through the trees. Taking a few minutes to put pen to paper and write down the blessings in our lives can remind us of how good we have it and help to bring the larger picture back into view. Remember: No matter how bad we have it, there is someone, somewhere who has it a whole lot worse!
- Spend quality alone time with someone special. Your spouse. Your child. Your sister. Your best friend. Leave your phone in your purse. Make a rule to only talk about positive happy things. Leave the negativity behind and focus on just enjoying each others company.
- Visit an elderly relative. Grandma has lived an amazing life. She’s seen more than you can imagine and has stories that are beyond fascinating. She’s wise from her experiences and can teach you so much. Just listening to her can give you new insights into your troubles, yourself and help you find answers to even your biggest problems.
- Turn off your cellphone. Eliminate the distractions and just allow yourself to enjoy the present moment. That alone can make all the difference in the world!
- Boycott social media for a day (or a week). I love social media! I really do! But it can also be a huge distraction, time waster and cause of stress. If you find yourself comparing your life to that of others, and then feeling bad about yourself, it’s dangerous. If you find yourself losing track of time while you scan news feeds and feel like you’ve accomplished nothing at the end of the day, it’s dangerous. Try boycotting it for a pre-determined length of time to focus on you and you only. Take care of business and then, if after all is said and done, you want to reward yourself with a little Facebook or Instagram, go for it!
- Go to the movies. Sometimes simply changing your scenery is enough to take the edge off and unwind. Treat yourself to a large popcorn and a great movie. Kick back and relax!
- Explore someplace new– a museum, park, town. Exploring takes your mind off lingering pressures and pulls your focus into the present forcing you to take a mental break.
- Read some positive news. Sometimes just reading about the good things that are happening in the world will give us an expanded perspective on things and help us to see the bigger picture in our own lives. Plus, it feels good.
- Practice Mindfulness. Often referred to as meditation, mindfulness is a process that encourages you to shut off your mind and get in touch with what is going on inside your body. By doing this you’ll gain greater control over your emotions and the ability to manipulate them. And that means stress too!
- Sleep. Lack of sleep can cause a slew of health problems, from fatigue to a lowered immune response. And it can be a major contributor to stress. A good nights sleep slows down the brains release of stress hormones allowing our bodies a chance to fully relax and reenergize itself so that we have the fuel we need to tackle the day (and the stressors) ahead.
Take the Challenge
Can you commit to implementing one overwhelm-reducing strategy a day for the next 7 days? Leave a comment below and let me know. I’d love to be your cheerleader/ accountability buddy!
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