Get Your Stress in Check

Millennial surrounded by whirlwind of activity

photo credit: Unsplash/Ashim-D'Silva

3 Tips to Manage Stress

All aspects of your life can be impacted by stress, especially your health. If you suffer from chronic stress for long periods of time, it can lead to migraines, depression, anxiety and obesity, and the longer you let the stress build up, the harder it can be to recover from. Here are a few simple ways to decompress and prioritize self-care.

Meditate

Meditating for just a few minutes a day can relieve anxiety and put you in a calmer state of mind. Explore meditation apps, podcasts and YouTube videos to get started. There are plenty of free guided meditation resources, so save your money and don’t pay for meditations until you are sure a paid resource is worth the investment.

  • Try it in person. Many community centers, yoga studios and other organizations sponsor guided meditations. It might seem intimidating at first, but sometimes it helps to have the support of others. At the very least, the social pressure of being in a quiet room for an hour with other people will discourage you from getting distracted halfway through and giving up.
  • Read up on the science. If you have avoided mediation because of the stigma that it is hippie-dippie or “new age,” you might be surprised by the legit scientific studies on the benefits of meditation.

Give Yourself a Free Day

When is the last time you did something you really liked just for kicks? Take a timeout and do something fun for yourself. Go to a movie or sit in a park. Take a long drive or browse the stacks at the library. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Color. Coloring isn’t just for kids these days. It’s known to be meditative and comforting, so spending a little bit of time coloring each day can get your mind off things and reduce stress.
  • Journal. Use a journal as a tool to organize your thoughts, to write letters you never intend to send, to vent frustrations or to fantasize. Writing down your stressors can help you figure out how to address them head on.
  • Turn off and tune out. Even five or 10 minutes reading a book, listening to music, or just sitting in peace can help you decompress after a stressful day.

Get Out (of Your Own Head)

Often your own mind can keep you in a stressed-out state by repeating negative and anxiety-inducing thoughts. Disrupting the constant flow of chatter in your mind is a fast-track to managing stress.

  • Exercise. Exercise causes a spike in your serotonin levels, which immediately boosts your mood. A brisk walk during your lunch break or a 10-minute stretching session at home can help you sleep better and shake off your day.
  • Reach out. What’s one of the easiest ways to reduce stress? Talking it out. Reach out to a friend to get things off your chest and express how you’re feeling.

Mix and match these stress-relief methods or try something completely different. No one can manage your stress for you, so when you find something that works, make it a habit to prioritize your self-care.

As always, we’ve got your back. — The OYO Team

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by On Your Own, the National Endowment for Financial Education or any of its affiliate programs.]