Top 10 Ways to Manage your Stress and Make your Move
I’m so excited to share Kohl’s new healthy living initiative with you, Make Your Move. Kohl’s seeks to shine a spotlight on all the ways that living well can feel good and be easy and fun. I truly believe, as does Kohl’s that a healthy active person- is an energized, lively, happy person.
I strive to “Make my Move” everyday by sharing healthy recipes that hopefully inspire others to eat more nutritiously. I also “Make my Move” by challenging myself to be active every single day. Making your move isn’t just about fitness and healthy eating, though. There are a myriad of ways that you can “Make Your Move”. What choices do you make or what do you do that energizes, enlivens, motivates and brings you joy as you make an effort to live a healthier life?
One of my goals for 2015 is to “Make my Move” by making a conscious effort to manage the day-to-day stresses in my life.
Although, some amount of stress is very normal and can actually be good for you, research shows too much stress can have negative consequences. When you don’t handle your stress, you put yourself at risk of developing a range of illnesses – from the common cold to severe heart disease.
As part of the “Make Your Move” campaign, I’m sharing 10 easy practical ideas for stress management.
1. Meditation- relax your body and mind. Studies show committing to just 15 minutes of daily meditation and breathing is a simple step that has profound benefits. It may sound silly, but I plan to meditate in the bath. As a mother of three, it can be difficult to steal 15 minutes of alone time, but by taking a bath I can sneak away. I’m also super relaxed in the bath. All I need is my bath pillow, a soothing candle, calming music and a lovely smelling bubble bath. The candle pictured below was purchased at Kohl’s and smells ridiculous- in a good way!
2. Be active- engage in moderate exercise like walking, yoga and swimming. Exercise has proven to have stress-reducing benefits- as you workout, your body releases positive endorphins. Endorphins can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression. Gotta love that runner’s high!
3. Be present- slow down and live in the moment. When you’re outside, notice how the air feels on your face. When you’re eating, enjoy the texture and taste of each bite. If you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you should feel less tense.
4. Reach out- your social network is one of the most important tools for handling stress. If you’re feeling particularly stressed, call up or go visit a close friend or family member. Sharing what’s going on with another person, gives you a fresh perspective and just makes you feel better.
5. Reduce stress where you can. We all know it’s not possible to completely reduce all stress, but there are ways to eliminate unneeded stress. On days when I’m particularly busy, I keep things simple with dinner. There’s no need to add unnecessary pressure by cooking a huge meal. Today, for example, I had so much to do, so I spent 5 minutes this morning and prepared my favorite Taco Chili in the slow cooker for a quick and tasty dinner. I received this slow cooker for Christmas and I cannot even tell you how much I’m enjoying it.
6. Make time for “me time”. I’m a major proponent of taking time for you. If you worry about everyone else and forget about you, chances are you’re going to find yourself worn out and stressed to the max. I know this can be difficult with all of the obligations we commit to these days, but it will make for a happier you. My favorite “me time” activity is getting into something comfy and relaxing with a good book and a cup of yummy coffee. It’s a little hard to see in the picture below, but I’m wearing my new favorite lounging clothes. It’s my new Juicy Couture velour hoodie and jogger pants. Did you know Kohl’s carries Juicy Couture? I was pleasantly surprised while shopping the sales last weekend and found so many cute things at Kohl’s!
7. Sleep- getting adequate sleep is essential to staying healthy and managing stress. Stress can take its toll on your body, and without ample sleep, you will feel the effects of stress much more.
8. Laugh it up- Laughter really can be the best medicine. It’s proven to decrease stress hormones and increase immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease. It also triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
9. Give more- 78% of the people that volunteered last year say that it lowered their stress. If you’re feeling rushed, try volunteering. Studies show that giving away our time actually makes us feel as if we have more of it.
10. Organize and declutter- take a few minutes every day to put things in their place. It’s no secret that if there are stacks of paperwork out, clothes strewn about and other miscellaneous items not put away in your home or work area; it can make you feel overwhelmed. Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally and constantly signals our brains that our work is never done. It helps me to take about 10 minutes before going to bed to do a quick cleanup job of the house and put everything back in its spot.
Whether it’s picking up a running buddy for a Saturday morning run, lighting a candle during a long relaxing bath, sneaking in some kale in a delicious smoothie recipe, or playing an impromptu game of soccer with the kids in the backyard, each person makes their move differently. And sharing can inspire and motivate others to incorporate new good habits into their lives. Share how you “Make Your Move” and be sure to use the hashtag #MakeYourMove.