9 Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

Hey everyone, Megan here
from MeganMinns.com. And today, I’m going to share with you nine easy ways to relieve stress. (upbeat music) A few months ago, I decided
to meet with a nutritionist, because I was feeling like I wasn’t taking good care of myself,
I was gaining weight, I was waking up feeling exhausted. I was going to bed and not sleeping well, I wasn’t eating right,
and I just felt like I was in a chronic state of stress. I remember my first meeting
with my nutritionist, she even asked me, on
a scale of one to 10, how stressed are you,
and I, non-dramatically, and very honestly said a nine
or a 10 pretty consistently. Now, that is not necessarily due to the work I’m doing
but how I’m managing stress, how I’m taking care of my body, and as a result, I was feeling
stressed out constantly. So one of the things we talked about was stress management and how it was the most important thing I
could do for my well-being. Besides eating well and you know, all the healthy tips
you know, that actively targeting stress and managing it better would transform my life. And that was almost six months ago now as of the date that I’m
recording this video, and I can saw that it’s absolutely true. And I’m not perfect at it, I definitely still have days or weeks or months where, I get out of the habit of
managing my stress well, and I can tell a really big difference. So what I wanna share with you, the nine easy ways to manage stress, are exactly what I’ve been doing and can tell a difference
from when I do them. So I am excited to share them with you and let’s go ahead and dig in right now. So the first way to
relieve stress and anxiety is one that you probably don’t wanna hear and are probably already
knowing you should do, is get more sleep, now
when my nutritionist told me to get more sleep,
I kind of like scoffed, I have different beliefs on sleep, I always thought I didn’t
really need that much sleep, I never thought, I kinda thought the eight hours of sleep thing was fake and just a made-up number, and I was a little
resistant to it at first. But we talked more about
sleep and how important it was and one thing she said that really encouraged me to actually take
getting more sleep seriously, was the fact that my body has been in a state of chronic
stress for however long, and the only way for my
body to really recover is sleep, and that that’s
the only time of the day when I can recover, especially since I’m not changing my job, my day-to-day really can’t change very much, so that sleep is really essential for me, as I’m in a state of high stress to give myself time to recover. So that I can keep going and not burn out. So the only way for my to get more sleep was by setting a bed time,
which sounds very unglamorous, but I really truly, sat
down, and looked at, okay if I wanna wake up at this time, and I wanna get this many hours of sleep, then this is when I need to go to bed. And not only is this
when I need to go to bed, this is the time when I need to start getting ready to go to bed. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like I’ll be downstairs in the living room and say, oh it’s time for bed, and it’s probably not you know, an hour, until I’m actually, head
on the pillow asleep. So knowing that, I actually
have an alarm go off on my phone at a certain time every night that says, start getting ready for bed. That’s kinda my cue to
stop whatever I’m doing, get up, and start doing my routine before it’s time for bed. As far as figuring out how
many hours of sleep you need, I don’t think you should just assume you need eight hours or six hours, but really take the time to see, how many hours of sleep
are you getting right now, and how you feel, and if you do add on another 30 minutes or an hour of sleep, do you feel better, do you feel
the same, do you feel worse? And I noticed for me,
that even though I thought I was good in that like
six to seven hour range, when I started paying attention to how I felt in the morning, I actually woke up feeling rested when I did get eight hours, so for me, that has become my new sweet spot, eight hours really does work for me. I can tell a difference, even if it’s just seven and a half hours when I
wake up, I feel kinda crumby, and I know that if I go back
to sleep for 30 extra minutes, I actually feel great. And that brings me to the next part about getting more sleep, one thing my nutritionist told me was that I actually had to make sleep a priority, so I needed to choose sleep over other activities that I might choose, so even though working
out is great for you, I should choose sleeping
in over working out. So if I wake up, even if
I got eight hours of sleep and I feel terrible, instead of getting up and working out and
doing my morning routine, I should compromise on
a few of those items so that I can get more sleep. So that has been a huge jiff for me, because I was absolutely
the type of person that would just wake up and force myself to get going and drink tons
of caffeine to function, and now, instead, I
wake up and I just say, if I feel great I’ll get up, and days when I feel like I need another 15 minutes or 30 minutes, I let myself sleep for
another 15 or 30 minutes without feeling guilty, so that has been a huge priority shift for me, and has really helped me to learn just how much that extra 15 or 30 minutes can make a difference for how I feel. The second thing to do to relieve stress is to do a brain dump. I love to remind myself that
stress starts in the head. So any time I’m feeling stressed out, I really have to address
what’s happening in my mind in order to try to manage the stress that may show itself physically. So I like to do a brain dump by doing stream of conscious journaling which I actually have a
video and blog post about that I will link to below this video if you wanna learn more, but basically, you just grab a piece
of paper or a journal and you just start writing
literally whatever comes to mind, you can’t second guess yourself and you just see what comes out, a lot of times it will surprise you, and it really helps just
get all of the feelings, the thoughts, the doubts, the fears, maybe you know, someone hurt your feelings and you’ve kind of been burying that. And anytime you sit down and journal, even if it’s just for five minutes, and do that brain dump,
you are going to find a lot of clarity and
I always feel relieved after I’ve gone through
that, so definitely sit down and do a brain dump
when you’re feeling stressed and see what comes from it, you might talk yourself through something that’s been bothering
you, you might actually come out with a good
idea on the other side so you never know what’s gonna happen and that’s part of the excitement. When you’re doing a brain dump or stream of conscious journaling, the key is definitely
to just trust yourself, trust the process and
don’t over-analyze it. Just let it all flow. The third thing you
can do is take a break. So, whether you’re working from home or in an office or no
matter where you work, if you’re feeling stressed, if you can, take a few minutes and actually leave your workspace and take a break. So whether that’s going
to cuddle with your dog, or take a step outside
to get some fresh air, or get a coffee, do something to take a break from just this
stressful area that you are in. And so, you know, I usually set a timer for at least five minutes, if
I’m feeling really crunched I can always take five minutes, if you can maybe take longer but, definitely take a break when you’re in those moment of high stress in particular, and I find that just taking a walk, like just stepping away from my desk, not even taking a walk but just stepping away from my desk, sometimes I’ll even call someone, a
friend or a family member, and it really just helps you kind of reset and not feel like you’re in the middle of that stressful moment. I also like to schedule out breaks, so I know if I’m doing
a lot of focused work at one time, I will get tired, or I’ll get stressed
out and so I’ll actually even put breaks on my calendar, especially on days where I have meetings. I will schedule, lunch break, little 30 minute breaks here and there, just to protect that
time and remind myself that I need to proactively take breaks instead of always just
taking the reactively. Tip number four is to
take a bath or a shower, now I never was one who grew up taking bubble baths to relax, and I’m admittedly, still not
in the habit of doing that, but whether you’re a bath
person or a shower person, taking the time to go
take a shower or bath and not only just doing
like a quick shower or bath, actually taking a few minutes to like, set the mood, so light some candles, put on some good music, maybe
dim the lights if you can, maybe drop some essential oils
in the shower or the bath, any and all of that, it doesn’t
even have to be all of it, just one of those things,
I find that it just transformed the experience into like, a task for your well-being into a luxurious experience that can really help you just relax and de-stress so, just take a few minutes if you can, maybe it’s the end of
the day and you’re just feeling a little worn-down and stressed, in order to just have a nice sleep and not carry that stress
with you into the next day, go take a nice bath or shower. The fifth thing you can do
is go on a walk outside. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,
psychologists studying how exercise relieves
anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute
walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout, so on those days where you’re feeling really stressed out, it might actually be more impactful for you to not even workout, and instead, go take a 10-minute walk outside. I love taking a break
and taking a walk outside during my day because not only does it help me feel good physically, but it clears my mind. It’s also a great opportunity
to listen to podcasts, or audio books, and honestly,
when I’m stressed out, if I don’t have time to go on a walk, even just standing outside,
being in the fresh air, doing a little stretch makes
the world of a difference. So no matter how much time you have, no matter where you are,
how much outdoor space you have access to, try to go outside when you’re feeling stressed because that fresh air is just gonna really help clear your mind and
give you some perspective. My sixth tip for how to
relieve stress and anxiety is to light a candle or
diffuse essential oils. Don’t forget how important your nose is to your mood and your mindset. According to Psychology
Today, scents can have a positive effect on
mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self confidence, and physical and cognitive performance. So not only does lighting candles, or diffusing essential oils just make everything seem lovelier, it really can affect your mood, and help
you feel less stressed. Now if you can’t light a
candle where you’re working, maybe you’re in a corporate office, one trick that I did when
I worked in an office was to use a candle warmer and buy specific candles, I think Target used to sell them, I’m sure they still do, that were meant for candle warmers, so you could still get the benefit of the fragrance and the relief without necessarily burning a
candle or lighting a candle. And maybe you can use a
diffuser where you are, so I prefer to do diffusers, so I actually have a diffuser in my office and in my bedroom so that
no matter where I am, I can kind of get some stress relief. Tip number seven is for those moments where you are truly in
a high stress moment. And it is to take some deep breaths. So this is one that you can whip out, no matter how busy you
are, what’s going on, whether you’re around people or not, but truly, when you’re in a moment of genuinely high stress, I want you to just take a few seconds and literally, I’m at my desk right now, but literally push back, distance yourself, close your eyes and then just take three to five really deep breaths. Now that takes just a few seconds, maybe you even did it now as you were watching as I was saying it, but by doing this, it’s gonna help you to really calm down in the moment, and not feel that like
reactive building stress that we can sometimes
feel in those moments. Now if you have more
than just a few seconds, you can also try breathing
exercises through either Apple Breathe App that they
have, or I like Head Space, or Calm, those are both
guided meditation apps, that also just have breathing exercises. So even if you don’t want someone to guide you through meditating, you can actually just do
simple breathing exercises that will still help you
get that same relief. So that’s really up to you
and your personal preference but at the very least, in
those high-stress moments, intentionally push yourself away and do a few deep breaths to
really help recenter yourself. The eighth way to relieve
stress and anxiety is probably not one you’re gonna like, and it is to stop drinking caffeine. Now, I love coffee, used to have coffee as a big part of my day,
and in moments of stress where I felt like I had to hunker down, I was completely guilty of going to get my second or third cup of coffee, maybe even more depending on the day, and relying on that caffeine
to help me push through. It wasn’t until I read the
book called Woman Code, that I learned that as a woman, this caffeine was having a pretty terrible effect on my hormones. And at the time I was reading the book, I was experiencing severe acne from hormones that I’ve
never experienced before, everything felt like it was all
over the place with my body, and so it came at a perfect time for me to not only learn about hormones, but to really learn about the impact caffeine has on our overall health, so I did the four-day
reset, I had four days where I didn’t drink coffee, or any caffeine, I
didn’t even do green tea, black tea, nothing, it was
no caffeine whatsoever. And it was actually a lot easier
than I thought it would be, I expected to have caffeine withdrawals, and I think the reason
I didn’t was because I was really supporting my body, eating tons of vegetables,
drinking tons of water, because of her plan so, just
if you cut it cold turkey, you might have caffeine withdrawal. But I was shocked at
how much better I felt, even when I went back to some of my more regular eating habits, just
by cutting out caffeine, my energy levels felt very
stable throughout the day, I didn’t feel like I was having as many ups and downs, I felt like, just stable would probably be
the best word for my energy, and as a result, I never
felt as anxious or stressed. Stressful things would happen, and I felt like I was able to process
it and not let it affect me, sorry I’m talking with my hands so much. I felt like I was experiencing
stress in a different way, so the stressful situation would happen, and instead of actually physically or emotionally affecting me, I could process it and move forward. So that was a game-changer for me, for gosh, four or five months, I actually didn’t drink a drop of coffee at all. I was only doing herbal
teas and it was great. But I actually, very recently, like the week I’m recording this, have started to drink some coffee again. And while I really enjoy
having it back in my life, I do feel a little bit like my
energy fluctuates a bit more so I’m not really sure,
I might cut it back out or maybe switch to just decaf, but those months where I
was doing just herbal tea, really a game-changer
for stress and anxiety, so highly recommend it if you’re really looking for something to
help alleviate some stress, try cutting out caffeine,
even if it’s just for a short period of time, and see if you notice a positive difference. The ninth easy way to
reduce stress and anxiety is a bigger one, it is to set
boundaries and stick to them. To set effective boundaries, you really need to take some time to observe how things are making you feel. And don’t just think about it and make a not of it in your head, I really would recommend you have a piece of paper and you actually have a
list where you can go to and jot things down when
they make you feel stressed or anxious or uncomfortable
or anything like that. You know, there are those moments where you could just feel
that a boundary was crossed. Anytime you feel reactive, any of that, have a piece of paper that maybe for one to several days,
you are jotting down what makes you feel
uncomfortable or stressed and do something about it, so, you know it’s okay if you
can’t do it the same day, and maybe you can’t control everything but I bet you there
are things on that list that you can change, so
whether you delegate it to someone else, you
stop doing it entirely, or you change the way you do
it and draw these boundaries, that is where you’re gonna
see some big differences. So here’s some examples of what
boundaries might look like. Working only from eight a.m. to five p.m., no work-related apps getting opened before eight a.m. or after five p.m., maybe checking email only at
two different times a day, and knowing what times those are. Getting off your phone at
eight p.m. every night. Maybe having no meetings
on Tuesdays or Thursdays, maybe having no more than three
meetings on any given day. No working on the weekends, no
social media on the weekends, maybe just no more than 30
minutes of social media day, or maybe you have focused work time where you have no
interruptions and no meetings from nine a.m. to 11 a.m., so those are just some ideas, they’re all pretty much work-related or social media related,
but those are some ideas of boundaries that you could set. But again, the key here that I mentioned is not only setting effective boundaries, but it’s really sticking to them. And the only way to do that is to really make a commitment to yourself that you are gonna hold
to these boundaries, and doing what you can to make it easier. Whether it’s setting reminders
and alarms on your phone, or maybe if it’s one of
the app-related boundaries, you can use, I don’t
know what Android has, but Apple has a feature
called screen time, where it automatically block certain apps after certain times, or if you’ve been on them for a certain period of time. Or maybe you need to set, you know, maybe you’re visual and
you need actual reminders around you in your space, or maybe you need to tell someone,
your partner or your friend, or a family member about this boundary so they can help hold you to it. Or maybe you need to tell your community. So there are a lot of
different options here but ultimately, to stick to a boundary, you have to remember the boundary, and remember it in the moment so that you can do something different and you have to just make the commitment to yourself to do it, and it’s okay to not be perfect, sometimes
you will break a boundary. But the idea is that when
you break a boundary, you know you’ve broken
it, and it doesn’t just, get you know, swept under the rug. You know you’ve broken it,
you feel how uncomfortable or stressed out or
anxious it makes you feel, and you don’t wanna
feel that again and so, you break this boundary
less and less over time. So now you know nine easy ways to relieve stress and anxiety, but if you wanna take
better care of yourself, you really need a self-care plan. Now that isn’t as intense as it may sound, but it is just taking a
few minutes to work through an exercise to have a game plan for how you’re gonna support your body and your mind and your
emotions throughout a week. And I actually have a free
self-care planning workbook that guides you through the entire process of how I create a self-care plan and it has examples, it’s
got blank sheets for you, and it’s completely free
so if you wanna download the self-care planner and learn how to take your self
care to the next level, then click the link below this video and you can get that right to your inbox and I hope you enjoy it. So now I wanna hear from you, how do you manage and relieve stress and anxiety in your life? Have you tried one of these tips? Did it work for you,
did it not work for you? Do you have your own
little tips and tricks? I would love to hear from you, be sure to leave a
comment below this video, and I can’t wait to
chat with you in there. Don’t forget to download that free self-care planner if
you’re interested in that. And if you enjoy this video,
please hit the like button, subscribe, and share it with your friends, and I will see you in the next video. My hair looks crazy, first time recording in a brand new room! And you know what, I forgot the wine. I’m back, with my wine. Knocked my lamp over. A few month– (laughs) (upbeat music) Did you hear that? I’m sweating.
(upbeat music) Do I have wine teeth? Probably have wine lips,
probably a mistake.

7 thoughts on “9 Easy Ways to Relieve Stress

  1. Sleep! I have so much to say about sleep. These last two nights I've been going to bed earlier and I've been a completely different person in the morning. I don't crave caffeine, I'm more patient, and I can get out the door to the gym WAY faster. For me, getting to bed earlier can be hard, especially since my husband is a total night owl. But sleep really is something I need to be a little selfish about so I can be my best self during the day. Sleep trumps a lot of things, just like you said!

    I definitely journal frequently to braindump, write out gratitude statements, and write out personal affirmations. Also for me, going to the gym has been one of the biggest game changers for managing stress, feeling strong, and feeling productive. I love it because there's amazing child care, which also just gives me some me time. I can workout, shower and get ready, and even just go to the lounge area to read, check my calendar, and I've even journaled at the gym!

    Your video is gold!

  2. Whenever I get stress from my daily online job, I usually take a break and walk outside to breathe some fresh air and to lighten up myself. Things that I want to practice are to get enough sleep and rest, doing brain dump and setting some boundaries. Maybe through these tips, it will help alleviate my stress and anxiety. Thank you for sharing this Megan!

  3. These are all so good. I really struggle with caffeine. I don't get great sleep (probably due to coffee and stress) so I really want that morning coffee (or more), but it seems to only make the problem worse.

  4. I ditch the coffee and drink mushroom coffee and cacao instead…. and I book in monthly massages. Plus I workout, take warm baths often and make sure I get 7 to 8 hours of sleep.

  5. The section on boundaries was so good! Another big one for me is noticing my triggers – what triggers my stress and anxiety. A few ways I relieve stress are to watch reality TV (ha – I never watch TV, but an occasional episode of something can totally take my mind off of things!). And yin yoga is my favorite. It's slow, stretchy, and restorative and feels amazing.

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