Chronic stress can have negative consequences on our emotional and physical health. Work demands, managing a home, parenthood, health challenges, and aging parents can all add undue stress onto our lives, and sometimes we experience many of these things at the same time.
When our body is in a constant ‘fight-or-flight’ state, it becomes harder to focus and concentrate, we become restless and irritable, we struggle to sleep, and our relationships suffer. Stress can also negatively impact our physical health.
If you are looking for tips and strategies to help you learn how to manage stress in your life, I’ve partnered with New Roots Herbal to share some of the things that help me when I feel overwhelmed!
How to Manage Stress
1. PRIORITIZE SLEEP
Adults should get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night in order to function properly and perform at peak productivity, but when life gets busy, sleep is often the first thing we let slip. We sacrifice sleep to help us stay on top of all of the things that are pulling at us for attention, and while this may decrease feelings of stress in the short term, sleep deprivation actually makes it harder for us to handle stress over time.
If you’re trying to figure out how to manage stress better, commit to getting 30-60 minutes of additional sleep each night for 30 days. I think you’ll be amazed at what a difference this small change will have on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
2. EAT WELL AND EXERCISE
If you’re on the hunt for stress-reducing tips and tricks, it will come as no surprise to hear that eating a well-balanced diet and committing to 30-minutes of physical activity 3-5 times a week can have a positive impact on your emotional well-being. Not only will you have more energy, but you will also sleep better, making you better equipped to handle stress.
3. REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR SUPPLEMENTS
If you’re looking for tips on how to manage stress, supplements are another simple yet effective way you can support your body. Supplements provide key nutrients that promote relaxation, and they can help relieve mild symptoms of stress and exhaustion, and also aid in longer, better quality sleep.
New Roots Herbal offers a line of products designed specifically for stress reduction, and I love that they are non-addictive and non-drowsy. Here are 3 of their products I highly recommend!
- Chill Pills. If you are prone to feeling irritable when you’re nervous and stressed like I am, Chill Pills are a great option to consider. They contain L-Theanine to help temporarily promote relaxation, while also reducing stress, calming your nerves, improving your concentration, and helping you work more effectively, and I love that they are non-drowsy as I can take them any time of day when I feel stressed but need to focus. Whether it’s while I’m working on a tight deadline, feeling overwhelmed with facilitating distance learning for my daughter, or when I just have a lot on my mind, Chill Pills help me stay calm without feeling tired.
- Sleep8. Whether you’re trying to rebalance your body’s natural circadian rhythm after traveling (or months in quarantine!) or struggling to get longer and/or better quality sleep, Sleep8 combines passion flower extract, melatonin, magnesium, and other ingredients to help.
- D-Stress. If you’re looking for a non-addictive solution to help calm feelings of stress and restlessness – and to help improve your sleep – D-Stress helps relax the body and the mind, without any side effects. I find D-Stress helpful at the end of a particularly long and stressful day as it helps bring me back to a place of zen while simultaneously allowing me to reap the benefits of a good night of sleep so I wake up feeling rested and ready to take action the following day!
Deep breathing is incredibly effective in reducing feelings of overwhelm. Taking the time to focus on your breathing will help calm the physical symptoms of stress – racing heart, clenched jaw, shaking, etc. – which will decrease the mental and emotional symptoms of stress as well.
There are many different breathing techniques you can try if you’re trying to figure out how to manage stress, but the basic premise is the same: take a slow breath in through the nose, hold the breath for a few seconds, exhale slowly through the mouth, and repeat until you feel calm.
5. KNOW WHEN TO LET GO
If you want to know how to manage stress, acknowledge the thoughts and feelings you’re having and then ask yourself: is there anything I can do right now to make this better? If the answer is yes, take action! Do the things you need to do to gain control over the situation and reduce your stress so your feelings don’t fester. If the answer is no, give yourself permission to let go. Remind yourself that no amount of regret can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future, and channel your energy into something more productive instead.
6. STAY GRATEFUL
While I think everyone can benefit from keeping a daily gratitude journal, it’s especially important to focus on the things we’re grateful for in times of stress. People who practice gratitude tend to be happier and have higher self-esteem. They sleep better, have stronger relationships with the people they love, and spend less time dwelling about negative things, making them better able to handle stress.
Keep in mind that practicing gratitude doesn’t need to be a long, drawn-out event, and your list doesn’t need to be filled with elaborate things. A warm cup of coffee, a good book, a fun date with your significant other, a smooth morning with your kids, and a funny meme are all examples of little things that can add a huge amount of joy to your life. The trick is to notice and acknowledge them as this trains your brain to focus on the good instead of the bad.
7. PRACTICE GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT
If you’re experiencing stress and feelings of overwhelm due to the volume of demands on your shoulders, evaluating and implementing time management strategies can be helpful in allowing you to feel more in control. Keeping a written daily and weekly plan can help you stay accountable, delegating tasks to others can help lighten your load, and working in batches can help you use your time more efficiently.
There are also a number of ways you can streamline things within your home so you aren’t burning the candle at both ends, like ordering your groceries online, stocking your freezer with meals you can defrost and reheat on busy days, and blocking off 15-30 minutes each evening to stay on top of cleaning, organization, and laundry.
8. SCHEDULE TIME FOR SELF-CARE
Contrary to popular belief, taking the time to engage in regular self-care isn’t selfish – it’s necessary! When we take care of the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of our lives, we reduce emotional issues (like stress!) and the physical reactions they create, leaving us with more energy and motivation, and making us better able to handle the challenges life throws at us.
There are many types of self-care you can focus on to help you prioritize and take care of your well-being, and you can make them as simple or complex as you want them to be. A hot bath, coffee with a friend, a tough workout, and reading a good book are all examples of small yet meaningful self-care activities you can do on the daily to help you in your quest to manage stress better.
9. TALK TO A PROFESSIONAL
If you’re trying to learn how to manage stress and the tips and ideas in this post aren’t helping, don’t be afraid to talk to a professional. As scary as this may sound, it’s essential that you learn to take care of yourself, and it can be extremely therapeutic to unload your worries onto a stranger.
I hope the tips and ideas in this post help you find ways to lower your stress, allowing you to feel calm, relaxed, and better able to handle the things life throws at you.
Remember to prioritize sleep, to eat well, exercise, and take supplements, to breathe and acknowledge when to let things go, to practice gratitude and good time management skills, and speak to a professional if you need to.
I have participated in a paid partnership with New Roots Herbal. Opinions in this post are my own.
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