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5 Tips to Stress Less

So much has been happening in my personal life. Some of you know I had multiple out-of-town family graduations and celebrations that kept me busier than I prefer to be, but totally worth it! Then my creativity was zapped by the brain fog that accompanied my Covid. It was the worst writer’s block I’ve ever had--add that the list of weird Covid symptoms. I’m happy to say that I’m feeling like myself again, and ready to get back to a normal, uneventful life.

Although most of last month’s stress was positive, it was still a very stressful month to say the least (especially for an introvert like me.) Luckily, I have lots of stress-reducing techniques in my toolkit, so I was able to stay as calm as possible. If you’re having a busy summer, here are a few of my best tips and tricks for getting through demanding times:


1. Try controlled breathing. Breathe in quickly and deeply through your nose, and then exhale through your mouth as if you had a straw in your lips--really purse your lips! This will naturally slow down your exhalation while you can imagine blowing away the stressful thing/situation.


2. Don’t skip yoga or any other self-care routine. When we get very busy, we tend to leave out our self-care. It may seem selfish to prioritize your yoga or other self-care rituals especially with other important tasks looming, but it’s not! Self-care is essential in keeping us calm and ready for whatever comes next.


3. Take it one day (or hour) at a time. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when the “to do” list gets long. After making a realistic plan, use mindfulness to focus on each task as you complete it. Staying in the moment will help you feel better overall, and you’ll avoid the pile on effect.


4. Ask for help. You’re human. You can’t do everything, nor do you want to. If there are duties that you are avoiding on a regular basis, call in the reinforcements. For example, like to cook, but hate dishes? Set up the cook/clean agreement with your significant other. No time or interest in cleaning? Hire someone to do it for you.


5. Remember this, too, shall pass. It’s an old adage, but it still rings true. The only thing permanent is change. Know the hard stuff has a time limit, and the good stuff does too. Appreciate both by staying in each moment.

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