Use these stress management tips while at home to help you cope. These days are hard and long and boring and scary and it’s very easy to become very stressed and anxious.
I’m sharing some tips and ideas for things that have helped me feel less stress during this time. I can always tell when I’ve been slacking on using these stress management tips! I know personally I have to be intentional right now to keep stress and anxiety at bay.
Consider these as illustrative ideas, jumping off points for you to customize your own stress relief plan, not prescriptive norms that I think everyone ought to be doing.
There are no “oughts” right now.
No one before us has ever done what we are doing now. So no one truly knows. We are all in the same storm, but we all have different boats we are sailing.
So consider this not a field guide to sailing your ship in a storm, but rather a peek into how one woman is keeping her small boat upright in the storm.
I hope these suggestions spark your own pursuit of what reducing stress and chasing vibrance can look like for you right now.
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Things to do in the MORNING for stress managment
Step 1: Caffeinate. I don’t function without caffeine so I need a nice hot cup of coffee to get me going in the morning.
Step 2: Have some alone time. Usually I like to get up before my kids, but that has not been happening. But I do let them watch Netflix shows for a bit while I do my morning routine.
I am pushing away any and all guilt on this subject. My calm is worth my kids having a bit of screen time. End of story. I have spoken.
Step 3: Connect with God.
- Read the Bible and a devotional. (This is my current favorite devotional right now! SO speaking to my soul!)
- Journal and pray. I use a simple leather journal and these are my favorite journaling pens!
- Listen to calming music. I love this Spotify “Do Not Fear” playlist right now.
Don’t overthink this time, you may find these 5 Tips for Deepening Your Time with God helpful.
Step 4: Think about how you want your day to go. Pick three things that are really important to do today and write them down on a post-it note. (I talk more about this on this morning routine post!)
I’m an enneagram three and so I LOVE long to-do lists! But limiting myself to a post-it note helps me prioritize and not stress about having a crazy amount of self-inflicted to-dos.
Step 5: Do your next right thing. Take a shower, get the kids off the tv, make some breakfast, load the dishwasher, go for a walk–whatever is your next right thing start doing it. (P.S. Your next right thing is probably not Facebook, but I’m not here to judge your life.)
Things to do ALL DAY LONG for stress management
Limit Social Media.
This can definitely be hard and it’s easy to numb out by scrolling or get sucked into the comments section on news posts or anything else.
Setting a time may be helpful. When I feel like I’m getting too sucked in I just delete social media apps from my phone.
It’s really easy to get sucked into watching non-stop news. But it has greatly helped my stress levels when I only check the news websites twice a day. I just pop on and read in the morning and sometime after 3 pm (when our governor addresses the state).
The questions I often ask myself is: “will I learn something new that will change the way I’m living?”
Mostly, the answer is no. I’m staying in, staying home except for groceries and walks, wearing a mask out, and washing my hands often. The news is not going to change that in the span of 6 hours.
Connect with others
Set up daily or weekly check-ins with friends and family. We have a weekly zoom call with our life group from church and my mom’s group does daily Facebook lives during the week to keep us all connected.
Reaching out digitally is not as great as being in person, but you may be surprised by how enjoyable and stress relieving it is to connect digitally. Virtual coffee dates are fun too!
Set up rhythms and routines that are helpful to you.
This is, of course, perfectly unique to you. Pick a time to go on a walk each day. Pick a day of the week to get takeout. Pick a day of the week for someone else in your house to takeover cooking.
You don’t have to do a color-coded schedule, just some flexible routines to give your days some structure.
RELATED: MORNING AND EVENING ROUTINES
Give your stress some place to go
Stress must go somewhere. It needs a release! Otherwise your body and mind will hold onto it in unproductive ways and it will manifest in a way you won’t like. (Hello, leg twitches at 2 am. Don’t ask me how I know.)
Stress relief that I have found most helpful is moving everyday (walks and yoga are my jam!), journaling (aka just dumping out every stressful scenario and anxious thought on paper), and taking 10 or so deep breaths. (This is a great deep breathing meditation).
Things to do IN THE EVENING for stress management
Have a relaxing evening routine is an important part of relieving stress in this time. It’s super easy to get stuck in a rut of being anxious so staying up later till you are super-exhausted, then sleeping in or needing a nap, then your circadian rhythm being off so you stay up late again, etc. etc. (Once again don’t ask me how I know. 😉 )
These things have helped me relax and calm down so I can fall asleep at night.
- Turn off electronics (especially news sources) an hour or so before bed.
- Ashwaganda or magnesium supplement– these help me a lot, especially when I need some extra calm! I use both, but am using the magnesium more now since I have had leg twitching and it has helped SO MUCH.
- Massage feet with lotion — I love this Dr. Teal’s magnesium lotion in this super-calming scent!
- Massage shoulders
- Feet on wall for 3-5 minutes. — I literally lay on my bed and put my feet up on the wall behind my bed.
- Practice mantras and meditative breathing before falling asleep and when scary thoughts creep in.
How to practice mantras and meditative breathing for stress relief
Mantras and meditative breathing may sound a bit “out there” to you, but it really is simple and you can make it entirely your own, which is one of the reasons I love it for stress management!
Simply take a deep breath in, while thinking “Inhale peace”; then take a deep breath out while thinking “exhale fear”. Then repeat that process for a few minutes or until calm.
I often choose Bible verses or songs for mine such as ….
Inhale: God Himself — Exhale: Is my Peace
Inhale: It is well — Exhale: with my soul
Inhale: Jesus — Exhale: loves me (I have my kids practice this when they are scared or have a bad dream, it’s such a simple, but meaningful one.)
These stress management tips have helped me so much during this stay-at-home time. I hope they give you good ideas for beginning to incorporate your own calming and stress relieving practices in your own life!
Got a question about anything in my stress relieving routines? Drop it below and I’ll try to answer it ASAP!