With back-to-school season setting in, you may be setting new goals, adjusting to a busier schedule, or perhaps reminiscing about the carefree summer months. With the inevitable change that comes with the start of a new season, we’re taking this opportunity to talk about something that affects us all: stress.
While you can’t always control stressful situations, you can take initiative in how you manage stress. Here, we’ll explore our favorite natural stress management strategies to protect and nurture your wellbeing.
How Can Effective Stress Management Benefit Your Health?Stress doesn’t only affect the mind – it affects many processes within your body, impacting how you feel and how deeply you sleep. Here are just a few of the many benefits that you can gain from naturally managing stress:
- Sounder sleep: Managing stress can help you achieve deeper, higher-quality sleep, helping you wake up rested and energized.
- Elevated mood and mental health: Stress management is a cornerstone to nurturing your mental health and maintaining a sunny mood.
- Relief from muscle tension: Do you ever leave a long day at work with pain in your neck, shoulders, or back? It’s likely because stress can trigger muscle tension. Thankfully, easing stress levels helps keep tension at bay for protection against muscle aches and pains.
- Digestive health: The mind and the gut are closely linked, meaning that stress can wreak havoc on your digestive comfort. So, along with probiotics, add stress management into your wellness routine for healthy digestion.
- Happier skin: Stress contributes to inflammation, which can flare up skin sensitivities like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Naturally managing your stress levels can help keep your skin calm, healthy, and happy.
Natural Strategies for Stress Management
If you’re looking for a stress reset, many natural methods can get you on the path to complete calm. Incorporating these tips into your day-to-day can proactively keep stress at bay and foster resilience, no matter what tomorrow may bring.
MeditationTaking time to slow down and breathe deeply can soothe stressors before they become overwhelming. Meditation isn’t a rigid practice – you can adapt simple meditations to suit your routine, or dive into a longer session if you so please. To get started, try out box breathing:
- Take a comfortable seat and gently close your eyes. Start to slow your breathing.
- Breathe in while slowly counting to four. Focus on how the air feels as it fills your lungs.
- Hold the breath for four seconds.
- Slowly exhale through your mouth for four seconds.
- Repeat for as many sets as you’d like.
Adaptogens are natural powerhouses for stress management. They’re defined as herbs, roots, mushrooms, or other plants that help our bodies adapt to stress, and they’re the latest darling of the wellness industry. But, despite adaptogens’ recent popularity boom, they’re deeply rooted in ancient medicine, including Ayurveda.
Some of the most extensively researched adaptogens for stress management include:
- Lion’s mane, cordyceps, and reishi mushrooms
- Asian and Siberian ginseng
- Holy basil
These days, you can find adaptogens in several different forms, making it simple to slot them into your daily routine. Consider coffee infused with adaptogenic mushrooms, tea bags containing adaptogenic herbs, or adaptogenic powders to mix into your morning smoothie. Moonjuice has some great supplements and blends for stress-busting.
Though it’s often thought of as an occasional luxury, incorporating self-care into your daily routine is a wonderful way to keep your stress levels low.
Self-care comes in many forms, from a full-on home spa day to a brief moment in the middle of your day. Here are a few ideas:
- Light a candle, sit in a comfy chair, and turn on your favorite album. Music is a powerful tool for easing stress.
- Prepare (and enjoy!) a nutritious home-cooked meal that makes your mouth water.
- Turn off your devices, make a steaming cup of tea, and read a book that piques your interest.
- Jot down what you’re grateful for, or a few moments from your day that made you smile.
- Take a warm bath or shower and treat your skin to nourishing skincare products. Hang some eucalyptus in your shower for an at-home spa experience.
Aromatherapy harnesses the natural therapeutic benefits of essential oils. Pure lavender essential oil, in particular, has been found to alleviate stress and anxiety while providing a natural mood boost. Try spritzing some onto your wrists, neck, and even your pillowcase to wind down from a hectic day.
Incorporating exercise into your day-to-day can provide consistent stress relief. Exercise (especially cardio) stimulates the release of feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins, which act as natural mood boosters and stress-busters.
Yet to find a form of cardio that you love? Check out last month’s blog post about finding the right type of cardio for you, whether it be dance classes, swimming, HIIT, spinning, or a combination of them all!.
Limit Screen Time
Screen time isn’t always optional, especially if it’s required for your career. However, research shows that limiting optional and entertainment-related screen time may positively impact your stress levels.You don’t need to ditch your favorite TV shows or say goodbye to Instagram for good. But, if screen time is part of your me-time routine, try incorporating a screen-free alternative, like reading a book, taking a walk, doing a puzzle, painting, or listening to music.
A hobby that excites, interests, and inspires you can be a powerful stress-buster. Hobbies are deeply personal, but if you haven’t found one yet, here are a few options to start your brainstorming:
- Cooking or baking
- Rock climbing
Revel In Your Stress Reset
Stressors are an inevitable part of life. But, embracing stress management techniques like self-care can provide value beyond a sense of calm. Over time, these tips can help you feel centered, support your physical health, and give you a sense of empowerment in any scenario.