It’s Monday and you woke up late. You’ve somehow got to perfect your cat eye, walk the dog, and make a gluten free all natural breakfast and lunch (or risk feeling guilty about your fast food slip up later). You still have to race through traffic, struggle through your not-so-satisfying job, go to the dentist, hit the gym, pay your bills, text your best friend about that post you saw on social media, and address every other mishap that comes your way. By the time you get home to make your carefully planned time consuming dinner you’re ready to down a bottle of wine & just hit the sheets. Repeat.
Sound stressful? Sound familiar?
Having it all has more or less become having “a tiny bit of everything” and while it’s so great that you are a confident, independent person who can accomplish everything you set your mind to, you’re also putting yourself at some serious disadvantages by not taking the time to slow down a bit. Living in a state of constant stress can lead to lack of focus, frequent headaches & sickness, weight gain, acne flare-ups, lack/poor quality of sleep (hello dark circles!), wrinkles… the list goes on. So while you are busy chasing your dreams of the perfect life you are also likely sabotaging your chances at it. What’s scarier is the string of recent studies that have shown that stress is cumulative, meaning you just get used to it and eventually don’t even know you are overwhelmed.
So what’s a busy Millennial to do?
Here are some tips to help you restore your sense of calm & bring back your energy.
- Get Outside.
Just getting outside will boost your mood and energy levels. Just 20 minutes in nature is enough to boost vitality feels and make you feel “alive” according to a Study in Rochester. Try taking a walk during your lunch break, or better yet, go for a run before/after work. If you aren’t quite feeling the (currently cold) outdoors, try opening your blinds in the morning so that you can feel the sunshine or looking at pictures of nature at work. All have been proven to lift spirits and energize.
- Snooze Earlier.
You may have been able to get away with 3 hours of sleep when you were 18. Hell- you might be able to still pull an all-nighter, but that doesn’t mean you should. It is still recommended that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep a night to have maximum performance the next day. Anything less can lead to a lack of concentration, slower metabolism, and even signs of depression. Try to make it bed by 10:30 P.M. every single night -even on weekends.. the theory that you can sleep in and catch up is sadly wrong. This will help reset your sleep schedule and internal clock. It will make the biggest difference.
- Consume Wisely.
Aim to drink your first cup of coffee exactly two hours after you wake each day and your last no later than 2:00 P.M. Once you wake, levels of the hormone Cortisol (the hormone associated with stress but also providing you necessary energy) peak within the first two hours.. usually between 8 and 10 A.M. It may be tempting to live off coffee as soon as you wake, but it’s better to consume after cortisol starts to deplete (hence, crash). Sip between 9:30 and 11:30 and you’ll experience everything your caffeine has to offer. Sip any later than 2:00 P.M. and you’ll likely have a more difficult time falling asleep.
- Focus On Meditation.
If you still think of meditation as sitting perfectly still with your legs crossed chanting in a dark room you haven’t really got to experience new age meditation. Sports stars, news anchors, young adults.. they’re all on board with meditation and reporting magical side effects. Meditation is easy: close your eyes and spend even 5 minutes in quiet taking deep breaths, focus on each breath in and out.. and there you have it!
- Sip Your Stress Away.
Here’s a fun one: indulge in some yummy natural stress busters like green tea or dark chocolate. Both have been proven to relieve stress. Just keep it in moderation, an ounce of dark chocolate is enough.
- Chew Gum.
Another easy tip. No matter the flavor, chewing gum for just a few minutes can reduce the stress hormone cortisol and lower anxiety levels. So next time you’re feeling super stressed out feel free to reach for a stick of Juicy Fruit & get to chewing (bonus points for blowing bubbles)
- Do You.
Every night for a half an hour do something that makes you happy. YouTube funny Cat videos for a good laugh, indulge in adult coloring books, turn up the music and dance. Just do something fun that you love and you will instantly loosen up.
- Hug Your Pet.
Turns out you need your pets as much as they need you. Multiple studies have shown that spending some quality time with your pet can relieve stress significantly. Next time you’re having a bad day instead of pouring a glass of wine try playing fetch, snuggling, or just looking into the eyes of your beloved pet and reap all of the benefits.
That’s all for now guys, Hope I was able to help!