Stress is bad; it’s bad for our health, for our weight and certainly our mood. But telling a stressed out person to decrease their stress is like telling an overweight person to lose weight…#nothelpful.
In our Foodstalking program, we ask participants “how do you feel?” each day. One of my clients today said “homicidal” she was joking (promise) but I totally get it.
If you want to decrease your stress but don’t have the time to sort out how, here are some ideas that work for me.
Relaxation Rituals
When I get to the office, I light our official office candle and put on Pandora. I may only have five minutes before a client but a little Ray LaMontagne radio injects a little relaxation into my morning.
Perhaps a podcast?
I am somewhat new to the podcast world. I find podcasts help me zone out when I’m commuting or just walking down the street. Sure, there are meditation and relaxation podcasts but many podcasts work. Hey, last night I went to sleep listening to Not Here to Make Friends (a VERYsmart podcast about the Bachelor). I close my eyes, set the sleep timer and fall asleep much faster than I would if I were watching TV. Dear Sugar is another favorite podcast.
Get outside
You have a million things to do and you feel you have to be chained to your desk OR maybe you’re overwhelmed and somewhat stifled. Get outside. I cannot tell you how many times I step outside and feel “ok things aren’t that bad”. Sure, it’s not going to solve all your problems but it’ll put them in perspective.
Plan a trip
I recently read a review of a travel writer’s book. I’m paraphrasing (I can’t even recall the author to go back and find the quote) but he said, whenever I’m feeling a little low it’s because I don’t have a trip planned. I know this is definitely one of Carolyn’s mood-boosting strategies. It doesn’t have to be exotic…maybe you look up a place to go hiking but there’s something powerful about shifting your focus to the future. And it’s usually when you feel you can’t get away or the thought of packing is too much that you need it most.
Take a bath
I realize not everyone is a bath person. If you are, it’s an inexpensive way to chill out. Whenever I can I take a bath before bed. I’m a fan of magnesium bath flakes…currently loving these from Naturopathica.
As you can see, these are not complicated hacks but they help. 
I’d love to know what stress-busting hacks you employ. Any rituals, tricks or tweaks you’ve made to reduce stress?

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