With the end of another school year, spring moving summer, and the final push to be productive before the kids are home all day, the load can leave us drained of energy. All of it can feel pretty stressful.
It’s during these times of change when we have to take care of ourselves so the transition doesn’t wear us out.
Here are a few ways I like to reduce stress and find my calm.
1. Accept what you cannot change.
Make the choice to focus on what you are able to change, and leave what you can’t in the hands of God. Manage your attitude, your emotions, your reactions, your judgments and your decisions, and let the rest be what it is.
Now, moving into summer, our bodies will want to speed up and get active. Later, when we move into fall and winter months, our pace will slow and we’ll become more contemplative and reflective over our lives. Allow for that time. Be realistic with the demands you place on yourself and your body. Set goals that are realistic and attainable so you don’t tear yourself down in the process.
2. Don’t say yes to everything.
By taking on too many projects and obliging yourself to too many people, you lose sight of what’s important and where your priorities are. You lose steam and momentum because you’re overcommitted, overloaded and overwhelmed.
Examine your strengths and stick to activities that endorse those qualities so you don’t feel dragged down by discouragement. Say yes to the things you actually want to do and love to do, not those you merely have time to do. Leave space in your schedule to do nothing. Leave space to be.
Laughter releases tension, relieves pain, decreases stress hormones and triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. It will help you keep a buoyant perspective in the present moment allowing yourself the freedom to do and be your best. So laugh at yourself even when it’s hard, and you’ll find it’s not that bad.
A sense of humor is how we keep life light and enjoyable. Don’t take yourself or anyone else too seriously. Nothing is permanent. Everything changes and we all move on. Refusing to laugh only bottles the stress in your body until it becomes unbearable and infectious. Not to mention, worry and stress ages you faster than laugh lines ever will.
4. Declutter and get organized.
A disorganized mind causes stress above all else. Spend the time to declutter your mind often. Use the Declutter Code to simplify your life and maintain a clear head. Clarity fends off stress, just as light fends off darkness. Where there is clarity, there is no nook or cranny for stress (or stressful behavior) to pile up.
Decluttering your mind will help with the mess around you, too—sitting on your desk, shelved in your kitchen and hanging in your closet. No more surprises with unpaid bills, expired food or clothes that don’t fit when you regularly clean out your space, keeping only what you love. Let go of all that doesn’t serve you and keeps you down. Including the company you keep.
5. Find your peaceful place.
Create an environment of peace and calm. In your home, your office, your bedroom, even your car. First with the energy you invite in, and then with sights, sounds, smells, flavors, and textures. You want an energy of calm in your environment, so consider everything from location to decor; from those who join you to the activities you do inside. Make this space your sanctuary.
The most important place to make your sanctuary? Your mind. When you close your eyes, you want to feel at home. Home being a place of peace and love, a reminder to settle in. A place to return whenever things get hectic and chaotic. A place of refuge that’s accessible anytime.
Listen to your body and what it needs during this time of transition. Be easy on yourself. Just because your body may be moving differently, doesn’t mean it’s not moving perfectly.
Do what it takes to make your mind your peaceful place…a place without stress.