“If your biggest achievement this year was simply making it this far, simply waking up in the morning when you didn’t want to face the day, simply surviving — that is something to celebrate, too. —Bianca Sparacino

As I think about the last few years, it’s overwhelming to think all we’ve been through individually and together.

Even having not watched television news in 20 years, I still feel the negative effects. The barrage of “news” coming at me on social media doesn’t help when I’m there mainly to escape the chaos.

I’m sure that as time goes on, I and many others have a stronger and stronger desire to disconnect more often and get back to the real world. Those people who live off the grid don’t look so crazy now do they?

I know I’ve shared this beautiful quote before, but I wanted to re-share it again. To me, it’s important to understand the meaning of life. And now more than ever, we truly need to celebrate the small things.

That leads me to today’s article, a friendly reminder for you to slow down and enjoy life a little more.

I’ve battled anxiety a lot over the past five years. And it wasn’t until one of my best friends told me that my stress levels were through the rood and that I needed to practice more self-care.

5 Ways to Reduce Stress In Your Life - lake during sunset

That said, here are some of my personal ways you can use to reduce stress in your life. Note, some of my advice is “Captain Obvious” tips, but I hope you take action even if it’s just one thing on this list.

PRACTICE SELF-CARE / SLEEP MORE

I’m listing this tip first because it’s something I need to practice a lot more now and in the future. You can ask my friends. I work so much and play very little so it’s time for me to stand up for myself and put myself first.

To me, play means lunchtime naps and earlier sleep times. Hey, have you seen those post-30 memes about early bedtimes? It’s true.

If you’re like me and have a hard time practicing self-care, start by taking it one day a week. Take a Sabbath Day.

Sleeping more is practicing self-care. And let me tell you, I’m about to get a lot more at my new place in a few months! Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!


REDUCE CLUTTER.

For me, I cannot concentrate or be creative when my home is a mess or full of clutter. And if you’ve ever watched Hoarders, you know that being surrounded by clutter can be detrimental to one’s health in many ways.

As I’ve taken care of my mom at such a young age, paperwork is my top clutter culprit. It’s so bad that I just prefer to opt for digital receipts when it’s offered these days.

I’ve purged so much lately and let me tell you, take it one folder, drawer, or box at a time. It can be overwhelming, but in the end, it’s worth it!


TAKE A BIG TECHNOLOGY BREAK.

If you use technology/social media for work, create boundaries for yourself and others.

For example, I do not send emails after 7 PM. My goal is to train everyone who is in contact with me to know my boundaries. If I do answer an urgent email, I will schedule them to go out the next morning after 9 AM.

When it comes to social media, I’ll send a message or DM and then log off. For me, it’s normal that I may not respond for a few days or weeks.


GO OUTSIDE.

It can be as simple as grounding, getting sunshine early in the morning, or taking a walk. Personally, I love sitting on my porch, taking in the sunshine, and listening to the birds chirp.

I also love walking around the park and just being present. Seeing ducks and bunnies live their lives makes me smile so much! Going to the Farmer’s Market is also another way I get to go outside. Essentially, it’s for me, and I also get to support farmers and small businesses. It’s a definite win-win!


PRACTICE GRATITUDE / FAITH

One of the top ways to reduce stress in your life is to practice gratitude. For me, I pick three things/people/situations every day to express my thankfulness to God for them.

Whether it’s through prayer or my Five Minute Journal, I always practice gratitude for my blessings and read my Bible to stay close/strong in my faith. And I must say, that for me, this is the top reason I’ve been able to reduce my stress and reduce it dramatically.

And remember, it’s easier to manage your stress (or anything for that fact) if you don’t overcomplicate it. I hope these tips have helped you. If they have, please share this article with someone you feel needs it!

Share some ways to reduce stress that you’ve implemented in your life in the comments below!

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Huong By Huong
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