8 Ways To Manage Stress To Make Life Easier


Stress is a widespread and constantly growing problem. From ever-increasing demands at work and hectic family lives to money worries and relationship struggles — we’re neck-deep in stress. Desperate for an escape. So, how do you manage all this stress and find peace?

See, when you’re stressed, you go into “fight or flight” mode. Stress hormones flood your body, put a strain on your mental health, and affect your physiological state. Chronic stress can even lead to long-term alterations in bodily processes. 

And truth be told, chronic stress is becoming more and more of a thing in our society — which can have a number of add-on effects on our health. While you might think it’s just a “little stress,” it’s actually more than that. 

From bad skin to trouble sleeping, a weakened immune system, insomnia, and food intolerances, “a little stress” can, in fact, go a long way.

It’s time we learn practical stress management techniques that help us navigate our daily chaos. Dealing with stress helps us tackle the little everyday hurdles that could otherwise turn into mountains of pressure and overwhelm — making us feel like we’re drowning in quicksand.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how to manage stress the healthy way:



1. Seek a Work/Life Balance 


Why is dealing with stress such a struggle for most of us? We all encounter stress in our lives but it’s so hard sometimes to put the pieces together.

The main stress factor that can literally turn your life upside-down is a lack of or poorly proportioned work/life ratio. It can push you into a seemingly never-ending freefall through life and keep you in an ongoing state of overwhelm — that is if you don’t draw a line.

How is it that so many of us just can’t seem to get a good grip on our work/life balance?

If you have a high-demanding job, long work hours, or are plagued by financial burdens that require you to work multiple jobs, it’s going to be a struggle to remember to just live. 

A work/life balance, however, is so important because we want to actually be present for our kids and care for our elderly parents — and we have dreams. 

Remember those? Stuffed into the dustiest corner of your brain, they linger, waiting for the right time. But you can only unleash them if you find this coveted balance.

Find an arrangement with your employer — maybe start earlier in the morning, so you have more time with your family in the afternoon. Or maybe you can work remotely on some days instead of coming to the office. 

And don’t forget to leave your weekends open to recharge your battery! 

It’s time to go on that safari to Tanzania and learn rock climbing. You don’t need to give up on everything else because of your job. It’s time you started living.


2. Plan Ahead and Structure Your Days Efficiently


Sometimes stress just comes about as a result of poor planning. Ugh, we all know at least one person, who’s a natural at the disastrous not-planning-ahead. But dealing with stress requires some planning — I promise everyone can do it.

Structure your week out ahead of time, ideally on Sunday evenings. Pencil in any work-related events, family responsibilities, and kids’ activities. Make sure you have everything on your radar ahead of time, so there won’t be any surprises during the week.

Have to pick up little Josy from dance at 3 PM? Then plan to arrive 5 to 10 minutes early, just in case the construction on 11th Street is still ongoing and causing a traffic jam, yet again. 

If you shoot for 3 PM and your co-worker catches you on your way out with questions about project X, you’re going to be worried whether or not you’ll make it on time. Turning restlessly in your seat, panic building up inside and nervous sweat running down your forehead. And then you turn on 11th… Uh-oh.

Plan ahead and avoid all of this — the dread, the worry, the stress, the chaos, and the cold sweat. Take out your weekly planner and make sure you’re set up for a smooth week. You got this.

…I said take it out. Now.


3. Eat Foods that Fuel Success


What do foods have to do with stress? Good point. But the truth is, successful stress management requires a healthy and balanced diet.

Our adrenals are tiny glands, which sit on top of our kidneys and regulate our stress response. When our adrenals are under pressure, they have an increased requirement for certain nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, and potassium. It’s therefore important that we get more of these through our diet. 

You can also take supplements that help you maintain healthy levels of vitamins and minerals in your bloodstream and body. Whether you add an advanced multi-strain supplement or take extra vitamin C, supplements can fill in where your lifestyle falls short.

And eating a versatile mix of brightly colored fruits and vegetables is the best way to do this. Especially important are leafy green vegetables, so make sure you include at least 1-2 portions every day. 

Cortisol, which is our stress hormone, and blood glucose levels are intimately linked. When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to skip proper meals and instead crave sugary foods and refined carbohydrates. 

However, this can send our blood glucose on a crazy rollercoaster of peaks and troughs — which just makes it worse and releases more cortisone.

Avoiding sugary drinks and snacks and eating regular balanced meals, is therefore one of the best things you can do to see yourself through a stressful period. Make sure to incorporate complex carbohydrates and good-quality protein each time you eat.

Eating a healthy diet is like an ace up your sleeve — even if you’re not 100% sure how to manage stress, your dietary choices will make dealing with stress easier for you.


4. Get Enough Rest at Night


When we’re tired, our coping mechanisms are reduced, making already stressful situations significantly worse. And that’s how a small ant hill transforms into a steep mountain range in the middle of a thunderstorm — your perception (in a tired state) multiplying your stress.

Finding a way to manage your stress is, therefore, the better alternative. 

When you have a good night’s sleep, your memory is sharper and you’re able to focus better. Making decisions comes more easily and allows you to maintain your composure.

Ideally, you avoid using your phone, computer, or TV for at least one hour before bed. Consider using apps that filter blue light to reduce exposure at other times of the day. 

For deep sleep and adequate rest, make sure you’re not eating too late either and try getting into a healthy routine, including early meals and a regular bedtime.

Avoid scrolling through social media right before bed and just take some time to relax — read a book or indulge in a relaxing Epsom salt bath. There’s no better way to manage your stress than to unwind.



5. Unlock Your Endorphins through Exercise 


Despite feeling tired, try to stick to your exercise routine — after all, exercise is not just a way to tone your muscles but can also help you relieve stress. If you’ve not been successful at dealing with stress before, maybe exercise can be your way to manage stress.

However, over-exercising in times of high stress can do more harm than good. Physical exercise is yet another stress factor wearing down your body. It can, in fact, activate exactly the same physiological responses as psychological stress. 

During periods of stress, go easy on yourself. Gentle forms of exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, and yoga can be much more beneficial for you. Meditation can be particularly stress-relieving, as it helps you pivot your attention away from your busy life and onto your mind and self.

But there’s another reason why exercise can be helpful.When you exercise, your body releases endorphins — also referred to as the feel-good hormone. Endorphins help lower your stress levels, promote your well-being, and can improve your mood

Ready to try this stress management method? Get your bike out of the basement and let’s go!


6.Nope, You Can’t Be So Hard on Yourself


If you’re like most of us, you’re doing your job to the best of your abilities and you strive to be a good spouse and parent. You’re kind and you care about others. But how come most of us can’t show the same kindness to ourselves? Dealing with stress means dealing with yourself first.

Don’t beat yourself up over every little faux pas — a spelling mistake in your work presentation, the crusty baby food you found on your sweater on your way to work, and the sloppily cut veggies you rushed to get done for dinner. 

With so many stressors in your life, don’t get into the habit of adding to the pile. Let’s look at it from a different angle, shall we?

Your work presentation is done, your toddler is fed, and your family has a great home-cooked meal waiting on the table. Be proud of yourself. Pat yourself on the back. It’s hard to juggle work, family, and household chores. And you’re completely rocking it!

Treat yourself with love and kindness and you’ll understand how to manage your stress. Allow yourself room for “mistakes” — if you want to call them that. Nobody is perfect and we’re all just hustling about trying to do the best we can. 


7. Just Relax for a Change


When we’re stressed and worried, it can be difficult to switch off. While life can be busy, it’s important to set aside at least ten minutes each day to just breathe. Quieting your mind can significantly help you manage your stress levels.

Whether this means going for a walk in the park during your lunch break, taking a yoga class, or simply doing some sun salutations when you wake up in the morning. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but has tremendous benefits for your health.

Why not do something to relax your muscles and release all the built-up tension in your neck and shoulders? Try a massage or take a nice long bubble bath. Just stretch those aching muscles and focus on your breathing. Finding inner peace can help take you back to your baseline.

How to manage your stress all boils down to finding some time for yourself — a way to turn off the noise around you and recenter. Live life more intentionally and make some room for yourself to catch your breath. 


8. Avoid Temporary Escapes that Are Not Good for You


Stress can leave us feeling exhausted and in dire need to unwind. However, reaching for stimulants, such as caffeine or alcohol is not a good idea. While it might temporarily make dealing with stress more tolerable, it’s not a sustainable approach.

Caffeine can ramp up the production of your stress hormone cortisol, even if it’s been a while since you last drank some. Alcohol and certain drugs, on the other hand, can adversely affect your mood — interfering with neurotransmitters and reducing the absorption of important nutrients. 

Ironically, those nutrients are even more important in times of stress and overwhelm, so minimizing absorption will do more harm than good.

You should also avoid using smoking as a coping mechanism, even when it’s hard. Nicotine has the tendency to increase your heart rate and even your blood pressure. It’ll be much more difficult to find your inner calm when your heart is racing like that.

How do you manage your stress then?

Try a calming tea instead, like chamomile or lavender — they won’t just help you relax, they’re also good for your health. Eating magnesium-rich foods can also have a calming effect on you, so just try to incorporate some into your dinner routine.


How Are You Going to Manage Your Stress?


Dealing with stress can be a challenging thing to do — a skill urgently needed for your survival kit. But feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed periodically is part of life. So better equip yourself with some handy stress management tools and be prepared. 

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times — we’ve all been on this wacky roller coaster before and experienced the ups and downs of this ride called life. But at the end of the day, just focus on yourself and find inner peace. It’s time to turn off the noise and demands from the outside. 

We’re here to support you every step of the way. 

Want to stay in touch and learn about more tools for your survival kit? Sign up for our newsletter and we’ll keep you posted.

Bookmark and share...