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10 TIPS FOR STRESS & ANXIETY

My cottage is a very peaceful place for me to relax, create and spend time with my dog Bowie.
Life can get hectic, it can get downright crazy and for all of us there are ups and downs.  As someone that has dealt with general stress and anxiety and has worn themselves thin by being that person on the go, I have 10 suggestions that have really helped me find a better sense of calm and inner peace.  You may have heard some of these before but I am telling you that they have really worked for me.

1.  EXERCISE
Yes, yes, we have all heard that this helps with basically EVERYTHING in life...and that is because IT DOES!  Find something that you actually enjoy to do.  I love to run and it makes me feel strong and happy from the "runners high" that I get every time.  I ran my first half marathon a couple of years ago and am training to run a full one in the fall.  Find out what works for you.  Do you like swimming?  Barre?  Spinning?  It can be hard to start but as you become stronger and start feeling the positive benefits believe me it gets addictive!

2.  GO TO BED EARLY
Ok, I know this doesn't always happen.  For someone like me who was attending a lot of social functions I have found it hard in the past to stick to a "normal" sleep schedule.  That's why recently I have decided to take more me time outside of social engagements to focus on my personal health.  I am naturally an early riser but if I don't get enough sleep it messes up everything for me and I feel moody and off balance.  Lately I go to bed before 11 and get 7-8 hours sleep as recommended by my physician.  Also, the earlier you wake up the more you can get done for the day...BONUS!

3.  GO OUTSIDE
Go for a walk, go for a hike, have a picnic in the park, take a walk on the beach and get some fresh air.  For me, spending time by bodies of water is especially calming.  I love being by the lake or ocean with a book and enjoying the breeze and watching the sailboats.  It may sound cheesy, but it truly gives me an overwhelming sense of calm.

4.  MEDITATE
My sister told me about guided meditations recently and I have found them to be very helpful.  I listen to them on Spotify (just search 'guided meditation').  There are meditations for so many different things, try one that works for you!  I have tried everything from meditations for a better sleep to meditations about letting go.  It has helped me get into a more positive space by taking that time to clear my mind each day.

5.  SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE ENERGY
Do you have someone or something in your life that is bringing you down?  Distance yourself or let it go.  It may sound harsh but we really are a product of who and what we surround ourselves with.  As I get older I am realizing what contributes to my well being.  You are in control of your destiny and it is not selfish to put yourself and your happiness first.  If you are happy you will see a positive reaction from the people around you and a difference in the way you pursue your goals and live your life.

6.  CREATE
Is there something that you've always wanted to do in the creative spectrum?  Give it a try, what do you have to lose?  Pick up an instrument, take a pottery class, paint in a space that has good energy.  Focusing on creating something is good for your brain and your soul.  

7.  SELF ACCEPTANCE
Ok, this isn't something that you can do overnight and it is something that many struggle with, including myself.  What are your positive attributes?  What positive changes would you like to make?  How can you be a better you?  Sometimes, depending on what we are going through in our lives, it is hard to recognize our positive attributes and what makes us so amazing.  It can be done!  Take some time to do things by yourself when you can.  Something as small as going to a movie or having lunch alone or as big as traveling solo can give you some self perspective.

8.  DIET
Everyone is different and has different needs when it comes to diet.  I find for myself, as a rule, I like to eat small meals every 3 houre.  These meals should be balanced to keep me from getting hungry and moody especially in the afternoon when I get cravings.  Sweet tooth?  Snack on nonfat greek yoghurt with berries, walnuts and agave.  Crave savoury?  Try sliced cucumber with homemade hummus or air popped popcorn with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.  Click HERE for a list of foods known to help with stress.

9.  TREAT YOURSELF
Yes hunny, you heard me, it's all about self love!  Get that massage! Get your hair and nails done!  Do a staycation or get that cute dress and shoes that you've been eyeing online!  Take that trip that you've been talking about forever!  You are allowed to spoil yourself once in a while so do it.

10.  MOVE TOWARD THE FUTURE BUT CHERISH THE PAST
Think back to when you were a child.  What did you like to do?  What made you happy?  Sometimes revisiting good memories garners a very positive response for me.  I like to look through old photos, watch a movie I used to love or listen to music that I used to play with my friends.  Letting go of negative memories and keeping the good ones close to our heart is healthy.  Though I believe that moving forward is always necessary, thinking about the good times is good for the soul.

Let me know the ways that you find calm on a day-to-day basis in the comments below.


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