In Blog 271 I talked about Time to work on me now. In this blog I wanted to talk about Relieving Stress in your Life
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the most common sources of stress in the USA are financial worries, work, and the current political climate. These factors have taken a toll on people’s mental health, with stress leading to anxiety, depression, and physical illnesses. In fact, stress has been linked to heart disease, obesity, and autoimmune disorders. What’s more, a lack of emotional support and community connectedness has also contributed to the rise of stress levels in America.
Among different age groups, the millennials are the most stressed-out population, with 64% reporting excessive stress levels in 2020. Gen Xers are not far behind, with 62% experiencing stress due to money, work, and family responsibilities. Interestingly, older Americans are the least stressed-out, with only 33% reporting stress levels higher than average. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the stress landscape, affecting people of all ages, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
The workplace is one of the most significant stressors for Americans, with 65% of workers citing work as the primary source of stress. Work-induced stress often leads to burnout, a state of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Burnout reduces job productivity, increases absenteeism, and can harm physical health. However, only 43% of people report that their employers offer any kind of workplace stress management program.
While stress can be debilitating, many Americans fail to seek help due to the stigma around mental health issues. Only 42% of Americans who report stress seek professional help or use stress-management techniques. This highlights the need for greater awareness and access to resources such as counseling, mindfulness training, or behavioral therapy.
Despite the staggering statistics on stress in the U.S., there are plenty of ways to stay relaxed and happy! Whether it’s stepping back from certain situations or engaging in activities that make you feel good, any one of these tips can help reduce stress levels and put a smile on your face. I myself have been doing a lot of self-reflection and trying to reduce my stress. So next time life gets overwhelming, try one (or more!) of these ideas and see how much better you’ll feel!
By following these easy steps, I took my own personal actions to reduce stress and enjoy my life a little bit more. After all, life is too short not to be savored! Maybe these can work for you too!
- Not only will physical activity help boost endorphins, it will also help release tension from your body and mind. Whether you opt for something vigorous like running or something more laid back like yoga, just make sure you’re doing some kind of physical activity every day. Exercise is a great way to manage stress in your life. Not only does regular physical activity releases endorphins which will make you feel good, but exercise can also help clear the mind by providing an outlet for built up energy while also helping provide focus when needed. Even if it’s just a short walk around the block or a few minutes of yoga in the morning, regular exercise will help you stay relaxed and stress-free. I have 3 lb. dumbbells in my office and if I get too stressed out, I’ll do a quick 10 minute exercise to re-boot myself
- Taking the time to sit quietly and focus on calming your thoughts can be incredibly beneficial for reducing stress. Doing this daily can even help improve mental clarity, reduce anxiety, and increase self-awareness. Mindfulness activities such as meditation offer great relief from stress. Not only are they good for your physical health but they’re also great for calming the mind and helping us become more aware of our emotions. Taking even just a few minutes out of your day to practice breathing exercises can do wonders! I’ve found find the right person to listen to ids key here as well. I wasn’t big on meditation but since I’ve found a few favorites through the Peloton app it’s worked pretty well for me.
- Focusing on hobbies that you enjoy such as playing music, gardening, drawing, writing, or organizing photos can be an incredible way to take your mind off daily worries and just enjoy being in the present moment. Doing activities like these can also boost creativity! I started a photo project, organizing all my photos/slides I had in boxes by year (or my best guess) This morphed into another hobby or project -Genealogy. I had started a family history project many years ago but when my dad passed away in 2015 it let the wind out of my sails. Fast forward to today my daughter was asking me about our family history so I have a new passion to complete this for her.
- Going outdoors for a hike or taking a stroll around the block can do wonders for clearing out the cobwebs in your head while also soaking up some nourishing Vitamin D from the sun! Plus, it helps connect us to nature which has been proven to be beneficial for mental health overall. Taking time to reconnect with nature can help us feel more grounded and relaxed. Soaking up sunshine, taking a stroll in the park, or going for a hike can all be great ways to reduce stress and get back in touch with our environment. I love working in my Rose Garden or messing around with the herbs and veggies I grow. Of course, a nice little walk with Teddy is always fun too.
Spend Time with Pets
- Studies show that interacting with animals can reduce stress levels significantly. Take some time out of your day to hang out with furry friends, whether it’s cuddling up to your pet or visiting an animal shelter for some puppy love. There’s nothing quite like spending quality time with animals to make even the most stressful situations much more manageable. Teddy loves playing catch I can squeak one of his favorite balls and it’s on. He was the inspiration to create my Doggy Daddy site which has also helped in stress relief by writing blogs for pet owners or creating product that make people smile.
Connect with Others
- Having meaningful conversations or engaging activities with friends or family members is another excellent way to reduce stress levels while also building relationships at the same time! Being open about how you’re feeling as well as talking through any issues with someone close by can provide a major sense of relief (plus hearing advice from someone else may just give you newfound clarity). It’s always a good idea to find someone who can listen to what you have going on in your life. Talking about whatever is stressing you out can often help put things into perspective and make it easier for you to find solutions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed; having another person who cares can mean all the difference when trying to reduce stress levels. I have my “go to people” I usually call when I need to connect with a human.
Unplug from Technology
- It might sound counterintuitive but disconnecting from all screens for even an hour each day (including phones!) can be extremely helpful in diffusing any pent-up energy and disassociating yourself from a stressful environment. Spending time in nature or engaging in activities that don’t require any digital devices such as reading, cooking, and painting can help you relax and enjoy life without the distraction of boss emails and notifications
Find Your Passion
- Focusing on something other than stress-inducing tasks can be an excellent way to bring more joy into your life while also reducing anxiety levels. Whether it’s taking up a new hobby, exploring a different career path, or learning a new skill – finding something that truly excites and motivates you can make all the difference when it comes to managing stress daily. Take some time to think about what kind of activities spark passion within you and give them a try. Be sure to give yourself breaks and time for self-care – the happier you are, the more stress-free your life will be!
Get Enough Sleep
- Getting enough sleep is essential for keeping us in a happy and healthy mindset. When we don’t get enough rest, our bodies become more prone to stress due to fatigue and the inability to effectively cope with life’s challenges. Aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night by going to bed at a reasonable time and waking up early enough to feel refreshed throughout the day. I had a problem sleeping after I lost my job, so I had to find out why that was happening. I would often replay the situation before bedtime or read things associated with this and found by doing other things before bedtime really helps. Going to a happy place helps too. For me it’s our backyard. Even around midnight you can hear the birds chirping and insects singing. With our incredible “Zen backyard” it helps calm me before I actually call it a day. Teddy likes going back there too so it makes us both happy.
Laugh Out Loud
- Laughter really is one of the best ways to relieve stress in your life. Not only does it help you relax and enjoy the moment, it can also boost your mood. Whether that’s watching a comedy film or TV show, reading a funny book, or just spending time with people who make you laugh – laughter has been proven to reduce stress levels and leave you feeling happier afterward! Every time I watch “Pink Panther 4” or even think about the movie, I can visualize my dad laughing really hard and that also puts a smile on my face. I’m sure I got my sense of humor from him.
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…just sharing my story and tips from my footwear career.
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