Finding Peace in Simplicity: Four Simple Tips to Restore During Stressful Times

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If you’re surrounded by uncertainty and draining stressful situations, this article is intended to help navigate while maintaining your sense of peace.

Do you know that the impact of stress is highly dependent on your perception of its outcome? Studies show that the power is yours to work through stress without letting it derail you.

So, why does stress hold so much power over many? Our stress response in the body is meant to be short-term. In prolonged conditions, your body experiences increases with levels of anxiety, inflammatory conditions, and hormonal imbalance. During these periods, it becomes imperative for your body to recover. Follow these tips to help bring serenity back into your life!

Fresh Air

Stagnant air reduces your productivity, a major contributing factor to ongoing stress. A study published by Harvard Business Review found that, “breathing better air led to significantly better decision-making performance.” A simple solution is to make sure you keep air circulating around you. Keep your office door open or get a fan. Also, make sure you get up and walk around from whatever you are doing. The best part?

Stagnant air reduces your productivity, a major contributing factor to ongoing stress. A study published by Harvard Business Review found that, “breathing better air led to significantly better decision-making performance.” A simple solution is to make sure you keep air circulating around you. Keep your office door open or get a fan. Also, make sure you get up and walk around from whatever you are doing. The best part?

Fresh air has zero adverse side effects like coffee or energy drinks so enjoy the boost without the crash.

Whenever possible, pair movement and fresh air together for optimal benefits. Don’t worry about counting steps or calories. Instead, just let yourself breathe and listen to the sounds of nature. The trifecta of leaving technology behind, getting fresh air, and incorporating movement is sure to help you reset from stress.

Water

With a simple mindset shift, you can turn bath time into me time. Next time you shower, think to yourself what would make it more enjoyable. Music? Fresh-smelling soaps or oils? If possible, consider letting others know you are taking some personal, uninterrupted time. If you’d like an invigorating finish, end your shower with cold water. Simply turn the dial and stay in the cool stream for as long as you can. This will stimulate your vagus nerve, keeping it strong can reduce inflammation, anxiety, gut problems, and depression.

Baths are also a great option for relaxation. A survey of bathing practices in Japan revealed that 80% of participants enjoyed bathing (either in a bathtub or shower) and more than 80% reported sensations or feelings of warmth, relaxation, relief from fatigue, and refreshment after immersion bathing. You can also elevate your bath with the addition of Epsom salts. Epsom salts are available at most pharmacies or grocery stores. Because Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, they make baths ultra-calm and relaxing. Just add 2-3 cups to your bath and enjoy the benefits!

Laughter

You’ve heard the phrase ‘laughter is the best medicine,’ but did you know there’s some truth to the old adage? You might not be surprised to learn that playfulness and giggles are important for our wellness, both psychologically and physically. The benefits even extend to our immune system. When you’re stressed, it’s natural to feel a little less carefree than you typically might—but it’s important to make an effort to be intentional about laughter and playfulness during times when things feel heavy.

Keep it simple by trying one of these ideas:

  • Listen to a funny podcast
  • Stream a re-run of your favorite sitcom
  • Text or call a friend and reminisce over a funny memory
  • Watch home videos that make you smile

“Play keeps you functional when under stress, refreshes your mind and body, encourages teamwork, increases energy and prevents burnout, triggers creativity and innovation, and helps you see problems in new ways.”

– The Benefits of Play for Adults

Permission

Sometimes, we are the ones standing in our way. Think about it like this: if a friend told you they need a break, some fresh air, exercise, or a good laugh—you would encourage him or her to do it! You might even follow up with this friend and check in to see if they’re feeling better. We often don’t treat ourselves with the same respect, care, and follow through as we do for others. Thinking about your needs with the same care you extend to others can provide a powerful shift in how you meet them.

It’s understandable that we don’t always know how to give ourselves permission. As children, the structure of our lives depends on rules, approval and permission to do just about anything. We are hardwired to seek out permission before we can consider making what we want or need a priority. You deserve to be on your own to-do list! Don’t let self-care become a chore, but prioritizing time to restore is important to your wellbeing. Whatever you do to fill your cup should bring you joy and happiness, if it doesn’t—give yourself permission to find a new source of comfort. If you find it difficult to prioritize self-care, accountability is key. Try setting time aside for yourself and make a promise to yourself to follow through.

Need more ideas on how to hold yourself accountable?

  • Tell a friend about one thing you want to do every week to take care of yourself
  • Walk and talk with a friend while you get fresh air together
  • Plan a relaxing date night with your partner
  • Set an alarm to get yourself moving throughout the day
  • Buy a bag of Epsom salts for yourself and a friend, see who can finish it first
  • Create a group chat with friends and have a funny gif contest

Next steps? Choose one way you want to explore resetting from stress. Try it out and reflect on how it worked.

Life is a journey of discovery, so work to try something else if your first attempt didn’t stick. Eventually you will discover what meaningful stress reduction looks like for you and you will create your own personal tool kit of best practices to rely on when things feel intense. This will make you more resilient and allow you to thrive in any circumstance!

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