Your head hurts, your shoulders are tensed up and your neck is stiff. Does this sound familiar? Want some simple rituals to overcome stress?
These can all be factors that are related to your body’s stress. Have you ever heard of the term “fight or flight” response? If you have, you know that this is how your body responds to a traumatic event. Say like running from a bear, or getting stung by a bee. Your heart rate increases and your breathing speeds up. The hormones in our body, adrenaline and cortisol amp up and create these effects body wide effects.
Now imagine, that you’re not running from a bear. But instead, you haven’t gotten enough sleep, you start working from home (no personal space with children), you’re trying to home school and keep the kids busy, and oh yeah there’s a major global pandemic occurring. All the while you’re trying not to catch the COVID-19 by going to the grocery store. Sound more familiar?
Your body is responding to stress.
When stress levels rise in our bodies, we start to see negative effects. Like tension headaches or neck pains.
Now stress is going to happen no matter what. But it’s how we choose how to react to it, that makes the difference. Here are some rituals that can help relieve the external stressors in our lives.
Having a morning routine.
Wake up at the same time everyday and practice going through a morning routine. Whether that’s waking up and making your bed and getting dressed. Or maybe taking a shower and having hot cup of coffee. It looks different for different people, but having a routine can set the right intention for the day.
Mini-Rituals throughout the day
Rituals help us reach a relaxed state faster. Throughout the work day take a break. A quick 15-minute walk can help us refocus and gain energy. If you don’t have any space to walk, go outside and sit on your porch and enjoy the sunshine. You’ll get all the Vitamin D you need, and a little reboot to continue throughout your day. Maybe your ritual is a hot cup of tea in the afternoon. Or maybe playing fetch with the dog at the park.
Listening to Music
Did you know that certain frequencies can help relax our minds and bodies? Put on your favorite radio station while you work. Or listen to a catchy song while making dinner. Music can put us into a meditative state, that relives tension in our bodies.
Move your body!
Move. Simple as that. It can be a walk, a run, a HIIT workout, yoga, whatever! Let the steam off and invigorate your muscles. Movement sends “happy endorphins” to our brain. It reconnects us to our breath and our mind. Therefore, easing stress.
Enjoy a healthy snack
Snacking is good. Yes, I said it. Snacking is GOOD. But reach for an apple and peanut butter over a bag of chips. Try an alleviate hunger cues by adding in more snacks with fiber and protein. These types of snacks make us feel fuller and satisfied for longer.
Get in touch with your stress
Do you ever feel stress coming on? Like it’s building up inside you? The best thing you can do is listen to your body and acknowledge it. What does your body need in that moment? Sometimes standing with your feet firmly on the ground, and tapping your chest, stomach and head is helpful. The vibrational movements take our mind on the stress and create stability.
Literally breathe. In and out. Until you feel yourself calm down. It sounds so simple, but yet it is so powerful. Put your hands over your chest and your stomach and slowly breath. Until you feel relaxed. It’ll help, I promise.
Write your stress away
Writing it all out sometimes makes the problem easier. Free-write your feelings, your worries, your goals etc. Just 5 minutes of free writing can clear your head and help relax you.
These are just suggestions, but remember to always do what works best for you.