Summer is supposed to be a sun-soaked, stress-free time of year, so why do you often feel burned-out by the end of it? Some of the biggest culprits are over commitment, over-the-top travel plans, and not taking proper care of yourself. Read on to learn a few ways to reduce your stress and relax!
- Know when to say no
There is no shortage of fun activities this time of year, but learning to not overbook yourself or your family is one key to enjoying yourself. Saying no to invitations leaves you with more free time to enjoy summer at a pleasant pace. Kids’ activities also abound during the summer, and it’s easy to feel like you must keep your kiddos busy nonstop. Finding the balance between overbooked and climbing the walls is the first step to reducing your stress .
- Try a staycation instead
Vacations are supposed to be fun and relaxing, but often the planning of the trip and workplace deadlines before your departure leave you anxious and stressed. Consider a staycation instead and soak up the local scene without all the planning hassles and budget-busting choices. Bonus: no airfare means you can splurge on the fancy restaurant you’ve been wanting to try!
- Soak up the shuteye
Are you getting the recommended seve to eight hours of good-quality sleep each night? If not, your lack of zzz’s may be the culprit for lingering malaise. “Make it a point to turn off the TV and put down your cell phone an hour before bedtime to help you get to sleep and stay asleep,” says Roxana Cham, MD, board certified family medicine physician at Methodist Family Health Center Firewheel . Experts now concur that a bedtime snack with a small amount of complex carbs (such as plain popcorn, wheat bread, or fruit) can aide in a good night’s sleep. Overlooked culprits that may be ruining your rest? Unsupportive pillows and too much light in your bedroom.
- Take time just for you
Women tend to put others before themselves and overlook their own needs. When these needs go unmet, stress and anxiety build up. It’s been said that the best caregivers know when and how to take care of themselves, so get to it ladies! One way to put yourself first – exercise.
“Getting fit not only tones your body, it improves your mental outlook as well. Try to find an activity that not only suits your goals, but also excites you to participate in,” suggests Ginnie Emmott, supervisor of the Folsom Fitness and Rehabilitation Center at Methodist Dallas. “Try a class that meets regularly to help you get into a routine and stay accountable.”
As always, the other prong to feeling good is eating well. Make a commitment to selecting healthy snacks and sensible meals. There is power in taking control of your diet, so seize this opportunity to be in charge of your health and your mood.
Now, it’s time to get pampered! Make it a priority to find the time to enjoy a nice bath or schedule that massage or pedicure that you’ve been putting off. Indulging every now and again is the key to keeping stress levels in check and enjoying yourself this summer.
- Find positive outlets for stress
To be the best well-woman you can be, figuring out ways to de-stress is paramount. Sunshine and fresh air help you decompress, clear your head and recharge. Whether at the office or home with the family, step outside for a walk in the sun to feel better.
Need another idea? Daily meditation – even just five minutes – can make a huge difference in your overall stress levels. Start with yoga breathing as a gateway into meditation. It’s a practice, so the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Once you’ve zeroed in on the stress-reducing outlets that work for you, spend some time reflecting on your positive-thinking skills. Stressful situations cause your mind to weaken, and your usual optimism can quickly turn into a playground of negative and distracting thoughts, that amplify your stress-level and perpetuate the cycle. Try to identify go-to strategies to stop the cycle, such as closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, counting, or thinking of things you are grateful for.