Five Easy Ways to Reduce Stress

Worrying is one of my hobbies. I say it as a joke, but the truth is, worrying all the time can really wear you down. When I’m not worrying about the big things, like my family, my 14-year-old car, and my finances (what there are of them), I find smaller things to worry about, like overdue library books and going to the dentist. But over the years, I’ve found simple ways to reduce the stress of everyday life:

Set your priorities. Take care of the most important things first, and the load will     
  lighten as you go. Each item on the list can also be broken down into prioritized
  sections: are your kids running around naked? Okay, you might want to do the
  laundry ASAP. But you don’t have to fold it right away.

Take a walk. This simple, effective and safe method of exercise can do wonders in 
  as little as 15 minutes. Just changing your surroundings, seeing things that you
  probably missed while you were driving, and getting some fresh air, will—at the 
  very least—give you something else to think about.

Wake up early. Getting up 30 minutes before the rest of your household can give
  you enough time to clear away the fog of sleep, be the first one in the bathroom,   
  and enjoy a quiet cup of coffee.

Read a book. First, unplug: turn off your phone, shut off the TV, and walk away 
  from your computer. And in this strange and peaceful world, find a comfortable 
  spot, and allow yourself to become lost in a story that brings you to a different
  time and place.

Vent—on paper. The physical act of writing down your thoughts, whether in a 
  journal or on the back of an envelope, has long been known to have therapeutic
  qualities. Whether it forces your mind to think logically and solve the problem, or
  just serves as a release doesn’t matter. The act of writing calms your mind.

What strategies have you developed to help reduce your stress?


Photo: David Pritchard