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5 Easy Life Tweaks Guaranteed to Lower Your Stress Levels.

(Yes, even in a pandemic).

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Woman stretching in bed by window for Brenda Della Casa's article on Thrive Global

Spring always brings about the feeling of a fresh start and new beginnings, (which we love), but the reality is that many of us are still dealing with the stress of 2020 and the side-effects of a lingering pandemic which means we just don’t have the time, energy or resources to take on a total life overhaul right now.

That said, there are ways to begin to tweak your life into a new direction each offering near-instant benefits to body, mind, and soul. 

Read on to find out what they are.

1 | Develop A Healthy Morning Routine

Anyone who has ever opened their eyes first thing in the morning only to be suffocated by a mental avalanche knows that a whole day can be ruined by a disorganized mind. No fun. Avoid the early AM stress by planning ahead and setting the tone for a positive and productive day the night before.

Try this: Take a few moments before bed to write down all of the things you want to get done the following day. Then, place your clothes out just like you did back in your school days and set a large glass of water on your bedside table. As soon as you wake up, sit up and drink the water and say a prayer of gratitude where you show appreciation for at least 6 things in your life (or if you’re feeling extra committed, try journaling in the morning). Get up, wash your face, have a light and healthy breakfast (I love a smoothie), and think of a word that encompasses your intention for the day. It could be calmgraceful, or even boss. The point is to take control by experiencing a few moments of self-care and setting an intention anchor to rely on to bring you back to center when you need it.

2 | Give Yourself 30 Minutes

When you are taking care of a family, working full time, and/or dealing with one of the dozens of other responsibilities that come with life, you can’t always put yourself first. But not even placing yourself in the top 5 is going to have you going from 0-burnout in record speed. Instead of waiting until you’re physically and/or emotionally drained to be forced to pay attention to your health (hello, illness), commit to giving yourself 30 minutes a day to check in with yourself without distractions. This could be popping into the local salon for a manicure on a much-deserved but rarely taken lunchbreak or moving into a quiet space to close your eyes and focus on your breath, placing your hand on your heart, and paying close attention to what parts of your body are tight and what emotions you are feeling. The actions will change according to your daily needs, the point is to address them consistently.

3 | Disengage From People Who Make You Feel Bad About Yourself

Whether it’s a boss who constantly devalues you, a “friend” who makes you feel terrible, or a family member who doesn’t accept you for who you are, spending time and energy on toxic people is the equivalent of sipping poison every day. Guess what happens to you over time when you do that? your soul becomes sick. It doesn’t matter how strong you try to be, the dynamics of dealing with these kinds of people will inevitably wear you down and steal the joy from your life. Worse, they can also shorten your lifespan. Stop making excuses for bad behavior, unsubscribe and decline those Zoom invites STAT.

4 | Give The Energy You Wish To Receive

If you want to immediately change your life, change the energy you put into it. Starting today, try this: Smile and say good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to everyone you greet. Let the receptionist know you appreciate the work he or she is doing was and thank your partner for all of the support they have shown you and let them know how much it means to you. These tiny efforts work like a domino effect that will make an immediate (and noticeable) change in the way people view and interact with you. Remember, you set the tone for the energy you invite into your life simply by choosing what energy to infuse into it.

5 | If It Won’t Matter Tomorrow, Let It Go.

We don’t agree that something has to be valid five years before you can spend five min thinking about it, but how many times have you allowed slow walkers, moody coworkers, and noisy neighbors to throw you in an agitated state? Allowing every small setback to throw you into a cortisol-laden meltdown is going to derail your day, impact your relationships and impact your health. Is someone cutting you off really worth all of that stress?

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