Your Stress Busting Checklist

Did you know that 1 in 6 Americans are on some form of either anti-depressant or anti-anxiety med? 

There’s no shame in this game. I simply want to point out that stress and anxiety is becoming an epidemic in this country. The enormity of it is something that we are not talking enough about. Too many people are suffering from mental and emotional dis-ease. And like any dis-ease, we need to look for the root causes and treat them with a holistic approach, rather than just treating the symptoms.

*This blog is addressing the average person that feels stressed, feels anxious and/or experiences occasional depression. AKA, most of us. I’m not addressing people with mental health disorders who should seek professional help.

The root cause of stress and anxiety differs from person to person and I encourage everyone to identify what in their life is causing the most stress and address it accordingly. But here are just 7 (of many) quick, easy ways that I personally use to reduce stress, overwhelm and anxiety in my own life as well as help my clients with.

#1 Read a few pages of an inspiring book. My favorite summer read was Untethered by Michael Singer and I just picked up, Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by Vishen Lakhiani. I’m a total self-development junkie and reading books like this help me stay focused on the bigger picture.

#2 Use essential oils. I use lavender essential oil when I’m feeling overwhelmed. You can rub into your temples and on your wrists and take some big inhales on the go and at the office. At home, you can invest in a diffuser to fill up your room with these relaxing scents.

#3 Back off on the caffeine. Too much caffeine can make anxiety worse. That amount differs for everyone but in general 1-2 cups of coffee is plenty. Sodas and diet sodas are pure garbage and energy drinks are poison. If you’re looking for a gentle buzz in the afternoon, switch to green tea or a turmeric latte.

#4 Lay off the sweets. Sugar is the biggest culprit of heightening depression, anxiety and just feeling like overall crap. Which is interesting, because it’s probably one of the first things we turn to to feel better (insert donut, sweetened coffee drink, chocolate treat here). Sugar gives us the initial high we are searching for, but sends our blood sugar and insulin on a wild roller coaster ride, leaving us in the dumps a couple of hours later. It also messes with our gut bacteria and feeds the nasty guys which get in the way of our serotonin (happy chemical) receptors. About 95% of the body’s serotonin is found in the bowel, which goes to show how closely what we feed ourselves directly correlates to our mental and emotional wellbeing.

#5 Get outside and sweat. The combination of being in nature and getting the heart rate up is basically a super power AND free. When I’m in overwhelm, sometimes, I just lace up my sneakers and go walk down to the ocean.

#6 Stop, drop and meditate. You don’t have to only meditate in the morning. You can stop at any point during the day and squeeze in a quickie. Focus on your breath for a few minutes or use an app like Insight Timer (free) and choose a guided meditation to help you relax and stay grounded.

#7 Invest in a coach. Even coaches (like me) have coaches. It’s definitely a more costly alternative to the above practices, but the outcomes can be life-changing. A good coach, helps you see your blind spots and holds you accountable. A great coach, will help you shift your mindset, which can help reduce stress and anxiety and help you feel unstoppable! If good old cognitive behavioral therapy is more your speed, then go for that! Talk therapy helps so many people with their mental wellbeing and your health insurance may just cover some of it!

Tell me: What’s on your stress-busting checklist that isn’t mentioned here?

PS. if you’re looking for a health and empowerment coach and would like to know how I work with clients, feel free to reach out here to schedule a free conversation with me.