Manage Your Mornings
Our mornings play a critical role in how we set the tone for the day. But too often, we sabotage our mornings before we even get out of bed because the first thing we do when we open our eyes is turn off our alarm and start scrolling on social media. With this routine, we set ourselves up for failure because our brain is immediately trying to process information without a proper transition, which can naturally cause us stress. Reading about a devastating world event, seeing a picture of an ex, or focusing on a hateful comment left on a post can immediately cause us stress and alter our morning before our day even begins.
One positive way to start your morning is to wake up and find a quiet place where you can sit still and meditate for 10 minutes. This time will allow you to be present with yourself and disconnect before you give yourself to the world. Meditation has been proven to help reduce stress, and there’s no wrong way to meditate, you can simply sit still in a quiet place or play soft music while you speak affirmations to yourself.
The goal is to ease your way into the day without jumping straight into work emails or social media that will naturally get your full attention throughout the day anyway. How you start your morning plays a key role in your stress levels throughout the day, so try switching things around to get the most from your mornings.
Thanks to TV, podcasts, and social media, we all know that information travels at the speed of light! Every breaking news update is one alert away for us to discover. It’s a great thing to be in the know because we can use this information to be aware of and avoid certain places or situations, but we also need to know that this can cause us stress!
This situation has been a challenge for me because I love to be updated on what’s going on, however, I don’t want to be stressed out because I’m getting every news alert every 15 minutes. So, now instead of subscribing to the seven podcasts where I get my information, I’ve narrowed it down to two. Instead of browsing different social media platforms for updates from friends and family I’ve narrowed it down to just one.
Not only have I started filtering where I get my news and how I stay up to date with friends, I’ve also started giving myself predetermined times to check these things so that I’m not mindlessly scrolling throughout the day. This has limited how much information I receive without giving me the overwhelming feeling of being stressed from alerts and notifications. This has been the toughest challenge yet, and I frequently fail, but when I do stay the course, I can say it has helped my stress tremendously!
Socialize with friends and colleagues
Humans are social beings, but COVID has disrupted that social aspect as we were all in isolation. At first, being in isolation for some felt good, especially if they were overbooked and overworked. But after a while, being in isolation can cause stress, because we’re no longer social in the way we once were. Living in a pandemic is stressful enough, but not being able to be social is vitally important because having conversations and interactions can help us relieve stress naturally.
When we have conversations with friends and family, we’re able to say out loud what we’re feeling in a safe space, we have the ability to process our own feelings in real-time. When we keep those feelings and micro-aggressions to ourselves, they will naturally manifest in our minds and cause stress on the job, at home, or in our relationships. Being social will look different for everybody, and like meditation, there’s no wrong way to do it. With some States rolling back Covid regulations, some people may feel comfortable meeting and talking at a coffee shop, while others may prefer Zoom or FaceTime. No matter how you do it, having conversations that can help identify stressors so that you can manage them in a healthy way is key.
I hope these tips will give you some options on how to manage your stress. Remember stress is unavoidable, and it’s part of life. But how we deal with it matters.