healing foundations

Stress Management

Making Stress Management Easier

Kristina Wong, WellTheory Health Coach

Making Stress Management Easier

One of the main reasons people don’t follow through with stress management practices is that they feel they are too difficult to maintain. We might feel the practices take too much time, or that we have to utilize valuable brain power to decide on a stress management practice in the moment.

Stress management practices don’t have to feel like they’re taking away from the flow of daily life. There are many ways to weave these practices seamlessly into your daily routine.

  • Do a 5-minute mindfulness meditation in the car on the way to work.
  • Practice mindfulness at bedtime with kids OR do a meditation with them! It will help them wind down for sleep as well.
  • Take a walk on a lunch break.
  • Give yourself a quick hand massage.
  • Call a friend on your car ride.
  • Listen to a favorite song in the car or on a lunch break.
  • Drink your morning beverage with mindfulness (observing how it tastes, slowing down to notice how your body feels as you drink it).
  • Practice deep breathing throughout the day. Set alarms to remind you to do this a few times per day.
  • Take a few minutes to put post-it notes around your workspace with positive affirmations. They then become the gift that keeps on giving!

After reading this list, can you see how stress management might fit easily into your daily life? Which of the choices above stand out to you the most? Maybe you’re already getting some ideas on how to make managing stress feel easier as you factor it into your daily routine.

In moments of stress, it can be nearly impossible to make a decision on what you think will be helpful. Another way to make stress management easier is to take a moment at the beginning of each day to decide which practice you are going to utilize if something stressful arises. If you want to completely take the decision-making out of the process, you could write down a few stress management options and put them each on a piece of paper in a jar. Pick a practice out of the jar each morning and you’re ready for whatever the day may bring!

We’ve already chosen a stress management technique for you to practice this week to make things a little easier.

Meditation Activity

Our stress reduction activity for the week is meditation. For most of us, anxiety and stress arise when we are thinking about the future or the past, rather than living in the present moment. Perhaps we’re worried about a presentation coming up next week, or we’re ruminating on a conversation we had earlier this week that didn’t go as expected. Meditation helps ground us in the present and allow us to let go of the rest. There are different forms of meditation and you may find that one resonates with you more than the others.

One of the simplest ways to weave meditation into daily life is to practice mindfulness meditation. Even if you’re being pulled in a million directions, you can still practice experiencing this one moment fully without thinking about the next thing on the to-do list.

Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that focuses on staying within the present moment. Many guided meditations use this type of technique. You may become extra aware of your surroundings, the sounds, the smells, or the feeling in your body. The wonderful thing about mindfulness is that it can be done anywhere, for any large or small period of time. If you notice your mind wanders at first, that’s okay! An important thing to note with meditation is that the more you practice it, the easier it becomes to utilize in everyday life. So while it’s fantastic to practice mindfulness throughout your day, it becomes an even stronger tool the more you set aside dedicated time to train your brain.

Apps for mindfulness meditation:

Take Action

Take a look at your daily routine. Where can you add a 5-minute meditation to an activity you already do? This could look like:

  • listening to a short meditation as you’re lying in bed falling asleep
  • doing a guided meditation together with your child as you put them to sleep
  • meditating at the start or end of your lunch break from work

At the end of the week you can reflect on its usefulness and how it made you feel. You might decide you love it or you may decide it isn’t for you — either way is fine! We just ask that you give it 100% effort for this one week, so you can truly see how meditation fits into your daily life and decide whether or not you find it helpful.

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