Tackle stress first thing in the morning
On our retreats, we do yoga and meditation in the morning to awaken our minds, bodies and souls, and to get prepared for the day. That said, it could be anything that relaxes you that relieves stress—walking, running, boxing or other forms of exercise are especially helpful. Ultimately, it just has to be something that you really enjoy doing. Think of this daily ritual as a treat you’re giving yourself.
Meditation will help you react to stress in a better way. It gives you the clarity to assess the stressors in your life, welcome them and learn how to cope with them. You can be a problem-solver and think about the situation clearly instead of freaking out about it. It really changes the way your mind reacts to things, which I think is really beneficial for a lot of people. Meditation often feels unapproachable, so I tell my clients to start with three minutes and see how it goes. Try guided meditation (search “guided meditation” on YouTube) in the beginning to guide your mind and keep outside thoughts quiet.
Step away for lunch
A lot of my clients have busy schedules, and they often eat at or near their desks. Take 20 minutes—get up from your desk, don’t look at your phone and just relax. When you’re consciously eating and chewing, you’ll digest your food better and give your brain the break it needs. You’ll come back to your desk with a clearer, more focused mind.
Use breathing exercises
When you become overwhelmed with a long to-do list, pressure from colleagues or pressure from yourself, recognize it and take a moment to do simple breathing exercises. Spend one or two minutes breathing deeply without looking at your computer, and then go back to your work. Often, when we’re sitting at our desks, we tense up without even realizing it. It’s important to recenter ourselves and relax our bodies so we can handle our workloads efficiently.
Get a massage to loosen and care for your body, or a facial. Having a treat or fun activity—like a weekly dinner with friends—scheduled gives you a goal to move towards, too. Give back to your body and soul, and reward yourself for all that you’re doing in life.