Here are five things to do differently at least on occasion to decrease your stress.
- Read a book. No a real book with pages you turn. No bells or vibrates to distract you. For extra credit: read your book in bed, under a special blanket, with a cup of tea.
- Talk to someone you love on the phone. No texting. Hearing each others voices can decrease cortisol which is increased with stress. Extra credit: Talk in person, touch each other. This increases oxytocin which decreases cortisol, blood pressure, and stress. OMG put your phone down.
- Go get your own cup of coffee or soda. Find excuses to get up and move. Take the stairs. Get off the bus before your stop. Extra credit: Turn on the music and dance in the living room. This is my new nightly routine. I dance to three songs after dinner every night.
- Think about all the stuff that went right today. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. I give you permission to blow your own horn! Extra credit: Catch your kids or spouse doing something right today. Tell them about it.
- Unwind before bed. Turn down the lights. Turn off devices. Listen to soothing music. Meditate. Tune out before bed. You will sleep better and be less stressed. Extra credit: Start making yourself a priority. Make your rest more important than one episode of your favorite show.