Five Ways to De-Stress (that actually work)

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This morning has been a rough one so far. It's not even 9 am and I already want a nap. It's one of those mornings where I've been spit up on one too many times to be cute and have snapped "no", "stop",  and "don't" at my toddler more times than I'd like to admit. AJ has been working extra long days this weekend (he works Saturday-Monday...) and the days are long at home by myself with the babies. I have a to-do list as long as my kitchen table and I'll be lucky to cross one thing off it today. And we are out of coffee. Anyone else feeling the "monday-ness" of today?

It's a new week which means new to-do lists (or maybe the same list you've been procrastinating/working on for weeks), new goals and more often than not, new stresses.

As moms, bloggers, students...whatever we are, we usually tend to have way too much on our plates. It's easy to get overwhelmed as the list grows and our motivation shrinks. In our efforts to live simply, it's important to set aside time to unwind, even in the smallest ways. So today, I thought I would share a few of the ways I've learned to take a step back and de-stress when the to-do lists overwhelm me. Because I need them today too.

1 // Take a Break

When I'm in the middle of a project that overwhelms me- mountains of dishes, a daunting article for work- stepping back to focus my energy somewhere else helps re-inspire me to get back to work with fresh eyes. Except when the problem is dishes. I've never felt inspired to tackle that project.

2 // Write it Down

Not everyone is a list maker, but man oh man, I definitely am. Making a physical list of things I need to get done not only helps simplify my day in my mind, but it motivates me to work. Is there anything more satisfying than crossing off your to-do list? Maybe, like, two things...but list-crossing-off is definitely top three.

3 // Do Something Active

Take a walk, do a few yoga poses, go run a marathon- whatever you're into and whatever helps clear your mind for a little while. Physical activity literally refreshes your body, giving you an awesome chance to jump back into what was stressing you out before.

4 // Talk it Out

Usually when I'm stressed out it's because I've spent too much time over-thinking one thing, blowing it way out of proportion. Can I get an "amen", fellow over-thinkers? Talking with someone who can help reason with me and bring calm in to the situation inspires me to keep working with fresh eyes.

5 // Get Rest

Our crazy, hectic schedules mean less rest, and less rest means more stress. See the vicious cycle we trap ourselves in? Something as simple as a nap or a bath or just sitting down to have a quiet time...whatever relaxes your soul...will refresh you. I promise.

I'll leave you with this quote from George MacDonald, because rest truly is sacred. If you're stressed about anything on this Monday morning, and most of us probably are, take a few minutes and try one of these tips. Rest. Take a quick break so that you can pour your full self into your work.

What are you stressing about this morning? Do you have a favorite way to relax and refresh? Tell me about it!