Tell me if you’ve found yourself in this scenario before: You’re bopping along, living your life, doing things you love, things are going really well and everything feels just right. You’re happy, and you don’t really need to take any extra time to chill out or “take a break” because there is nothing you need a break from.
But then, inevitably– something happens. Maybe it’s at work, maybe it’s in your personal life / family / friends / relationship / fitness routine, and it just throws. you. off.
And suddenly everything becomes harder. Managing time, food, exercise, social life, etc. all becomes so much more difficult when we are in a place of stress for any reason. Take it from a girl who turned to not eating and not sleeping whenever life got stressful for oh, the majority of my life. Now I am learning, and I want you to learn with me! Balance feels GOOD, and we all like to be in control of our lives, our feelings & our destinies.
Lucky for us, there are a few simple things we can do to calm down & manage stress in the face of difficulty being thrown our way. Life is a roller coaster of ups and downs, hurdles & big, exciting things that can totally rock our world in both good ways and bad.
I’m going to give you my top three tips for managing stress & living the #ZENLIFE.
Top 3 Stress-Reducing Tips:
1. Meditation. Okay, I’ll be the first to tell you– there’s meditation, and then there’s meditation. Anyone can sit on the floor with their hands at their heart or resting on their knees, take deep breaths and wonder why taking the time out of their day to do so just isn’t working for them. So find what makes it work for you. For me, I have to concentrate so hard on pushing my thoughts out of my brain that that becomes a stress-reducing exercise in itself. The breath work is there, the time & energy is there (making time to meditate is one of the hugest aspects of it) and the desire to be calm is there. But then it’s time to put in the work. Some people say that you “can’t” listen to music to truly meditate, but TBB is here to tell you that there is no CAN’T when it comes to relaxation & finding what works for you. I like to listen to music, as long as it’s relaxing and there are no words for me to hum along to or get fixated on.
Above all, be connected with the environment around you. I’ve found this super cool towel company made out of 100% recycled and sustainable materials. Their designs are so cool (I’m obsessed with all of them) and it’s such a versatile product. It’s the perfect towel to bring to the beach to meditate, I’ve used it in yoga so I don’t slip on my mat and I have also used it as a decoration in food photos. We are doing an Instagram giveaway today with one of their products, so hop over & check it out!
Just like anything else, you have to be prepared before you hop into your meditation practice. Make sure you have what you need with you, and know what you want out of the experience. Maybe it’s a meditation podcast, a goal to let go of something that’s weighing on your heart or the wonderful task of carving out time to spend with yourself in a meaningful way. You’ll be shocked at how stress-reducing it can be!
2. Mantras. (Sidenote: My friend Lori Majewski wrote an amazing story about mantras for Sonima that she interviewed me for. I highly recommend checking it out!)
I have a daily mantra that has helped get me through not only my eating disorder recovery but my life in general when it gets stressful. Running a business is not a walk in the park, and I am an anxious person to begin with, so every day I remind myself to come back to my MANTRA. Now it’s second nature to me. My mantra is, “Today, I am perfect.”
I use the word ‘today’ because the mantra also serves as a reminder to live in the moment. Two of my biggest weaknesses in achieving utmost peace and harmony with myself is fretting about the future and worrying about the past. Reminding myself that today, every day, I am in control of how I feel and the state of being I choose is very powerful to me. And when I use the word ‘perfect’ I don’t mean it in the sense of traditional perfection. I mean it in the sense that when I am true to myself, when I listen to my body’s needs and cravings and desires, and when I spend time doing things that make me extraordinarily happy and I avoid things/people that get me down, then things feel perfect. So, on that note, “Today I am perfect” is my absolutely favorite daily mantra.
And here’s my rockin’ Nomadix towel again! It’s called ‘Baja, California.’ I just love it.
3. Exercise. This might seem like a no brainer, but getting that heart rate up & pumping is one of the absolute best ways to shed the stress and tune into your mind, body and soul. I love varying up my workout routine– but some of my go-tos are vinyasa yoga, HIIT training and running. I like the combo because if I get too comfortable doing one form of exercise or another then it becomes easier to get stuck in my head while I’m doing it. Exercising outdoors is a beautiful way to connect with the environment AND get your body movin’! I am a huge fan of hiking, beach yoga & running outside. Gettin’ yogalicious in my ALO yoga clothes.
How do you like to find your zen when you are stressed out? These are my top three favs, but I have plenty of others so if you liked this post I can do a Part II! PS, don’t forget to enter our Nomadix + TBB Instagram giveaway!