While stress is an unavoidable fact of life, excessive stress can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health.
The good news? A little self-care can go a long way to help you prevent and manage stress. We’ve put together a few of our favorite stress-busters so you can live your most fabulous, carefree post-40 life.
Tip #1: Schedule Fun
If your to-do list never seems to get any shorter, then you might wonder why we’re suggesting you add something else to it. The difference is, this isn’t a task you should ever put off. Schedule a fun activity – a dance party, a Netflix session or a long, relaxing bath – as one of the non-negotiable must-do’s on your list.
If you have something enjoyable on your calendar, stressful days will be that much easier to deal with.
Tip #2: Move Your Body
We’ve all heard this advice before but it couldn’t be more true. Stress has a way of accumulating in the body and one of the easiest ways to shake it off is to get some exercise.
Similar to putting fun activities on the agenda, make time in your schedule to move your body. It doesn’t need to be an elaborate workout. Take a quick walk outside or do some stretching and watch your stress dissolve.
Tip #3: Establish a Sleep Routine
Isn’t it funny how so many of the ways you can incorporate more self-care and lessen your stress are basic things? That’s because the basics often fly out the window when we’re stressed out.
Figure out what your ideal sleep schedule is and create a routine to get you in the mood to sleep. Read a book, take a warm shower or spend some time with loved ones.
Shut cell phones and laptops down well before bedtime since they encourage your brain to stay awake and stress thinking about everything else instead of sleep.
Tip #4: Fuel Your Body with Fresh Food
Eating healthy can be tough, but that’s because we make our definition of healthy too constrictive. Self-care isn’t just about champagne and bubble baths (although live your fabulous life, girlfriend!). It’s about giving your mind, body and soul what they need to thrive on the daily. That’s why choosing fresh food over packaged or processed food (even during your busiest, most stressful times) can improve your mood and ability to get through stressful moments.
Try to eat the rainbow and have healthy snacks on hand so you can fuel your body better.
Here’s the thing: self-care isn’t selfish. You might not feel like you have the time to indulge in everyday luxuries like taking a walk and eating well when you’re stretched too thin, but they make all the difference when it comes to managing stress.
Discover more self-care, health and wellness tips and tricks for women over 40 when you subscribe to the Gurl U R Not Alone YouTube channel.