9 ways to reduce stress (that don't involve food)Dear Mama,

I see you working on your third bowl of ice cream of the day. I know you’re stressed out about finances and a toddler who is deep into the temper tantrum twos, and I know that sometimes food is the only thing that gives you a little bit of relaxation. But any sort of benefit derived from junk food is short-lived and is a form of self-sabotage against your goal to lose weight.

So, today, I’d like to give you a few ways you can reduce stress with little spare time or money on your hands.

9 ways to reduce stress that don’t involve food

  1. Not only does dancing lower your stress levels, but it also includes exercise (see #6) and listening to great music (see #8).
  2. Prayer can reduce stress, help the body heal faster and lead to lower levels of depression.
  3. Deep breathing tells your brain to calm down, which in turn tells your body to calm down.
  4. Spending time outside helps with stress reduction by allowing you to get a little exercise (see #6), absorb some sunshine, encounter neighbors or have friendly small talk with strangers, and gives you peaceful time to process your thoughts.
  5. Spending time with loved ones: Okay, so your child can be a source of stress. But taking time to do a fun activity as a family can help to lower stress as well as strengthen bonds.
  6. Exercise has shown to lessen some symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  7. Meditation can boost your emotional well-being, as well as reduce stress. And since it often incorporates deep breathing (see #3), it’s a double!
  8. Listening to slow-paced music can help you calm down, with the possibility of inducing sleep. Even if the music is not slow paced, music is a powerful mood changer.
  9. Yoga incorporates deep breathing (see #3) and exercise (see #6). It promotes overall well-being.

There are many ways to relieve stress that don’t involve self-sabotaging your goals. Often times, these healthy stress reducers are longer lasting. Pick one, or a few, to try out. See what works best for you. Find the thing that allows you to reduce stress while continuing to walk forward in your journey.

Action Step

Today, I want you to spend 5 minutes doing something you love. It can be reading an old favorite, or adding more stitches to that scarf. It can be five minutes of the gentle yoga stretches you never get around to doing because you don’t have time for a full routine.

Pick one thing and spend just five minutes doing it.

How did you spend those five glorious minutes?

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