3 Stress-Reducing Habits for Creative Entrepreneurs
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by stress.
*lifts every hand up*
If you’re living in the present you likely have a note in your phone with a list of 17 things you have to get done in the next 39 seconds right next to a meditation app that you’ve never opened because the person on the app’s voice stresses you out defeating the whole purpose of the app in the first place.
We’re living in a society with Kanye-high expectations and a notification for every time a cute dog nearby sniffs its own butt and we still wonder why we can’t sleep at night and why at the age of 28 we’re burning out and our skin still looks like we hit puberty last week.
3 Stress-Reducing Habits for Balanced Hormones
When you think of stress what comes to mind?
I think of the never-ending to do list, the mountain of debt I have, the list of goals I want to crush in the couple extra hours a day I have, the books I want to read, the workouts I want to do, the fact that I don’t want to workout, the fact that there’s 5 weeks to Christmas and I have yet to do any shopping, the 3 new pimples growing on my face, whether I’m going to pay my phone bill or a parking ticket, because I can’t afford both, need I go on?
It’s actually become trendy to be stressed and anxious. Can you remember the last time you had a conversation with someone and you didn’t tell them how busy you’ve been or how tired you are? Tired has become the new norm and we’re all accepting it like this is how we need to be!
Not only is being stressed and tired not cool and feels awful but it’s actually very detrimental to your health. Turns out, stress is the root of most problems in our lives and the lifestyles we’re choosing to live isn’t helping!
When you’re stressed or anxious, your body goes into fight or flight mode and your cortisol levels spike which messed up your body in BIG ways!
Have you ever noticed that you always end up catching a cold or breaking out in the middle of a stressful time like exam season or right before a big interview? This happens because when you’re stressed your immune system is suppressed. Instead of your immune system fighting off nasty germs, it’s main concern is addressing your high cortisol and all the other issues that happen as a result.
Other SUPER crappy things happen when you’re stressed and when your cortisol is spiked like high blood pressure and high blood sugar, insulin resistance and carb cravings. If you’r always stressed and your cortisol is always through the roof you could develop even worse conditions like type 2 diabetes!
THE GOOD NEWS is that you can shift your lifestyle by implementing some key stress-relieving habits that’ll help you control your stress and live a much happier, healthier, stress-free life! Here are some of my personal favourite stress-reducing habits that I think everyone should be implementing in their lives!
Of COURSE this had to be on the top of my list! If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times! Meditating can make a world of a difference when it comes to managing and reducing stress in your life.
Did you know meditating has actually been proven to lower cortisol levels?
This is incredibly important for someone dealing with hormonal imbalances, especially high cortisol. When your cortisol is out of whack it’s likely that one or more of your other hormones is right there behind it so it’s in the best interest of all of your hormones to make sure you’re keeping your cortisol in check.
My favourite way to meditate is calledTranscendental meditation. If you’ve never heard of this type of meditation the idea behind it is to get quiet and observe your thoughts passing by rather than focusing on ridding your mind of thoughts and thinking of nothing.
When I use to try to meditate using apps that would talk to me or by trying to think of nothing it would end up doing the opposite and stressing me out more than anything, IMAGINE THAT!
This way of meditating resonates so strongly with me, not only because I’ve felt how amazingly it works but also because meditation should be effortless, you shouldn’t be fighting with your own thoughts to get to a calm place – that’s just silly!
To do this kind of meditation, sit or lay in a comfortable position with your hands on your lap. Take a couple deep breaths and instead of actively thinking, just let your thoughts float by. Don’t force them not to happen or try to push them by, just let them happen.
Transcendental meditation was explained to me as a way for your brain to digest your thoughts – in the same way your stomach digests your food.
If you think about it, you’re not eating every moment of the day (tbh some days I am but we won’t talk about that!) but instead you have periods of time in between where your body gets to do it’s thing and digest your food. On the other hand, your brain never has a chance to stop, ESPECIALLY these days with our mile long to-do lists, endless notifications, and constant stream of Kylie Jenner’s perfectly crafted body that we can’t help but compare to our own.
Meditating allows your brain to have the space and quiet to digest all of your thoughts of the day. It’s actually pretty wild what this brain digest time can bring up!
I’ve had some of my best ideas and most profound thoughts when I give my mind the space to process all of it’s thoughts. I also always feel amazing when I come out of a meditation. I feel lighter and so much clearer mentally.
I’ve even been told that doing Transcendental meditation for 20 minutes a day is the energetic equivalent to taking like a three hour nap which if you’re like me and you find yourself wired every night when you should be sleeping, a 20 minute practice that makes you feel like you’ve had a three hour nap is INCREDIBLY important!
I encourage you to try meditation for a week and see how amazing you feel!
Get away from the to-do list
I’ve brought up the never-ending to-do list before and if you’re anything like me, this to-do list, whether written down on a piece of paper, on your phone or in your head, it haunts your every waking moment.
I’ve even gotten to a point where sometimes I’m so stressed about what I think I’ve forgotten from my to-do list that I can’t even tackle anything on the list because I worry I could be forgetting something way more important! How crazy is that?!
One of my favourite ways to de-stress is to scrap my to-do list for a day if I can, or at least a couple hours.
Don’t worry now, I’m not telling you to forget all responsibilities and scrap your to-do list completely! Instead let’s try to set it aside for a little bit.
Putting your to-do list for a couple hours or for an entire day, just like meditation, allows you space and time to breathe. It allows you to get completely away from what may be the root of your stress and let your mind and body rest. It allows you to make space for fun and play which is the biggest stress-buster.
If you’re like me, the idea of putting your to-do list aside for a few makes you even more stressed than the actual list itself, prepare for it! What I like to do is plan for the times where I let myself forget about the things I have to do whether it’s to go out and do things with friends or just spend the entire day in bed.
Your efforts wont be worth it if you shove your to-do list aside but then spend the entire time thinking about what you have to do and stressing that you’re not doing it so make a plan to get a handful of things done so you can feel good about giving your time away from your list.
What I like to do is plan ahead so I can get a bunch of things on my list done before taking a good break. This allows me to really buckle down and focus, knowing there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. It also allows me to really de-stress and relax when it comes to the time because I know I got a bunch of things done. It makes for a much deserved break!
Along with meditation, journaling is another one of those things that everyone and their mothers recommend for relieving stress but I’m SAYING IT AGAIN! I’m mentioning journaling because it took me approximately 536 times of reading about journaling before I actually tried it.
I was always skeptical and didn’t see how writing down my thoughts would help me whatsoever so I never did it. Until the 537th time someone told me to try it. Needless to say I tried it, loved it and will now talk about it every day if I have to hear it because it could be someone’s 537th time hearing it and it could change their life!
I think the biggest obstacle that comes with journaling is the very loose guidelines. The idea is essentially to just grab a pen and paper and write whatever the hell you desire.
So then you’re sat there trying to think of what to write
“What could be important enough to tell your journal?”
“Do I start my addressing my journal?”
“Do I worry about grammar?”
Honestly, it can sometimes be intimidating!
The good news is that, when it comes to journaling, the wheel’s in your hands which means there are NO RULES!
I see journaling as another way for me to digest my thoughts.
When I’m dealing with some tough emotions, when I keep having a certain conversation with someone in my head, when I’m stressing about a future situation, when I can’t stop thinking about all the things I have to do, when I’m anxious, happy, sad, mad – I journal.
One of my favourite things to do is to write letters to people I’m having internal conflict with. It lets me get all of those “I wish I would have saids” out of my brain and onto paper as if I’m actually saying these things to these people. It immediately makes me feel better, without fail!
Journaling allows you to let your thoughts and emotions flow from your body to the paper. It allows you to clear your mind and ease your body. It lets you turn your thoughts into tangible words on paper so you can stop stressing about them and start making sense out of them.
A therapist once told me that it’s impossible for you to be logical and emotional at the same time. He taught me an exercise where I would have to start counting by a certain interval whenever I felt overwhelmed with emotions. By switching my brain from emotional to logical it would immediately calm me down.
By writing out the contents of your mind it allows you to see everything for what it is and starting thinking logically about them rather than reacting emotionally which allows me to relax and feel SO much less stressed!
If you have trouble starting to journal a great topic to start writing about is things you’re grateful for. Not only does this make you feel good and immediately less stressed but it allows you to acknowledge the things in your life you’re thankful for making the shitty stressful things seem less important.