DE-STRESS YOUR DAY: 9 Easy Self-Care Tips
By Nyla Fuller
Nyla Fuller is an internationally published Canadian model, fitness competitor and business professional based in Calgary, Alberta.
Are you feeling stressed about getting back into a school or work routine this fall? After summer holidays, many of us are re-adjusting to a faster pace and more busy days. Transitioning back into a structured schedule and environment can feel exhausting. Just waking up to an alarm and getting somewhere on time can feel like a huge success!
Some small self-care actions can make a big difference between the day feeling hectic or manageable. Checking in with your body throughout the day can help you feel more energized and centered.
Here are ten small self-wellness hacks that help me manage stress during the day – no formal exercise routine or meal plan needed. Just easy, simple things that anyone can incorporate into their day!
Start the day with a few extra steps and fresh air. Although a morning jog or hot yoga session sounds ideal, not everyone has the time to find a gym or studio before their day starts. When in a time crunch, I find that even ten minutes of exposure to fresh air gives the benefit of setting my mind for the day. Finding a few minutes for yourself in the morning feels like you have enough time and helps reduce anxiety. Something as simple as walking down the street to grab a coffee can provide a few relaxing minutes before the day starts.
2. Reduce caffeine intake. An avid coffee lover myself, I’m certainly not suggesting cutting coffee out. That said, when I feel rushed or stressed, I tend to reach for more coffee and then feel slightly “buzzed” and anxious. One trick I’ve learned is to order coffee “half caff” (for a large Americano, this generally involves two shots of caffeinated espresso and two shots of decaffeinated espresso). Or, try mixing half-caffeinated coffee grounds with half decaffeinated grounds. The taste will be nearly identical, sans the added caffeine jitters.
3. Take stretch breaks. Sitting at a computer, driving, or standing for a long period of time all take a toll physically and can breed tight, tense and fatigued muscles. A few times throughout the day I set a reminder on my phone to stand up and stretch. This can be as simple as rolling my neck while sitting at my desk or stretching in a doorway.
4. Book a lunch hour massage. Alternatively, if there is a massage school near your home or work, ask if appointments with practicum students are available for discounted rates.
5. Schedule regular, smaller meal times. When I have a very busy schedule, I prepare and pack food with me since there is limited time to go find and buy meals. I will also leave a couple of 15-minute time slots in my calendar between appointments to eat.
6. Reduce screen time 30 minutes before bed. Studies show that halting screen exposure at least 30 minutes before bed helps a person fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. If possible, leave your phone charging in the next room or across the room so that you are less tempted to lay in bed and look at it (especially if work emails might pop up before sleep).
7. Supplement with magnesium. Magnesium can offer many health benefits including improving blood pressure, mood and blood sugar. Because of its relaxing properties, I take 250-500mg magnesium glycinate before bed to support my sleep.
8. Soak in Epsom salt water. Magnesium and sulfates found in Epsom salt water are great for aiding sore muscles, aches, headaches and tension.
9. Create a cooler, darker room for better sleep. While the ideal room temperature for sleep varies from person to person, generally a cooler temperature between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius is best. Investing in black out blinds can also help optimize sleep quality.
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