Tag Archives | Stress

MCLV Guide to Coping with Stress

Hi! If You’re new to MCLV, here’s a few facts you should know about me:

  • My name is Caity
  • I’m a Type A control freak
  • Whenever I feel overwhelmed I stop sleeping

So… Guess what happens when I start planning a wedding?

Never not stressed.

Even though I had tons of support and help, and a partner who was there every step of the way, I still went into complete overdrive. At one point I had a nightmare where I was being chased by placecards, so clearly there was some stress at work. My subconscious always wants to finalize all the details of an event immediately. This is the adult version of doing the group project alone on the first day it’s assigned. Yes, I was that kid.

So how did I cope?  

Well, first I wallowed and whined. What? It’s cathartic.

Then I got serious. I realized that I had over a year of stress ahead of me and I wanted to enjoy that year of my life, so that meant problem solving and finding ways to cope.

Enter – The MCLV Guide to Coping with Stress:

  • Meditation: Guided meditation, even for just 5 minutes a day, is a great way to quiet the mind. If you don’t have an app that you like, YouTube is a great way to explore different meditation types.
  • Breathwork: There are some easy and quick tricks that can help you calm down and de-stress before bed. I’ll practice this before a stressful meeting or public speaking as well. Immediate relief.
  • Yoga: Like meditation and breathwork, the huge benefit of yoga is getting you outside of your head. My focusing on your body and breathing, you let go of the rest of the noise. 
  • Journaling: Right before bed I write out a little to do list to get things off my mind before I lay down. I also love the Happiness Project’s One Sentence Journal to jot something down.
  • Affirmations & GratitudeI’m a huge fan of writing affirmations and expressing gratitude. I keep a gratitude journal and start each day by writing down at least one line about what I’m grateful for. 

Do YOU have any tips for dealing with stress? Share below!

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Tips to Decrease Stress & Help You Sleep

Winding down at the end of the day used to give me anxiety. As the light faded outside and I knew that bedtime was coming up, I’d start to get tense.

Falling asleep and quieting my mind used to be a huge source of stress and I dreaded going to bed every night.

I’m thrilled to say, however, that is no longer the case. Now I look forward to my wind down and my nighttime routine, and I look forward to getting a great nights sleep.

The only downside to learning these little tricks and developing a routine that you enjoy? You get a little cranky when you stay out too late or mix up your schedule and don’t have time for your routine!

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{Succulent Sleep Mask from ThreeSchatze via Etsy}

My Top Tips to Decrease Stress & Promote Sleep:

  • Turn off electronics & avoid harsh artificial lighting for an hour or more before bedtime
  • Bath/Shower/Sauna/Hot tub can help your muscles release tension
  • Essential oils – Either in the shower or bath, or using a defuser, these can be a great way to create a calm, relaxing space. Eventually you should start to relax as soon as you smell your nighttime scent each day.
  • Meditation & Breathwork – Give it a go! There’s an app or a YouTube video with your name on it. See my tips here.
  • Set a schedule – Rather than waiting until your show ends or until you stop scrolling through Instagram, set a time that you will stop other activities and begin winding down. I set an alarm!
  • Magnesium – I like Natural Calm, but you can also eat magnesium-rich foods with dinner or take a supplement. What magnesium does is help your body lower your cortisol {stress hormone} levels, which has been shown to help you relax and sleep better.
  • Try not to eat for 2 hours before bed. Especially if you have a sensitive stomach, like me, because a full stomach can keep you awake.
  • Keep your bedroom stress free – If you’re in a dorm, shared space, or studio apartment this can be a challenge. Your goal should be to try to keep your sleeping space, or even just your bed, as a calm, relaxing zone. No phones or laptops in bed, no TV, no fighting, no bill paying etc. Keep the stress and worry outside of that space to avoid having those emotions boil up every time you get into bed.

Do YOU have a

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Self Care

When you’re stressed at work and rushing to meet deadlines, all the while trying to juggle home obligations and a social life, sometimes you forget to take care of YOURSELF.

But the truth of the matter is – How much good are you to your friends, family, or even your co-workers if you’re exhausted and miserable?

Enter: Self Care.

Today’s we’re going to chat about the things that you can do to show yourself a little love and make sure that you’re giving your health and happiness the attention they deserve.

So how do I show self-love?

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Need some ideas to get yourself started? You’ll love Kris Carr’s Self Care Planner filled with wonderful suggestions and new ideas to try out.

Part of taking care of yourself is listening to your body and knowing when there’s a problem. Not sure what’s going on? You’re not alone! Check out this thought-provoking piece – I Was Tired, Bloated, & Stressed Out. Here’s How I Fixed My Hormones & Regained My Health from Mind Body Green. Even though the doctors said nothing was wrong, she knew her body, and she found a way back to health.

Sometimes your mindset is just about your mood and a conscious adjustment can make all the difference in the world. Need a boost? Read Harper’s Bazaar’s How To Be Happier and try to make a shift today!

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Sleep is one of the most vital things that the body needs to stay healthy, so why not Fall Asleep Faster?

One of my favorite ways to show self-love is by working out. Letting my body sweat out the bad and enjoy a good endorphin rush. Want to give it a try? 19 Thoughts You Have About a Morning Workout from Shape is a good start!

Can’t sleep? Maybe you should Declutter Your Mind.

Tell me YOUR favorite way to show yourself some love!

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Meditation

I’ve talked about meditation before but I wanted to spend a post to really focus on it for a few minutes.

When someone first explained the practice to me, I was baffled. I have a million things to do and you want me to stop, sit still, and clear my mind?

Never. Going. To. Happen.

And then I tried it… And I was hooked.

Meditation means something different to everyone. For some people it’s the perfect start to the day, for others it’s repeating a mantra throughout the day whenever they need it, and for others it’s an all-day everyday lifestyle.

I think the major takeway is that this practice is deeply personal. You develop a practice that works for YOU, for your needs and your lifestyle.

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I run out the door every morning, makeup barely on, to get to the office at an ungodly hour. That means that, as wonderful as it would be, lighting a candle and enjoying a few minutes of blissful solitude each morning is not feasible right now.

Instead, I do a 5-10 guided meditation in a dark conference room at my office later in the morning a few times a week and a kundalini meditation before bed each night.

Guided meditations are GREAT if you have trouble clearing your mind or find yourself in need of meditation when you’re in a hectic or loud space.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Tell me – Have YOU tried a form of meditation?

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Holiday Stress Survival Tips

The holidays are wonderful.

Great food. Loved ones. Travel. Parties. Decorations. Skiing trips.

But there’s also stress. A lot of stress. More stress than any other time of the year. Hosting parties, attending a never-ending stream of holiday events, making food, waiting in long lines, holiday traffic & travel, and shopping, shopping, shopping.

Since you have to take the not-so-good with the great, here are a few tips to help you survive this holiday season in one happy, grateful piece.

  • Stay Organized: To Do Lists, planners, and digital calendars are all great ways to keep yourself on top of your obligations. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you’re late for something, missed an event, or need an emergency gift, so be as diligent as you can about putting things in your calendar.

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  • Find Your Zen: Whether you’re a fan of meditation, find breath work relaxing, or know the joy that is a fulfilling yoga practice, make sure that you make time for those mind-clearing activities.
  • Move: Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress. Not only does it get endorphins pumping that lift your mood, but it gives you time away from your stressors to get perspective. So run or grab a class or even just go for a walk.
  • Me Time: Buy your favorite flowers for your bedside table, light some delicious candles at home, take a hot bubble bath, get a deep tissue massage – Whatever works for your schedule, make space for a little me time.
  • Accept that things won’t always work out, and that’s why there’s wine. Cheers!

Need more tips? Check out Links You’ll Love: Stress Busting.

Do YOU have a go-to stress coping mechanism?

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