As you may have figured out from my rather emotional post about Toby’s tantrums, we’re having a bit of a testing time at Budding Smiles HQ and as a result, stress levels have been peaking frequently. Last week I went to a fabulous event and one of the treats I received was a book called Calm so with that in mind, here are my top ten ways to reduce stress and keep calm.

  1. Meditate – Don’t tell me you haven’t got time because you have! Life will not end if you put your phone down for five minutes (you really can feel the benefits even in such a short amount of time) every day. Trust me, I’m managing and I’m a total phone addict!
  2. Have some me-time – Again, it’s possible. A walk, a bath, a spa day, painting your nails, a little slice of cake from the bakery… Just treat yourself every so often and embrace that time.
  3. Deep breaths – I’m not talking meditation here, I’m talking when your toddler is in meltdown, your baby won’t sleep, your food is burning, your internet is down, a client hasn’t paid…        Just. Stop. And. Breathe.
  4. Listen to music – For me, it’s rock music. Genuinely nothing calms me down more than jumping around the living room to anything by Metallica, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses or anything else on Planet Rock. Maybe for you it’s having relaxing music on in the background or singing your heart out to One Direction, but whatever works, do it! A good dance (or in my case a really bad dance!) is fantastic to get rid of tension.
  5. Stroke a cat – Not a euphemism you filthy people! Research over the years has suggested that owning a cat can reduce your chances of strokes and heart disease, but I’m sure borrowing a neighbour’s for a snuggle will help too.
  6. Smile – Fake it until you make it because if you stick a smile on your face then people will smile back and before you know it, your own one will become real and your mood will be lifted.
  7. Cry – Slightly contradictory to my previous point, but a good old cry really helps me and I often dry myself up afterwards and feel much stronger and ready to carry on with life.
  8. Write things down – Whether it’s a blog post, scribbles in my notebook or a letter I’ll never send to the person or situation that has stressed me out, writing is my therapy.
  9. Exercise – Go for a walk, a run, to the gym, boxing, yoga… whatever your choice of exercise, it will boost serotonin and reduce stress.
  10. Talk – Don’t bottle things up because they will fester and grow until they are morphed into something even worse. Talk to your partner, parent, friend or if you need more support then your GP or charities such as Samaritans.

How to you stay calm? I’d love to hear your tips and techniques so let me know in the comments below or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

You Baby Me Mummy