Healthy Living: 5 easy ways to reduce stress

By Monica C. Voskamp

Hi there. 🙂

It’s been some stressful few weeks for me with the end of school term and also just life! I wanted to share quick & easy ways I’ve found a breath of relief in the midst of stress. If they can be a help to even one person,  that makes me smile.

Here’s 5 easy ways to reduce stress and hopefully make for a better day!

1. Meditation apps–this has been a huge help before exams and dealing with anxiety. The app I’m using is called “Simple Habit.”  (It has both free & paid sessions… I’m doing all the free ones 😀 )  The first one I did was called “Simple Habit Starter” a 5 day series of 5 minutes a day.  I love that it’s doable (only 5 minutes!), very soothing (I find Cory Muscara’s voice calming 🙂 )and this series gives a great basics of meditation. For me, I’ve been listening before I go to bed–to put me in a more relaxed mood, so extra bonus, I get a better sleep (Sleep is great for combating stress!)   It literally feels like I had a mini therapy session each day.  I noticed an overall more positive outlook on life and immediate sense of relaxation. Cory has this unique vibe of making one feel supported.  Highly recommend!

See link below if interested. 🙂

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.simplehabit.simplehabitapp&hl=en_CA

2. Short Walk in nature or outdoors— Again another thing that has helped with both stress and anxiety, but also motivation is a short walk. A few weeks ago, I started taking a short brisk morning walk (mostly since it gets darker fast now here in Canada so I wanted to make sure I got a least a little walk.) Not a morning person, I was surprised to find some benefits.  I found myself more energized for the day, a definite mood booster! In days I’ve woke with anxiety, I found a walk very grounding.  Again this is very doable–I only go for 10 minutes.  This is an incredible simple self-kindness! ❤

3. Cup of tea–It may be the “British wanna be” in me ha, but I’m all for a cup of tea and drink my fair share in the day (both black & herbal.. I even make myself a chai latte every once in awhile-yummy.) I find there is something soothing about heat, inhaling the steamy aromatic smells and the deep breathing that naturally happens with drinking tea (unless you are a chugger…then…well at least you’re getting hydrated. :P)

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4. Deep breathing–  Again, I find the guided meditation helpful, but during the day, I find myself consciously aware when my emotions intensify.  I catch myself and literally inhale a deep breathe and exhale. The benefit of this, your breath is always with you! You can do this anywhere, anytime and you’ll be amazed how taking a 1-3 deep breaths can refocus and calm you.  If you’re about to start a meeting, prepare for an exam, tackle a mountain task, give yourself the gift of 3 deep breaths and big exhales.  (I often think to myself this mantra: ‘Inhale peace, Exhale stress’.) It’s an easy mental reminder to invite peace into my life.

5. Smile–Honestly, just crack those pretty lips into a smile. 🙂 Even if you’re making yourself smile for no reason, I have a feeling the psychological connection to good times can be a boost in times of stress. Sometimes I’ll pull up either a favorite memory video or pictures of happy memories. This is often enough to make me smile & laugh. As my good friend tells me, ‘Be your own best friend!’ So be kind to yourself today.   The benefit of your smile can also make someone’s load just a little bit lighter too.  Smiling is a beautiful expression of humanity, one that you have the ability to do & give!

That’s it. I’m sure you already have your own ways to capture a sense of peace in this world of chaos.  (Feel free to comment below your own healthy stress release; it just may be helpful someone else!)

And, if you are feeling overwhelmed today…I’m reminding you: gift yourself with kindness. ❤ Inhale a deep breathe of peace and exhale all that worry and stress. You are worth every good investment!

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A smile from sunshiney days 🙂

Hoping your day feels a bit lighter!

-Monica

*Cover Photo Credit: Photo by Michelle on Unsplash

Always hope. Always believe. Always love. ❤

 

 

Poetry: Consoling Human

By Monica C. Voskamp

 

Hon,

Why you being so hard on yourself?

Don’t you see the whole entire

Race of humanity

Is struggling

-Just like you.

 

See you aren’t alone

In this vast flood of moving flesh

Hurting souls and weariness.

See you are not alone

But really very much

Together in humanity.

 

Hon,

Don’t you know how much you mean

Even when you get it all wrong?

Don’t erase the entire value of you

Just because today was shitty

Or yesterday, or a month of days

You still outshine everything.

 

Take a bathe in the sunshine

Let your cheeks dress up in a smile

Let your tears water the garden

Let your snores stir up the neighbour.

 

Don’t you worry hun

You’re just as human as the rest of us

Stop trying to be so brave…

You’re only and wonderfully

My fellow human.

 

And in my opinion,

(Which I want to you believe

As a grand favour to yourself)

Being a heart-beating human

Makes you pretty great. 🙂

 

Always hope. Always believe. Always love. ❤

*Photo Credit: Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

 

 

Tiny Quotes for a Big Life: An Extra Minute.

By Monica C. Voskamp

 

Take a minute for kindness.

The world always needs more of it.

Spread sunshine, spread a smile

One extra minute at a time.

 

Always believe. Always hope. Always love. ❤

*Photo Credit: Photo by Matthew Hamilton on Unsplash

Tiny Quotes for a big life: ..try believe this..

By Monica C. Voskamp

I know others have *not* been kind to you. I can see you are not being kind to yourself right now…You mistake how love works.  You think you deserve to be punished. You think you deserve to be hurt.

You don’t!!!

Let me reassure you: You didn’t deserve his assaulting then or ever. Try believe this hon. That was not love. That was a lie, an injustice.

Try, just try be kind to you. This is one way to reclaim your dignity.

Don’t let the past abuser still torment you today.

Live kindly to yourself and know the more you do, the more you will heal. ❤️

 

Always believe. Always hope. Always love. ❤️