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5 Tips to Manage Stress

April is National Stress Awareness Month 

In today’s fast-paced world, stress has become an unwelcome companion for many, affecting not only our mental well-being but also our physical health in profound ways. In speaking with my clients it seems that many do not even know where to start in terms of managing stress on a day to day basis. While exercise is always my first suggestion, many clients exercise routinely and still need more support. Below I have listed off some new ideas for managing stress that have worked for me personally and also helped a lot of my clients. I hope they inspire you to relate to stress in a different way and spring into this new season feeling less overwhelmed! 

Inventive Ideas to Help You Manage Stress:


Meditation is often suggested as a remedy for stress but some clients may find that sitting still and quiet makes their stress and anxiety worse. Instead, you may find more relief in active breathwork which allows one to focus less on clearing their thoughts and more on breathing deep and complete breaths. There are dozens of different breathing techniques including box breathing and tummo breathing so do your research and find the practice that appeals to you!

  • I highly recommend the book “Breath” by James Nester, which goes into detail about the impacts of different breathing techniques and their benefit to both mental and physical health. You can find the book on amazon HERE 

Gratitude Journaling

Personally, nothing breaks the mental cycle of stress and worry quite like gratitude. I started journaling about gratitude at night before bed and it really helps me fall asleep in a better mental space. Writing down the small and unique things I am grateful for on a daily basis allows me to read these moments again months later and reflect on the special things that I may have forgotten. 

  • If you want to try your hand at journaling and want a quick and simple start check out my personal favorite “Five Minute Journal” HERE 

Forest Bathing

This term came from a Japanese practice of disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with nature by walking through a forest or immersive garden. The great thing is this is such a simple practice… you just go to woods or a large outdoor park and walk around, with no devices, and that’s it! The benefits of this practice have been studied and range from boosting the immune system, to dropping blood pressure and relieving stress and burnout. 

  • If you are unfamiliar with the local parks in your state you can do a search on the national parks service website by clicking HERE 

Chamomile Tea & Music

Another personal favorite of mine, especially in the evening, is combining a cup of chamomile tea with my favorite music. In the evening I select slower tunes (like classic country music) which reminds me of my childhood. Chamomile tea can assist with reducing cortisol levels and reminds me of my first trip to Quito. Research shows that nostalgia is effective at reducing perceived stress levels and lifting mood so grab your ear buds, pour of cup of tea, prod your feet up and enjoy!

  • My favorite chamomile tea is made from fresh chamomile flowers since that is how my family makes it in Quito. You can buy fresh chamomile flowers for tea HERE 

Warm (then cold) Shower

After reading the book Breath (recommended above) I became very intrigued with Tummo breathing and the work of Wim Hof. As I have been taking his classes I have started to be consistent with finishing my morning shower with 1-2 minutes of cold water. The cold water is not always enjoyable but the calm mind and focused attention that I gain from it motivates me to keep coming back for more. It may sound extreme but trust me you will not regret adding this practice to your morning routine and I am sure you will feel the stress reduction benefits throughout the day

  • If you want to learn more about the benefits of cold showers and the Wim Hof method check out his website HERE 

Other Tools

Other fun ideas gathered from my clients, co-workers and family include movement (any movement including walking, stretching, dancing and swimming), getting a full quality 7-8 hours of sleep, learning something new or creating art and being outdoors and playing. Never forget play and laughter are two powerful anti-stress tools so pursue different activities and interests that make you act and feel like a kid again. 

Stress management is different for everyone so find what works best for you and dedicate as much time as possible to reducing your perceived stress level so you can live the fullest and healthiest life possible.

-In Health & Happiness, Jessica Murgueytio 

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