If you’re wondering how to relieve stress this fall, you’re not alone. Let’s face it, fall tends to be the most stressful time of year. I’m convinced that’s also why it’s so beautiful, we need some kind of distraction to get through these busy months!
As a mom of 5 and busy business owner I completely understand fall stress, like inside and out! Between back-to-school shopping, physicals, and prep, getting everyone used to a whole new schedule and all the upcoming holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas), that to-do list can get outrageously long. Just thinking about it is overwhelming. But every year we go into the fall oblivious to what’s to come. We aren’t prepared for that stress, and it can be near to impossible to imagine how to relieve it once we’re neck deep in. No worries… I’ve got you! Today I’ll be sharing some of my very BEST stress relief techniques.
9 Stress Relief Tips for a Happier, Healthier Fall
Learning how to relieve stress can be a bit of trial and error and that’s why I’m including so many various stress relief tips. While one thing may work really well for your life now another may work better in the future and well, no two people are alike so something that works great for me might not hit the spot for you. Don’t be afraid to try a couple of different approaches, even if they seem a little out of the box.
1. Identify the Source
To best reduce stress and tension it’s always helpful to identify the source of your stress. When overwhelmed it often feels like it’s everything, it’s just all too much, but oftentimes there is a specific thing or two that’s really pushing it over the top. When you’re able to identify it, you can make choices about how to navigate your stressor or ways to insulate yourself from it. And listen, that will make you feel more empowered and confident, which guess what, reduces stress!
Pro Tip: If you struggle to identify the source of your stress it can be very helpful to start journaling. Make it part of your process to reread your entries every week and look for clues about the source of your stress.
2. Create Clarity and Cut Back
You may be feeling overwhelmed and stressed because you’re simply doing too much! This time of year is very demanding and it can be easy to slip into chaos and feel like your life is spinning out of control. Understanding what really NEEDS to happen and how to make it happen as easily as possible is key to reducing your load and stress level. I deeply understand how difficult this is to do when you’re in the thick of it which is why I created the Take Control of Your Life Course Collection where I walk you through step by step exactly how to identify what’s essential, what matters to you, and what can be skipped all together during this busy time. Umm… the reason why you feel like you can’t do it all is because you can’t… no one can, and it’s time to get clarity about exactly what to let go of!
3. Create Connection
I know, this might feel like just one more thing to add to the to-do list but y’all, it matters. Feeling like you aren’t alone in all of this makes a huge difference. Whether you call your sister every Friday, grab coffee with your bestie, or simply check in with a co-worker to find out how their weekend was, you need connection, we all do. With so many people working from home and zoning into social media it can be easy to begin to feel isolated and believe that you’re the only one who can’t seem to keep it together. Now listen, I’m not suggesting you delete all your apps because I know they can be a lifeline and help facilitate connection. I’m just saying you may want to consider hiding accounts that leave you feeling shamed or stressed and creating intention about real-world connection as well.
4. Ask for Help
DON’T SKIP THIS ONE!
Listen… there was a time not too long ago when the thought of asking someone for help was more stressful to me than all the stress in the universe. There was absolutely no way I was doing that… NO WAY! So, if you struggle with asking for help or you feel like you don’t have anyone to ask, I get it, but hear me out.
The truth is that humans aren’t wired to go it alone. We aren’t lions (or whatever other animals do this naturally), we’re elephants. We’re meant to live in communities, to lean into each other’s strengths and to work together, especially as mama’s. Innately we know this. Asking for help creates deep connection and intimacy in relationships and it’s a privilege to be asked. When you say to someone “hey, can you give me a hand with this” what you’re really saying is you’re one of my people, I trust you enough to ask, want to be part of my village… I think you get the point. And honestly, everyone wants this, especially if it’s reciprocal, and I’ve never met anyone who struggles to ask for help and then doesn’t reciprocate. You have strengths too, things you can offer in return in your relationships. Someone has to be the first one to open the door, let that person be you. Because here’s the thing everyone wants the village, but no one wants to be the first one to reach out to create it.
5. Revise your Routines
Creating flexibility is especially important during busy high-stress seasons. When you’re adding new tasks and demands it’s vitally important to remove things from your to-do list as well. That might mean revising your dinner routine so you can get out the door quickly for activities or including lunch packing in your bedtime routine. Learning where things fit best in a stressful or busy time and making adjustments is essential.
6. Fall Cleaning
This is one of my absolute favorites but it’s a bit unorthodox. Rather than doing spring cleaning, I like to do fall cleaning, here’s why…
- I spend more time inside in the winter and want to enjoy a clean house.
- Having visual proof that I’ve accomplished something greatly reduces my stress.
- Being sick sucks, having sick kids sucks more, and don’t get me started on the man cold. A thorough cleaning helps keep everyone healthy.
If you’re interested in learning more about what I like to do around the house every year to keep my family as healthy as possible, you can check that out here.
7. Move your body
Want to know how to relieve stress quickly? Shake it off… literally! Moving your body helps to reduce stress by increasing feel-good hormones and chemicals. There’s no need for fancy equipment or a big time commitment, and no, you don’t have to take up running, you can simply get up and get moving in any way that’s comfortable for you. Me personally? Well, when it comes to quick stress reduction, nothing beats a mini-dance party! I keep a playlist specifically for this purpose, turn it on shuffle, crank up the volume and get moving. It never takes more than a song or two to shake off the stress or break through a funk.
For longer-term stress reduction including movement into your daily life makes all the difference. But with all the other things on your to-do list this can be tough and without support, well, it’s nearly impossible for most people. That’s why every year starting in late September I host The Finish Strong Challenge. It’s always free, you can join anytime, and you’ll receive all sorts of extra health and wellness support so you can feel your best through the end of the year.
This stress relief tip might seem like a tall order especially if you’re already feeling like there isn’t enough time in the day but rest matters… A LOT! When we’re busy we often skip rest and skimp on sleep which only adds to our stress level. Your body needs rest in order to function at its best and often needs more than usual in the fall and winter months.
Not getting enough rest decreases your judgment, creativity, productivity, and cognitive function making it very difficult to perform daily tasks let alone anything even slightly demanding. It also makes you more prone to accidents and illness, including chronic severe illness. And when it comes to stress, it increases stress hormones in your body because not resting is physically extremely stressful. Honestly you’ll wind up saving more time by just resting when you need to and getting adequate sleep than by skipping it and trying to work through.
9. Find your Comfort Zone and Hang There
The comfort zone has gotten a pretty bad rap as of late. There are nonstop social media and blog posts about how essential it is to get out of your comfort zone and every coach and self-proclaimed guru is shouting it from the rooftops. But here’s the thing, most of us don’t even know what our comfort zone is and it’s vitally important that we figure it out.
Understanding where you feel safest, happiest, most at peace and content is vitally important to managing stress, building confidence, and becoming more resilient. Think of your comfort zone as home base. When it all becomes just a little too much or you’re feeling beat down, this is how and where you refuel. Spending more time with those you love, doing what you love, and feeling full are how to reduce stress and tension in healthy ways.
When it comes to how to relieve stress sometimes the best thing you can do is simply breathe. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that this isn’t permanent, it won’t always be this way. Now that my kids are grown and out on their own the demands of my daily life have been greatly reduced but sometimes to be honest, I miss it. Not the stress, not the busyness, but the conversations in the car, the laughter, and I guess sometimes I even miss the unpredictability that comes with a full house. So, take that deep breath and be present in this moment, and know that you aren’t alone. Sometimes being a mom is insanely stressful, sometimes it downright sucks, but it’s always worth it and in so many ways it’s magical. Implement some stress relief techniques, lean in, and enjoy it!