Stress is real, people. At some point, we’ve all experienced the physical and mental effects of stress, from getting as sweaty as you would post-workout to circling around the same thoughts over and over in your head. That’s why today we’re teaming up with Secret Deodorant to bring you 12 easy swaps you can make in your daily life that will help you take the reigns, and face your stress head on.
1. Swap: prepared squares of dark chocolate > stress-eating junk food. When stressful moments hit, an easy way to stay fed is to grab the nearest [fill-in-the-blank junk food], especially sugar-filled candy. While we think we’re satisfying our hunger and helping lower our anxiety, we’re really only feeding the beast. Instead of reaching for a cookie, sate your craving with a square of dark chocolate. Purchase single servings so that you can easily regulate your intake, rather than accidentally eating the whole bar (we’ve all done that before!).
2. Swap: Secret Outlast Xtend Clear Gel > dry spray. Sweat comes in a hurry when we’re stressed. And nothing’s worse than being stressed — except being stressed AND smelly. Or worse yet, having sweat stains or white marks on your shirt. That’s why it’s important to have a deodorant that passes the longevity, smell and white mark tests on extra busy days. Secret Outlast Xtend Clear Gel Formula with 48-Hour Protection provides better, longer coverage (meaning you don’t have to reapply throughout the day), it fights odor *before* it starts and it won’t leave those nasty, embarrassing white marks on your clothes like dry spray deodorant does. Plus, it comes in Clean Lavender scent (we love everything lavender!).
3. Swap: drink peppermint green tea > drink coffee. Along with stress often comes some kind of deadline. Perhaps you have a presentation coming up or a hard conversation you need to have with your S.O. In your state, you might turn to coffee to keep you going. Ditch the grounds and switch them up for peppermint green tea. While you’ll still get a small boost of (necessary) caffeine from the tea, this healthy choice won’t likely leave you shaking in a coffee craze.
4. Swap: schedule walks > sitting at your desk all day. When it comes to work stress, many of us lean on the idea that every moment counts. Every moment should be used to complete the task at hand, right? Wrong. Sitting at a desk all day is taxing on your body and can actually send you into a rut. Take a few minutes — even just FIVE — and take a walk. This will help you clear your head, breathe fresh air and might even inspire new ideas or bring clarity.
5. Swap: drink water > soft drink. It’s a fact that we all need water to survive. And that doesn’t just mean if you’re stuck out in the desert with no food or water, you’re going to be in trouble. It also means you need to drink water throughout the day, *every* day. Don’t think you can? Here are 20 ways to drink more water without even knowing it. Ditch the sugar-filled soda (no denying these are bad for you), and quench your thirst with H2O.
6. Swap: take a meditation break midday (BREATHE) > working through lunch. Quit working through lunch! You need a break and so does your brain. Nourish your body with food, and then set aside five minutes to meditate. This doesn’t mean you completely clear your head of all thoughts (that’s nearly impossible for most of us). Rather, sit down, shut your eyes, pay attention to your body and how it feels, notice the sounds around you and count your breaths. It’s even okay to let your mind wander, so long as you’re committed to a brief intermission in your work day. We’ve got some meditation apps that will guide you if you find you need some extra support.
7. Swap: take on one task at a time > multitasking. High on the the list of anxiety inducers is having too much to do. Opening up your inbox and seeing 100 emails can cause instant heart palpitations, so take charge and create a reasonable to-do list. Then take on one task at a time. Seriously. Don’t multitask. You’re not doing yourself any favors. Focus on one item at a time and mark them off as you go. Oh, and don’t forget to add “walk” and “meditate” to your list ;)
8. Swap: read before bed > checking your phone before bed. Turn off the screen! We know it’s hard, but make yourself a rule and stick to it. No phone time in bed. Instead, spend those last waking moments reading a book. Find one you can get lost in and enjoy whether it’s a novel, a biography or a book about how stress affects the brain (hive fives to all my neuroscience-loving peops!).
9. Swap: watch a funny video to laugh > scrolling through social media. There’s no denying you (and everyone else in, like, the WHOLE WORLD) is going to spend some time scrolling through social media most days. Be honest and ask yourself: How does this *really* make me feel? If you answered “amazing,” then good on you, but for most of us, it doesn’t reduce stress. In fact, seeing the amazing vacation our friends are on only makes us feel MORE stressed about life. Instead of going down that rabbit hole, find a funny video to watch instead, since you’re inevitably going to zone on your phone at least once a day. Laughing is a known stress reliever — no doubt letting out a solid belly laugh will brighten up your day.
10. Swap: light an aromatherapy candle > stuffy oxygen-deprived room. Let’s talk about your olfactory system (aka your sense of smell). An airless, stale room isn’t going to lower stress, but aromatherapy will. The scent of lavender, rose or any other calming fragrance can significantly chill you out in a state of stress.
11. Swap: pet a puppy > getting an expensive massage. There’s no denying a massage will reduce your stress, but sometimes that three-dollar-sign price tag is too much to spend, especially if you’re dealing with overload on a daily basis. Our solution to the wallet-gouger: pet a puppy. Therapy dogs exists for a reason. They give you that joyful, loving feeling in your belly that only small animals can give. Find a dog to cuddle, and your troubles will melt away.
12. Swap: prepare meals in advance > eating out or eating poorly. When you’re in a time-crunch, the last thing you’re thinking about is eating a balanced meal. Or preparing one, for that matter. Time is of the essence, after all. Instead of waiting until it’s too late and ordering takeout for the fourth time this week, get ahead of your stress and prepare meals in advance. Make a huge batch of veggie soup or a delicious stew, then portion it out into Tupperware or jars for ready-to-eat meals. If you have enough, freeze some for next week, too.
What other swaps have you made in your life to alleviate stress? Tweet us your ideas @BritandCo!
This post is a collaboration with Secret Deodorant.
Author: Roxy Taghavian
Photo Styling: Irene Lee
Photography: Brittany Griffin