Posts tagged stress
How to Manage Stress: Part 3

The Third Way to Manage Stress: Find Your Breath

We breathe all day, every day, but never really take the time to think about it. Spend a moment now breathing deeply and make note of your body’s reaction.

Taking a few deep breaths should be your immediate reaction to stress, anxiety, anger, or worry in your day-to-day life. In those moments, taking the time to step away briefly and breathe can be highly beneficial when you’re ready to return to the situation and resolve the issues you’re facing.

Many of us are in stress mode all day and never give ourselves the chance to slow down and breathe. If you’re looking in the mirror and trying to breathe properly, it should look like your stomach is blowing up into a balloon, rather than your shoulders are lifting up towards your ears. Keep your shoulders relaxed and neutral. Instead, expand and contract your stomach as you breathe deeply.

This style of breathing works your diaphragm properly. It’s also the way that musicians breathe in order to effectively support the dynamics of their song. This strategy is so important to implement because it can offer immediate stress relief!

Yoga is also an incredible way to learn about breathing! I used to be against yoga, because I thought it would be boring. But once I found the right yoga studio for me, I discovered how much I loved it, and now my body needs yoga. Sometimes the things we don’t want to do are actually things we need the most. For me, that was yoga.

Yogis call yoga a “practice” because it really does takes time to master, and you won’t be amazing at it on your first attempt. I try to attend one yoga class per week, but the breathing part of the class is still one of my greatest challenges. It’s not the moves I struggle with, but making sure I’m not always holding my breath and keeping all the tension in is challenging.

The bottom line is that breathing will help to alleviate your stress! Your main goal should be to find easy ways to manage stress, because it’s not just going to stop being a part of your life. Instead of wishing stress away, you need to become more resilient to it, and find ways to cope with it. If you find positive outlets for stress, I believe you’ll be less likely to make decisions that will harm you in the long run.

I used to look to food as a source of stress relief--something that would make me feel good immediately. I also used to have wine every night after the salon closed. I was at the salon all day working like a crazy person, and I’d be so busy that I wouldn’t eat much throughout the day. Then I would go home and drink about a bottle of wine every night to relax and unwind from the day. That type of habit didn’t set me up for long term success. Yes, it was instant gratification, but those negative choices will eventually catch up with you. If you have positive outlets instead for when you’re stressed, tired, or anxious, you’re setting yourself up for much greater success!

Do you want to share your stress-relief tips with other industry professionals? Check out our sister company’s private Facebook group to interact with like-minded professionals! We can’t wait to see you there!

How To Manage Stress: Part 2

I love exercise--it’s definitely my favorite way to manage stress. It’s incredible to notice exercise boosting your endorphins. For example, you’ve probably heard that people who are avid runners can get a runner’s high each time they work out. This is because there are neurotransmitters in your brain that pump out good feelings when you work out.

Exercise can also be a great escape. A great workout takes your mind off of whatever might be happening this week or morning, because your body is focusing on movement rather than stress. Additionally, exercise helps you sleep better, which is a proven stress reducer. Sleep is incredibly important for the body, because it helps increase your mood and self-confidence, and lowers symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.

However, there are also a few rules I have for great, productive exercise.

#1 It should be challenging

I’m not saying every workout needs to be extremely challenging, because going for a walk or doing some yoga is also very beneficial for your body. Not all exercise has to be challenging, but most should be. You’ve heard the saying, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” and that is very true for me. Your heart has to be pumping, and you have to put some effort in for your most successful workout.

#2 It should be fun

If you don’t have fun, you probably won’t stick with it. You’ve all probably tried exercises and activities before that you thought were awful. For me, this was swimming. As much as I would love to pretend by buying a Speedo suit and putting swimming into my exercise plan, I just don’t have fun with it. I’ll lay on a raft and get some sun, but swimming is not personally enjoyable for me as cardio exercise. The most important thing is to find what’s fun for you, and try lots of new things until you do.

#3) It should be regular

In my opinion, you should exercise a minimum of four days per week. Typically, I do five or six days each week, because I really do love it and love the benefits. You have seven days a week to work with and I think four days is a good middle ground, and a realistic option for most of us. Not only will you feel better and be less stressed, but you’ll look better too. But if you don’t exercise regularly, those benefits also won’t happen regularly.

#4) It should become your lifestyle

I know some of us tend to give up after we start, but it’s important that you become an active and healthy person. You need to be able to look in the mirror and say, “I’m active and healthy” without your mind disagreeing with you. Start by saying that you’re in the process of becoming active and healthy so your mind believes you, and you’re able to achieve it. Once you have 30 successful days under your belt you can change up your verbiage and say, “I am active and healthy!” It takes a long time for anything to become a habit. It needs to be a lifestyle for it to really stick and become real. You can’t stop after the thirty days; you just have to keep going. In order to avoid having an “end date” to your fitness, you need to make it a part of your everyday lifestyle.

Do you have any fun exercise ideas or other stress management advice?  Share your tips with us on our Instagram and in our sister company's private Facebook group! We will see you there! 

How To Manage Stress: Part 1

This topic is the first in a five part series on various ways to manage your stress. This first tip for stress management is sleep!

Are you getting enough sleep?

We’re often told that 7-10 hours of sleep is ideal, but I would say that the amount of sleep you need depends on how much stress you have.

Stress can appear a lot of different ways. You can be stressed even if you have a lot of awesome things going on and you’re feeling happy. Even if you’re overloaded by work you love, your body still reacts to stress the same way. You can also be stressed if you’re dealing with employees leaving, a loss of profits, or stressful clients.

No matter the type of stress you’re experiencing, your body still needs recovery so that you are able to manage your life better and healthier.

What does this look like for you?

I recently read a great article on about a study done at Stanford University. This study showed that football players who slept 10 hours a night for 7-8 weeks improved their average sprint time, had less daytime fatigue, and more stamina. Of course we’re not professional or college football players, but we are business owners, business professionals, and stylists--all with a lot going on. A lot of us put in many hours behind the chair, working with a lot of different personality types between our clients and our colleagues.

The big point is that if you’re tremendously overloaded and working at a higher capacity, you may need more sleep to continue your success.

Why do you need more sleep? There are significant benefits to being well-rested, one of the biggest being emotional stability. In that same article, the doctor explains that lack of sleep can contribute to depression and that a good night sleep can truly help to decrease anxiety. We get overwhelmed. That’s very natural. Sometimes, it even helps to take a quick nap.

Another huge benefit of sleep is that it curbs inflammation. Getting enough sleep decreased inflammation, which is important because that’s one of the big things that causes chronic illness. These can be things like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. In the beauty industry, one of the worst things can be premature aging. I’m sure a lot of you agree that you’d like to avoid that. Getting enough sleep is one way to do it.

Another big strategy is clean eating. Definitely avoid things like sugar, alcohol, and caffeine close to bedtime so that you aren’t abruptly woken up. When I have had drinks in the past too close to bed I often wake up after only 5 hours of sleep, and I just can’t sleep anymore. I think it’s because of the sugar. Some of you may have experienced the same things.

Getting enough sleep is also helpful for losing or maintaining weight. In that same article, the researchers explained that sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. So, depending on when you need to wake up, figure out a time to go to sleep that will give you those 7-10 hours, and see if it leaves you feeling more rested, and less stressed. Whether your daily demands are positive or negative, stress can always affect your body negatively. Sleep is one of the best ways to combat that stress and stay healthy.


What can you do today to help prepare for a more positive sleeping environment and consistency with your sleep? Share your tips with us on our Instagram and in our sister company's private Facebook group! We will see you there!