8 Little Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Stress

Even little actions go a long way to tackling stress that feels larger than life.

In our fast-paced world, stress is as common as the cold. But unlike the latter, the solutions to stress aren’t always straightforward. 

Everyone seems to have their own fix—from yoga retreats to digital detoxes. But what if the key to managing stress lies in the little things? Small, daily actions that don’t just reduce stress but make managing it a part of your lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed.

As part of Stress Awareness Month, we’re providing you with actionable strategies for reducing stress in your life. 

1. Start Your Day Right

How you start your day often dictates how you’ll feel throughout it. 

Morning Routines are Your Launch Pad

How you start often dictates how you’ll feel by the end. Instead of scrolling through your phone, why not spend the first ten minutes meditating? Meditation can lower stress levels and improve concentration. Apps like Headspace offer guided sessions that are perfect for beginners.

Don’t Skip Breakfast

A nourishing morning meal isn’t just fuel for the body; it’s peace of mind that you’re well-equipped to handle whatever challenges the day throws your way. Opt for foods rich in protein and fibre, which can help stabilise your mood and energy levels.

2. Organise Your Space

The old saying ‘tidy house, tidy mind’ really does ring true. 

Clutter is The Enemy of Calm

By decluttering your space, you can significantly enhance your mental clarity and reduce stress levels. Start small—organise one desk drawer or clear your workspace of unnecessary items. The visual of a tidy space can subconsciously make you feel more relaxed and more in control.

Make Your Workspace Work for You

Adjust your work environment to minimise stress. This could be as simple as investing in an ergonomic chair for comfort, introducing life with some green plants, or just ensuring your desk is set up to prevent unnecessary physical strain.

3. Master Time Management 

It often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day, but it’s usually just a case of clever time management.

Master the Art of Prioritisation

Using tools like the Eisenhower Box can help you decide on and focus on what’s truly urgent and actually important. This will reduce the internal frenzy and struggle of trying to accomplish everything at once.

Set Clear Boundaries for Breaks

We all need time off. Regular breaks can prevent burnout, keeping your mind fresh. Something as simple as a five-minute walk every hour can reduce fatigue and even boost creativity.

4. Embrace Mindfulness and Gratitude

Being thankful for what you have can reduce the internal battle of searching for more. 

Integrate Mindfulness Into Your Routine

This might mean paying close attention to your breath for a few minutes or enjoying a meal without technological distractions. Mindfulness helps bring a sense of appreciation for the present moment, cutting through the noise of unrelenting stress.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Journaling’s not for everyone, but there are benefits to the practice. At the end of each day, jot down three things you were grateful for. This exercise trains your brain to focus on the positive elements of your day, diluting the potency of stressors.

5. Connect with Others

Sometimes, we just need a little bit of extra help from our friends. 

Never Underestimate the Power of a Good Chat

Engaging with friends and family can provide all the emotional support you need, distracting you from stressful thoughts. Make a point to reach out to someone you trust when you feel overwhelmed.

Consider Professional Help if Needed

Asking for help is the bravest thing you can do. If stress is becoming too much to handle alone, talking to a therapist can provide relief. They’ll give you a set of professional tools tailored to manage your stress effectively.

6. Incorporate Physical Activity

Getting outside will help blow the cobwebs away and reset your mind even in the most stressful circumstances.

Find an Activity You Enjoy

Not everyone is cut out for the gym, and that’s okay. Activities like yoga, dancing, or even gardening can invigorate your body and mind in the same way. The goal is to move your body, release tension, and trigger endorphins, your natural stress-relievers.

Regular Exercise Has Long-Term Benefits

There’s more to exercise than meets the eye. Beyond immediate stress relief, maintaining an active lifestyle can improve your mental health and resilience against stress.

7. Limit Stimulants and Screen Time

Technology is amazing, but having our eyes glued to screens 24/7 isn’t doing our mental well-being any favours

Monitor Your Intake of Stimulants

Reducing caffeine and sugar consumption can prevent the highs and lows that exacerbate stress. Try swapping out coffee for green tea or eating snacks with less sugar and more nutrients.

Control Your Screen Time

Too much screen exposure, especially social media, can heighten stress by overwhelming you with information and unrealistic comparisons. Set specific times to check your devices and stick to them.

8. Financial Wellness: A Little Goes a Long Way

Financial stress is a significant trigger for many of us. 

The thought of saving money when finances are tight can seem daunting. But even small amounts can make a big difference over time.

  • Start Small

Setting aside even a tiny portion of your income each month can help build a financial cushion and reduce stress. This might mean skipping a coffee once a week or cutting back on non-essential purchases.

  • Understand the Power of Compound Interest

Even modest savings can grow substantially thanks to the magic of compound interest. Over time, the money you save earns interest, and then that interest earns more interest, creating a snowball effect.

  • Plan for the Future

Regular saving can lead to financial security, reducing the anxiety of unexpected expenses. Knowing you have a financial buffer can bring immense peace of mind.

  • Financial Planning Brings Mental Peace

By organising your finances, you’re safeguarding your present and future. But you don’t have to do it alone. For extra help and support, join Clockwise Credit Union.


Don’t Let Stress Get The Better of You

Reducing stress doesn’t require grand gestures. 

Instead, it’s about making small, manageable changes that accumulate to significantly lower stress levels. So, implement just one or two of these tips and gradually build on them. Remember, the goal is to seamlessly integrate your stress management efforts into your everyday life.

Managing stress effectively means looking at all aspects of your life, including financial health. Whether it’s choosing to meditate in the morning or saving a few pounds each week, the power of small actions can lead to big changes.

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