Chronic stress can zap your energy and undermine your health. If tensions build up throughout the week, you may have trouble resting and recharging on your days off. Then, you start the next week tired out from the start.

Break the cycle with this 4-step plan to squash stress before it accumulates. Start your week off feeling peaceful and relaxed.

Practice Relaxation

  1. Slow down. Do you rush around from Monday to Friday trying to meet deadlines at work and deliver your kids to soccer practice on time? Wake up early and leave a gap between appointments. Pause to collect your thoughts, and listen to birds sing.
  1. Turn off your phone. Try to disconnect for at least an hour each day. Connect with family and friends face-to face instead of texting.
  1. Pray and meditate. For many adults, spiritual traditions are the ultimate source of stability and contentment. Study inspirational texts and contemplate how they relate to your personal challenges.
  1. Express your creativity. Whatever your beliefs, you can blow off steam by engaging in arts and crafts. Play the piano or knit your husband a sweater.
  1. Live mindfully. Studies show that humans aren’t very good at multitasking, and jumping from one subject to another creates anxiety. Focus on the present moment to accomplish more with less effort.

Cut stress off at the source.

Begin your week with simple habits and easy decisions that protect your peace of mind. You’ll feel less frazzled and more alive each day.

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