October has been a rough month personally. For a plethora of reasons, I have been stressed far more this month than I usually am. While I don’t want to wish the last three days of the month away, I am looking forward to the fresh start that November will bring. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about things that help me to keep my cortisol levels down and my oxytocin and serotonin levels up, and my theme for November is going to be to incorporate more of those things into my life. Many of them are related to my Q4 of 2020 goals (which I have been making pretty good progress on!) so this will help me double down on those and hopefully finish out the year strong and much less stressed.
- Read more. For me, reading is one of the most relaxing activities. It puts me into a state of flow and I can truly lose myself in a good book. I’ve been reading more over the past few weeks, but in the past couple of weeks I’ve been allowing myself larger chunks of time to read and it has been AH-MAZING.
- Hike once a week (at least). November here is perfect hiking weather. It’s cold enough that most people don’t venture out to the trails so they are quiet and peaceful, but warm enough that I still find it pleasant to be outside, especially if I’m moving. I always take my dog hiking with me, and he doesn’t do well in the heat, which means that long summer hikes are a no go. Late fall is about the time that we can start doing hikes that are longer than an hour again, and I am so excited. We hiked for about two hours last weekend, and I have been feeling so refreshed all week after getting to spend some much-needed time in nature.
- Go to the gym five times a week (at least). I’ve been doing well on my exercising goals, but I’ve recently started working out at home more. I made it to the gym today for the first time in five days, and in just those five days I had forgotten how much better of a workout I get in at the gym versus at home. I feel great after going to the gym; I just have to get my butt out the door and make it there more often to get those results.
- Take more bubble baths. I know this is very cliché, but I have learned to not underestimate the relaxing power of a good bath. I can always feel all of my muscles relax when I sink into the warm water, so I need to start taking advantage of this simple stress reliever more often.
If I am able to incorporate more of all these into my life in November (and beyond), I think that I will be a much happier person. I have been brainstorming recently for some more things that could help with stress levels, so if you have any simple ideas, please send them my way! I have thought about trying to incorporate yoga regularly or perhaps some meditation, but I just haven’t decided if I want to invest the necessary time at this point to see if I would notice a change.