Health & Wellness Wellness Wednesday

Reducing Stress: Knowing When to Step Back and How

July 9, 2019
Reducing Stress

We are halfway through another year and most of us are getting the ‘mid year blues’ starting lose the spring in our step and dreaming of a more balanced lifestyle. Reducing Stress and knowing how to manage it is important for our overall well-being.

This month, make it a priority to take time for yourself. Everyone has physical and mental limits, and have likely experienced hitting those limits.  Here are some ideas to try when your mind is in overdrive and your brain needs a break:

Get Away

It may be time to physically get away from your daily routine and change your environment. Whether you’re traveling alone, with family or friends it’s always worthwhile to take time off from work and take a rejuvenating vacation. If you’re stumped for ideas, there are plenty of options out there. A casual laid back vacation in the sun might just do the trick. Consider booking an all-inclusive cruise and enjoy soaking up that vitamin D. Maybe you need more activity on your stress-free getaway, look into a skiing trip! You can find a cabin in the mountains to escape to and unplug. There are plenty of options to fit what you’re looking for when it comes to time away.


Meditation and deep breathing exercises are great tools to reduce stress, largely because you can practice them anywhere. Meditation is proven to not only lower anxiety and blood pressure it can do things like help reduce pain and control addiction.

Metta is a type of meditation that focuses on self-love and can help set a kinder and more positive approach system in your mind.


When you exercise, your body produces endorphins which act as natural painkillers, boosting one’s mood organically. Exercise also helps improve the quality of your sleep. When an individual is consistently sleeping well they feel much happier and healthier overall. Whether it be yoga, running, or cycling, exercise can take many forms and there is something everyone can try and be good at.

Learn to Say ‘No’

Many of us over commit to activities, events, and other organizations to the point where even little social gatherings leaving us feeling exhausted. It can be hard at times or awkward to tell someone no, but in the end you are helping yourself. Spreading yourself too thin will never lead to putting your best foot forward. Nobody wants to hang out or work with an overtired, stressed out person.

Remember:  Quality over quantity when it comes to participating.

These are just a few of the many tips to bring down your stress levels. Everyone is different and you will quickly find what works for you to control your anxiety and stress levels.

How do you reduce stress? If you have any other tips or ideas for managing these emotions feel free to comment below!

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Savoring SIxty July 9, 2019 at 20:36

    Getting away, meditating, exercising, and learning to say “no” are excellent ideas in managing stress. I find that if I can stay organized and not let things pile up helps me feel less stressed.

  • Reply Debbie Harris July 9, 2019 at 20:56

    I agree with all of these suggestions Sue and particularly the saying NO to things. Life is too short to do things we don’t enjoy so occasionally we have to say no. Thanks for the reminder.

    • Reply Debbie Harris July 10, 2019 at 15:47

      Hi Sue, Just popped back to say I’m sharing for #mlstl

  • Reply Suzanne Vickery July 10, 2019 at 07:04

    I agree with Deb’s comment that life is far too short to be doing “things” we don’t want to be doing. Stepping away for a walk in the bush or beach can do wonders for a busy mind and body. I love getting away for walks, listening to music and having “me” time. We do need a certain amount of stress to get going in the morning though it’s like most things in life, getting our lives into balance and the person who has achieved that will be in the minority.

  • Reply Natalie July 10, 2019 at 07:14

    Hi Sue – The tips you mentioned are all very good.If getting away is not possible, a simple walk close to nature is always good for our mind and body, or a warm bubble bath. #mlstl

  • Reply Michele July 10, 2019 at 08:14

    I have definitely learned to reduce stress in recent years. I swim and meditate. I try to spend time in the evenings reading and winding down from the day. Lack of sleep used to be a big stressor for me but I am better about getting enough sleep now. I try to eliminate the phrase “I am so busy” from my life because saying it seems to make it true!

  • Reply Joanne Tracey July 10, 2019 at 08:51

    Stress is, as you know, something I struggle with. Weirdly I actually feel rejuvenated at the moment – I think because the day job has settled down, the rain has stopped, we have Eucumbene at the end of the moth to look forward to and I’m out walking consistently again.

  • Reply Jennifer Jones July 10, 2019 at 08:57

    Hi Sue I agree with tour points. I started saying no a few years ago to keep the stress away. These days I try to only do what makes me happy. I’m also trying to get away for a few days to Noosa to visit my family. Trying to coordinate my holidays and my partners is proving a bit difficult but we will sort it out #MLSTL Sharing on SM

  • Reply Leanne | July 10, 2019 at 11:18

    A great reminder Sue – saying “No” has been a big one for me – learning that I don’t have to do everything and I don’t have to jump through everyone else’s hoops took off a lot of pressure. I also agree with getting away – just going for a drive through the country or taking a few days away (if you don’t have the funds for a cruise!) can really de-stress things and give you a fresh perspective.
    Thanks for sharing #MLSTL with me and I’ve shared on my SM xx

  • Reply Patrick Weseman July 10, 2019 at 11:34

    Thanks for all the tips. This is something that I can really use. Very nice. #MLSTL

  • Reply Donna Connolly July 10, 2019 at 12:11

    Hi, Sue – Your suggestions are all simple, effective ways to keep ourselves in balance. They are also all within our reach if we choose them! 🙂

  • Reply Min @ Write of the Middle July 10, 2019 at 13:26

    Hi Sue – you’re spot on here. I’ve had to step away from a lot lately as I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and drained. The trip away to Straddie helped but I’m still having trouble getting back into the swing of things. I’ve just got to accept that I can’t do it all and stop worrying about what others might think of me. I’m doing most of your steps but really must try and meditate. Yep – still haven’t made this part of my days yet! Hope you’re well – sorry I haven’t kept up with reading blogs lately. xo

  • Reply Denyse Whelan July 10, 2019 at 16:28

    I read this with interest. My recent ‘steps back’ have included stopping my volunteering to make mindfulness books of colouring sheets I design for the hospital where I am treated. I am of the opinion when ‘giving’ starts feeling like a ‘job’ then you stop. I did leave them with 3 folders of a good variety of my designs and I am looking to do more that is less tiring and more when I feel like it.
    I will add my emotional health is being helped by my regular afternoon walk at a brisk pace with earpods in and enjoying being outside. I am counting the steps as I am part of a NSW Education Dept group for the Premiers Sporting challenge.

    Denyse #mlstl

  • Reply Candi Randolph July 10, 2019 at 20:02

    I am usually my own worst enemy when it comes to stress with my goals and self-expectations. For me, it is a combination of exercise, stepping away for a little while and realizing that I don’t have to accomplish those goals in a certain time if it’s unrealistic. I agree, though, that the key is to know when to step back. That is a learning process and I’m getting better at it.

  • Reply Christine Aldred July 10, 2019 at 21:24

    Thanks, Sue – excellent ideas. I have to say I think I’ve left stress largely behind in my life and I don’t feel the need to say no. I do feel good after exercise and do love a good long bath though – just because it’s wonderful!

  • Reply Jennifer July 10, 2019 at 21:24

    It’s interesting that your midyear coincides with your winter season. That would really make me feel stressed out. Midyear for me is about checking in with my goals and making any necessary adjustments, including jettisoning goals that aren’t working for me anymore.

  • Reply suzanne July 10, 2019 at 22:04

    Sue, these are all great suggestions. Exercise, staying organized and planning a get-a-way works for me. Just the notion of having something to look forward to makes me happy. I will add, letting go of guilt. Guilt should never be your motivation for doing anything.

    • Reply suzanne July 10, 2019 at 22:11

      Sue, please delete one of these. there was a server error and my first response did not appear to post.

  • Reply suzanne July 10, 2019 at 22:08

    Great suggestions Sue. I will add, letting go of guilt. When guilt is your core motivation for doing something, it will eventually add stress to your life.

  • Reply Nancy Dobbins July 11, 2019 at 00:59

    Hi Sue,
    The one thing that enabled me to get through the last couple years of a very stressful work environment was learning to say NO. Educators are often “guilted” into stretching themselves very thin under the guise “for the benefit of the children”. We love children so this works a lot and administrators know it. I just had to draw a line in the sand.
    Shared to SM, love #MLSTL

  • Reply Terri Webster Schrandt July 11, 2019 at 02:50

    Believe it or not, I could use a little stress right now, eustress (the good kind), not distress! You know me, Sue how ansty I am waiting for this cast to come off so I can get out and DO! Good and bad stress react the same in our bodies, but a little is good for our brains. Great post, Sue and coming over from #MLSTL

  • Reply Patricia Doyle July 11, 2019 at 03:30

    Sue, I’m finding the things that stress me more these days are things I cannot control. The newspaper not being delivered to my SIL and her in a panic – she’s autistic and any change to schedule is bad). The doctors office leaving a garbled message and then being off for the holiday for 3 days , resulting in me worrying for 3 days (and yes, gave them significant feedback on that timing). I’m continuing to explore meditation to see if that could help more when these random things spiral me into a stress mode! Visiting from #MLSTL.

  • Reply Leslie Susan Clingan July 11, 2019 at 03:57

    I forget to meditate. Purchased a meditation program online and promptly forgot it. Need to get back to a few minutes meditation a day.

    So enjoying the creative writing with you and Deb. Thank you!!

  • Reply lorraine July 11, 2019 at 06:14

    I seem to be keeping stress at bay for the moment. I often used to say yes when I wanted to say no, I think with age comes a confidence that reminds you to say no sometimes. I am hoping to try some Mindfulness this month which I hope will benefit me.

  • Reply Nancy Andres July 12, 2019 at 01:30

    Sue…love the links to Virgin all-inclusive cruise, metta meditation, and sleep/exercise connection. Yes, we all need to know when and how to step back and this post is tops. Thanks for hosting at MLSTL. Will spread the love.

  • Reply Jan Wild July 12, 2019 at 15:11

    So many good tips here Sue and not expensive or onerous to implement either – well maybe the cruise or skiing. But really as you say there are lots of small steps we can take every day that can make a huge difference to our stress levels. Saying no is probably the most difficult for women, but definitely one of the most important,

  • Reply Trisha Faye July 14, 2019 at 06:51

    All excellent ideas, but I think my favorite is the learning to say ‘no.’ That’s been a difficult task for me, but I find the older I get, the easier it’s becoming to say.
    Sharing for MLSTL

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 14, 2019 at 10:53

      Yes Trisha if we can say ‘No’ I think everything else just falls into place, doesn’t it?

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