Want to live a less stressful life in your twenties? Check out this post where I gather everything I do to reduce stress and anxiety.
When we’re in our late twenties, we’re in a weird spot in life: we’re objectively adults, yet we may feel a little lost sometimes.
Plus, for some people (if not most people), approaching their 30’s means the end of the world.
We feel we’re getting old and at the same time, we feel like lost kids who haven’t figured out life yet.
Most of us place a huge burden on ourselves because of all this and end up suffering from chronic stress.
And of course, it’s completely understandable to feel anxious due to life’s challenges.
However, letting stress control our lives has catastrophic consequences for our physical and mental health.
And, it can actually prevent you from reaching the most optimal solution for your problems!
What is stress
Stress is actually a mechanism that pushes you to take action, so no, stress in reasonable amounts isn’t always bad for you.
Things start to get out of hand when the levels of stress we feel are too high, considering what’s stressing us, or when we suffer from stress constantly (almost every day).
20 things you can do today to reduce stress in your twenties20 things you can do today to reduce stress in your twenties Click To Tweet
1. Journal for 10-15 minutes every day
If you think I’m obsessed with journaling, you’re right.
Journaling consists of keeping a written record of your thoughts, feelings, ideas and even opinions.
It’s something like a photo album of your life, just that, instead of pictures, this album is made of your very own words
In my opinion, journaling is the ultimate therapy: it’s free, it’s relaxing and it works wonders.
By journaling every day for 10-15 minutes you’ll be able to let out everything that worries you and keeps you from living your best life.
Journaling helps you vent even when there’s nobody around to listen or understand.
Plus, it helps you identify what’s stressing you out exactly and that’s key to battle the root of your stress, of course.
And, because you’re literally keeping a record of the things that have been rolling around in your mind, you can always go back and read old entries.
Chances are, you’ll realize you were stressing over things that you ended up solving anyway and that’ll give you a lot of perspectives.
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2. Design your life and take calculated action week after week
If feeling like you’re going nowhere makes you feel anxious and stressed, then what you need is to design your life.
Designing your life means planning the steps you need to take to reach your ultimate goals and live the life you want to live.
This plan can give you a sense of direction and the certainty that you’re actually doing what you have to do.
By designing your life and planning your next goals, you get rid of that sense of unease that may govern our lives from time to time because we feel we’re not making the most out of our existence.
More posts you’ll love:
- The Ultimate Step-by-step Guide to Design your Entire Life
- 25 solid steps to find what you really love to do
- Life Makeover Challenge: Reinvent Yourself In 15 Days
3. Set daily intentions
Daily intentions are basically your main goals for the day.
They’re kind of your non-negotiables: those things you need to get done no matter what.
However, they don’t include tasks like working or sending e-mails only.
Your daily intentions can also be things like:
- get work done without feeling stress
- no multitasking today
- let go off things that I can’t control
Battle stress one day at a time!
4. Don’t overload your to-do list
I dare to say we’ve all been guilty of this.
We may think we can handle more than we actually can or maybe we do need to get all those things done.
However, seeing a long list of things you need to take care of in a single day can increase your stress levels to the max.
Which, in turn, may also paralyze you and stop you from actually getting those things done.
This becomes a vicious circle:
- you see your long to-do list,
- you freak out because of all the things you need to get done today,
- you can’t concentrate on the task you’re doing because you know there’s still so much left to do,
- you stress over not getting things done
- you transfer today’s uncompleted task to tomorrow, thus making tomorrow’s list even longer than it was,
- you do it all over again the next day.
A simple and very effective trick I like to use to avoid this is using my daily planner instead of apps to manage my to-dos.
The space per day on my daily planner is limited, which means there’s a limited number of tasks I can write there.
While apps allow you to make infinite lists that are actually divorced from reality.
5. Embrace mindfulness in your day to day life
Mindfulness means being present in the now and giving this single moment your full attention.
Most of the time we’re thinking about the future (things we need to get done tomorrow, people we need to call, things we haven’t happened yet and probably won’t) or about the past (things we could have said better, memories, etc) instead of actually paying attention to what we’re doing.
Have you ever driven to a place just to get there and realize you have no recollection of the road or even getting into the car?
We’ve all been there. But that’s a very harmful habit you want to get rid of.
It not only puts you in risk, but it also decreases your focus and prevents you from enjoying your life.
Whatever you do, be mindful of it.
6. Make sure you always work in an uncluttered and organized environment
Clutter causes SO MUCH stress!
You may not realize it, but sometimes, if everything around you is a mess, that mess ends you getting inside your head: your own head becomes a mess of thoughts and anxiety.
So, make sure you organize your desk or office before you sit down to work.
And keep your home as organized and clean as humanly possible.
More posts you’ll love:
- How to organize your life: 46 easy ways to organize absolutely everything
- 19 self-care ideas to dramatically improve your mental and physical health
- How to easily turn your phone into a fantastic productivity tool
7. Make a playlist of ideal songs to listen to while you’re working
It’s amazing how much music can influence our mood.
According to— music mood
Making a playlist of relaxing or cool music that improves your focus can help reduce your stress and also increase your focus.
This way you’ll get more work done without feeling so much stress.
Plus, you’ll nurture your spirit and mind with the music you love.
Lately, I’ve been enjoying synthwave music A LOT. I call it my “galactic music” and I highly recommend it!
It’s great to keep you focused but it’s not as intrusive in your ears as other types of music.
These are my favorite synthwave YouTube channels:
8. Think about the worst-case scenarios
This one may not work for everybody, but it certainly works for me and it may work for you as well.
During high-stress situations when your life (or other person’s life) is not at risk… what’s the worst thing that could happen if you don’t make that call, finish that blog post or send that e-mail?
In most cases, you’ll realize that in the worst-case scenario things aren’t as bad as you were feeling.
9. Meditate everyday
I know meditation may sound cliché in this list, but let me tell you something: some things become cliché for a reason; some things become cliché because they actually work.
According to the amazing meditation app Headspace:
Numerous studies have shown that meditation is an effective stress-management tool, ultimately reprogramming the brain to the extent that meditators end up with more capacity to manage stress (when meditation is a consistent, daily practice).”
If you’re new to meditation and don’t know what it is, it basically consists of sitting for a few minutes to focus on your breath and observe your thoughts.
Meditate 5-10 minutes a day (which is around 0.5% of your time) and increase your self-awareness, improve your mental health, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your overall well-being.
By meditating 5-10 minutes a day for a whole week you’ll start seeing results and I guarantee you’ll love to make this practice part of your daily life.
10. Do breathing exercises
Breathing exercises can increase your energy and help you relax pretty quickly.
There are many breathing exercises out there which go from total beginner to absolute breathing pro, but you can always try the most basic one:
Taking deep breaths through the nose and exhaling through the nose until you’ve exhaled all the air and then repeat for 5-10 deep breaths.
Get in the habit of doing breathing exercises regularly and don’t just wait until you’re about to have a panic attack to start taking care of yourself.
11. Find your favorite comedy podcast and listen to it on your commute
Or while you’re cooking or folding laundry or any mindless activity.
There’s a podcast (or more) for everybody; with podcasts, you can learn about business, productivity, psychology, finances and any topic you can think of.
And, of course, there are comedy podcasts that can make you laugh until you forget why you were stressed in the first place 🙂
Some of the most popular comedy podcasts are:
12. Go to bed earlier and make sleep a priority
According to Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep, sleep is literally a cure for all maladies, including stress.
When you’re sleeping, your body heals!
This means you need to make sleep a priority if you really want to enjoy your life more and enjoy the sweet fruits of your efforts.
So, yes, you need to get enough sleep if you’ve been stressing a lot lately.
The thing with stress/anxiety and sleep is that it can create a nasty vicious circle where you can’t sleep because you’re anxious and you end up feeling more stressed due to the consequences of sleep deprivation.
If that’s your case, I highly recommend you seek help! Some things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep:
- sleep in a room with low and nice temperature;
- if you lay down and can’t sleep, get up and do something calming like reading, and go back only when you start feeling sleepy;
- avoid caffeine at all costs!
For more information about sleep and recommendations to sleep better, go read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It’s really a masterpiece.
13. Exercise daily
Physical activity reduces stress.
The best part? Any physical activity in some way challenging and that you enjoy is enough to keep you healthy if you practice it consistently.
- go to the gym and do hardcore weightlifting,
- do yoga (I’m a huge fan of Yoga with Adriene and I highly recommend her ❤) or pilates,
- ride bikes,
- go for a run,
Whatever you’re doing, commit to it fully and use it as a mindfulness exercise.
I guarantee it’ll help reduce stress a lot.
14. Reduce social media time
There are two main reasons why I’d advise you to quit social media forever (or, ok, reduce social media time):
a. While you’re mindlessly checking social media for hours a day, you’re very likely to fall into comparison traps with other people (people that you may or may not know). These evil comparison traps can, of course, increase your anxiety levels considerably;
b. While you’re mindlessly checking social media for hours a day, well… you’re mindlessly checking social media for hours a day instead of getting important things done, which of course increases your stress and anxiety levels because deadlines are approaching, another day has passed and you haven’t done anything valuable with your precious life.
So, hear me out: uninstall Instagram or close your account. Do whatever helps you stay away from it as long as possible.
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15. Talk to people you care about daily
The people we love and care about can keep us grounded.
Sometimes we get so stressed out about so many things and forget to be grateful for the people in our lives.
Those people (and realizing how lucky you are to have them) have to have a key role in you life because feeling love and loved, as cheese as it may sound, is actually good for your health.
Love makes you feel happy, inspired, hopeful. It makes you feel blessed!
Talk to people you love regularly (if not daily).
You don’t have to spend hours on the phone.
Thank goodness WhatsApp exists and communicating with people we love is now easier than ever.
It’s enough to just check-in, let them know you’re thinking about them and you want them to be ok.
16. Reduce your caffeine intake
Did you know that caffeine can overstimulate your brain and increase your heartbeat?
That doesn’t mean drinking coffee should be strictly prohibited forever, but the truth is, in stressful moments caffeine won’t help you.
Plus, it decreases the quality of your sleep.
17. Hug people you love
Hugs are nice and make us feel warm inside.
18. Read stories about successful people
When we’re +25, we feel we’re running out of time. I don’t know why exactly, but we tend to believe we’re going to die as soon as we turn 30.
However, please, remember all the people over 30 you know.
And also remember that many people find their purpose way after they’ve turned that age.
That’s why I recommend you read autobiographies written by successful people.
You’ll realize many of them felt like you do now and they ended up finding their way eventually.
19. Keep a gratitude journal
I’ve talked A LOT about how gratitude helps you improve your life and even build your future.
Basically, when you look around and realize how blessed you are, you develop a strong sense of self-awareness and build a strong mindset.
20. Surround yourself with successful people who are older than you
Take in all the wisdom older people have to offer.
They’ll always tell you you’re young and you have time, so stop stressing!
Reducing your stress levels won’t happen overnight.
However, you can reduce your stress levels significantly in a short amount of time if you follow my advice.
How do I know? Because I’ve followed it myself 🙂
Do you have more tips to reduce stress? Let me know!
And if this post was helpful, share it with others 🙂