Sometimes, a simple idea can put things into perspective and actually change your ways. By taking a little time for yourself, you can work on your wellness by alleviating stress every day.

This isn't the exact meme that got me thinking about this, but you get the idea.

meme

Courtesy of WavestoWellness.com

Stress has a lasting effect on the human body. According to the American Psychological Association, it can cause you to tense your muscles, increase your heart rate, and even affect your respiratory system. Just think about how hard your heart pounded the last time you had a near-miss on the road.

Here is a list of small things you can do to relieve and avoid stress during the day, with just minutes of your time.

Avoid Stress by Planning Ahead

Something as simple as leaving home 15 minutes early can make a world of difference if you have a stressful commute. Fewer cars means less road rage and a better mood to start the day. Win-win for just 15 minutes of effort! Add in a good audiobook or podcast, and a car ride can be downright relaxing.

traffic, cars

Another quick tip is to keep a running shopping list in your wallet so you don't risk forgetting something later. Little reminders can have a huge impact on a busy day. Take a long, hard look at your typical day and think about how you can head stress off at the pass.

Eat Better

Wellness isn't just about having salads each day, but we can all benefit from eating better. Spend a little time on the weekend to prepare some homemade soup or simple meals. A container of overnight oats is a great, filling breakfast that will fuel your day without spending too much money. Each day, think about the next and set something aside in the fridge so you can just grab and go in the morning.

soup, almonds

Meal prep doesn't have to be about cooking elaborate dishes. Leftover pizza or rotisserie chicken can be paired with some baby carrots or salad for a tasty workday lunch. 

Get Moving

You don't have to spend hours at the gym to get some exercise in. Be creative and find little ways to get your heart rate up. A trip to the store can rack up thousands of steps if you walk up and down each aisle at a brisk pace. This brief yoga routine takes only 20 minutes to complete. You could also try starting your day with a few minutes of Zumba before your morning shower. 

yoga

Hit the Hay

Improve your energy levels by getting a good night's sleep. Devote a few minutes to trying a bit of mindful meditation in bed or just start winding down 30 minutes earlier than usual. If you have trouble getting enough rest, make sure you're not napping during the day or having caffeine much later than lunchtime. Trying desperately to get to sleep can be as stressful as anything else you do during the day.

sleep, bed

Think of your own ways to get your stress under control with little changes. Every minute spent on your wellness now will give you the gift of time down the line. 

**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Unsplash unless credited otherwise.

How do you make time for yourself and your wellness? Do you have a favorite meal prep recipe that doesn't take much time? Let us know in the comments!