12 Women Share How They Take A Moment For Themselves To Make Their Day More Manageable

Unfortunately, human beings are creatures of stress. According to a survey by the American Psychological Association, millennials are more stressed than any other generation, with concerns about money and finances topping the list of what makes us want to pull our hair out the most. If you’re still not convinced that millennials as a generation are freaking out about, well, just about everything, research show that young Americans have reported feeling increasingly anxious for the last 80 years. And since stress can have effects that span from frustration and anxiety to real health concerns like high blood pressure, it’s important to find a healthy way to deal with the growing amount of pressure we feel from ourselves, and others, throughout the day.

While it can be hard to admit that you need to slow down and take a break when you’re stressed out, it’s necessary to take a moment for yourself to make your days more manageable. To help you figure out the best way to find time to unwind and decompress — even in the middle of a busy day — we partnered with Aetna and their #takeamoment campaign to ask 12 real women to share how they find time for themselves during stressful times.

Unwind With Music

“Since I sit in a smaller room [at work], my coworker and I used to have a daily 'music club' where we each picked one song and played it for one another. We alternated picking a theme so it was a fun way to distract ourselves from the work day for roughly 15 minutes. The themes varied from '80s, our favorite songs, slow songs, musicals... all sorts of genres. It was fun to pick out the song — and you get nervous because you hope they like it! — and also fun to hear the song they picked.” —Amanda H.

Take A Walk

“I walk to work most of the time and listen to Beyonce, or a podcast. I feel like walking helps me chill out and get to work — and back home again — in a good mental place, whereas taking the subway makes me a bit cranky because it gets so crowded.” —Allison C.

Do Something You Love

“What I do to take time for myself and what I find relaxing is spending time in the kitchen. Anytime I get to cook, bake, or experiment with different recipes is something I look forward to in my free time.” —Jen P.

Try A Beauty Routine

“To decompress, I take about 20 minutes to put on a Korean sheet mask, lay down on my bed, and just clear my head at night ... I find when I take the time to do this and then get up to go to work out in the morning, I feel significantly better and refreshed [the following day]. I think working out in the morning makes a huge difference on your stress level during the day because you don't have to worry about it later on.” —Becky F.

Get Fresh Air

“The number one thing that keeps my stress levels down during the day — no matter what I'm doing — is fresh air. During times of stress at work, I try to carve out a window to take a break and be outside. Usually I'll eat lunch at my desk so that I can take a walk to Washington Square Park, sit there for a few and just think. I get fresh air, absorb some sunshine and sometimes take a beat to call my parents to catch up. Taking a break and getting a change of scenery gives me perspective, and being around nature — as much as you can be in NYC! — makes me feel balanced again.” —Kate M.

Write Down What’s Bothering You

“I keep endless notes in my iPhone note app, and every night write out what I need to do the next day so I won't think too much about it.” —Marnie S.

Spend Time Alone

“I take a bus home that drops off a few blocks from my apartment on purpose, and then walk those five blocks home alone so that I have time to myself, away from work before I get home. It’s gives me an opportunity to take a few deep breaths and leave the day behind before arriving at my front door.” —Sarah M.

Read A Book

“I really like to read and am trying to find more time to do that. It's definitely a moment when I'm able to totally take my mind off of everything and just get lost in a story.” —Alyson S.

Schedule Time To Exercise

“When I am feeling overwhelmed, my go-to relief is a run ... Scheduling my workouts for the week ensures that I make time to prioritize myself. For that hour, I can take a break from the rest of the world and focus on the task at hand — and not feel guilty about it!” —Sarah S.

Set An Intention For The Day

“I try to give myself two to five minutes in the morning before getting out of bed to focus on me and how I'm feeling, setting intentions for the day — of course, I always set a second alarm in case I fall back asleep while doing this.” —Riesa L.

Do Something Nice For Your Body

“Even though I don’t do it enough, stretching really helps me feel less stressed. I feel like I am doing something good for my body, and I like to close my eyes and take deep breaths while I do it.” —Laura V.

This post is sponsored by Aetna. When life gets busy and stressful, it's important to #takeamoment for yourself.

Photos: kaboompics.com; lifeofpix.com; Pixabay user donterase; Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; kloxklox_com; unsplash.com; jeshoots.comenergepic.com; Pixabay; Pixabay user lifedeathlife