In our extremely busy lives, we can get so caught up in multitasking and stressing out that we forget to take time for ourselves. Here are four ways to stop and check in with yourself to make sure your stress levels are kept to a minimum.

1) Take a walk. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress because it’s a great escape for your mind. Head out for a quiet early morning walk or lace up your sneakers on your lunch break. Walking along a trail, waterfront, or other peaceful place when possible for even more mental calming and relaxation.

2) Listen to a relaxation CD. You may like to hear chirping birds, rolling waves, or gentle rain — whatever your choice, closing your eyes and listening to these soothing sounds while doing some deep breathing can help you relax and de-stress.

3) Daydream. Look out a window. Distract yourself by focusing on something other than what’s stressing you. Grab a steaming cup of chamomile tea, close the door, and take a mental break. Do a little people watching, appreciate any birds within view, or enjoy some fluffy clouds rolling by. Allow yourself to daydream for a few minutes.

4) Look at pictures from a happy time. Experts recommends pulling out snapshots from a photo album of a family vacation or a fun dinner with friends. Reflect on your memories of that occasion, and what made it so enjoyable. Spend a few quiet moments reminiscing and you’ll find yourself more relaxed.

Stress can have some seriously negative side effects on not only your mental but also physical well-being. Check out the 50 most common signs and symptoms of stress to help prevent a more serious illness from manifesting ➜