We're all living through the same crazy times. Every time we turn on the news, it seems like something else is out there, ready to sneak up on us and stress us out. 

The partner. The kids. The pets. The parents. The girlfriends who consistently make stupid decisions and expect us to bail them out. 

We know. Believe us, we know. 

And they're doing all this in the middle of a pandemic! Hello!

It's easy to say, "just go to therapy," but if you're looking for a Black woman therapist, you're in for a surprise (and not a good one). 

"I have seen an uptick in requests to become a client in my practice this year — even though I haven’t been able to take on any new clients for the past three years," said Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, the founder of Therapy for Black Girls. "I have also heard from many members of our therapist directory that their practices are full. I am encouraged that so many more people are reaching out for support, but saddened because I know that there aren’t enough therapists to meet the need and there are still so many barriers to access."

Fortunately, there are some simple tips and tricks you can implement into your everyday life that will help make your already-stressed-out life a lot less stressful. Here, then, are nine things to do to help lead a stress-free life.

1. Meditate.

Countless studies have proven the positive effects of meditation. And all you need is 10 minutes a day. 

2. Eat right.

The math on this is pretty simple: if you eat good, you'll feel good. If you eat like crap, you'll feel like crap — and feel more stressed out.

3. Get enough sleep.

Try to get at least six hours of sleep a night. But the more restorative sleep you have, the less stressed out you will be.

4. Take an hour a day for yourself.

No matter what you do in that hour — drink tea, read a book, take a nap, or work out — just 60 minutes a day for you will go a long way in helping you to decompress.

5. Don't neglect your hobbies.

Whatever your hobby is, don't neglect it or let it fall by the wayside. Keeping up with your hobbies will go a long way in helping you live a stress-free life.

6. Talk to a trusted friend or family member.

As long as you get permission to "vent" to the person — don't just dump your problems on them — reach out to someone you trust and love to get their viewpoint on things. Sometimes, two heads are better than one.

7. Don't sweat the small stuff.

Life is way too short to argue over every little thing. Pick your battles. You'll find your life is much less stressful if you don't sweat the small stuff.

8. Handle your problems as they come up.

Small problems become big problems, and big problems become a full-blown crisis, if you procrastinate handling them. Instead, deal with your problems head-on when they arise. Sure, it will be stressful in the short term, but letting them grow and fester will be more of a problem in the long term.

9. Be grateful.

Practicing an "attitude of gratitude" will go a long way in keeping your stress levels down. A simple way to practice an "attitude of gratitude" is to say, out loud, "I am grateful for..." and name (yes, name it!) one thing you're grateful for. It can be something as big as your house, or as small as the butterfly that landed on your favorite plant. Whatever it is, be grateful for it.

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