Life can be stressful. One of the best things we can do for ourselves is create healthy habits to preserve our mental sanity. Here are things I do that you can try too.


When I’m having a moment the first thing I do is pray. In addition to prayer, I meditate and use scriptures and affirmations like, “positivity is my new normal,” to get myself through moments. I also use HeadSpace, a guided meditation app, for daily mindfulness and have explored services like Still Going, that offer meditation with a live coach.

When I really need a break I turn to Yoga Nidra. It’s guided meditation that leads you into a deep sleep-like state of relaxation. It’s practiced lying down in a dim room with blankets, eye pillows, and other props to make you comfortable. I prefer the studio and the energy it gives, but you can also practice at home thanks to all the Yoga Nidra videos on YouTube.

I’ve written for as long as I can remember. In moments of happiness, sadness and everything in between. One of the best ways to release is putting pen to paper. Whether it’s in a journal, on a blog, a letter, or an email sent to self, writing always helps.

Sometimes I don’t have a moment to disappear at work so I’ve turned to breathing techniques to relieve stress. The easiest one is the 4-5-6 pattern. You inhale through the nose for 4 counts, hold your breath 5 counts and exhale slowly through your mouth for 6 counts. Repeat until you’re back to your usual centered, calm self.

Christen N. McCluney is a social media strategist and freelance writer based in Washington, D.C., writing on love, spirituality and wellness.  You can follow her on her blog Simply Christen and on Twitter.