June 28, 2023

The 10 simple things I do to manage stress and feel more motivated at this time of year

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, unmotivated or stressed at this time of year, you’re not alone. And if you’re living in Melbourne, the struggle is REAL – when it’s still pitch black at 7am the thought of getting out of your warm, cosy bed and trying to get a workout in, going for a walk or getting up a little earlier for work is tough. If you are managing to do these things, WELL DONE. You should be really proud, it’s not easy and can feel way more challenging than usual at this time of year.

For the majority of Australians, we’re also a long way away from our bigger break at the end of the year. It feels too far away to be able to look forward to.

So, here’s how I overcome these feelings and conquer the long haul. I highly recommend adding some or all of these small, simple things into your weekly routine – the things that will fill your cup – and before you know it, the days will longer and the weather will change.

Make your bed as soon as you wake up

This might seem so simple, but it is actually so effective. There has been a lot of studies to validate the mental health benefits of making your bed first thing in the morning – a lot of which demonstrate increased productivity in your day. I try doing this as soon as soon as I wake up and before checking my phone.

Wear the outfit that makes you feel good

In my mind, comfort is key. And what I deem comfortable and know will make me feel my best changes every day. Sometimes it’s active wear, sometimes its crocs, sometimes I am wearing a suit because that’s what makes me feel confident and productive. I love changing it up based on how I’m feeling and truly believe that when I listen to that feeling, I am set up for a good day ahead.

Wake up earlier

Even if it’s just 15 minutes. If you’re not a natural early riser, I know this is hard, but trust me when I tell you there is something quite wholesome about waking up a bit earlier or before the rest of your world starts getting noisy. Use this time how you wish – move your body, make a coffee, make a tea, read the news, read a book, cuddle your pet – do something small that you know will serve you.

Eat your favourite food

Enough said.

Move your body for at least 10 minutes

All it takes is 5 or 10 minutes of movement to notice a difference in your mood. We have been so busy at Kic HQ which means that some mornings all I have time for is a 10 minute Kic Treadmill Masterclass (and that is OK). We have so many Kic Minis in the app – all the way from equipment free Pilates workouts to quick bursts of HIIT. If you haven’t tried one already, give one of them a go, I promise your mind and your body won’t regret it.

Go for a walk (or go for a run!)

If you’re waking up earlier in the morning, why not use this time to go for a walk? Or perhaps you have some time at lunch, or before dinner? Walking gives me so much peace and clarity. I love plugging in a podcast or getting a quick fix of the news. And if you’re up to it and have the energy, why not try going for a run? I have just started getting back into running more regularly post knee injury and have truly missed the endorphin rush and clearness it gives my mind. If you’re curious and would like to start running, you could try using our KICRUN 0-5km Program. We also have a 5-10km Program and a 10-21km Program!

Read a book

I set myself a goal to read more this year, and I am loving it! It’s something that I really wanted to allow myself more time to do. Reading is so good for the mind, a great way to unwind before bed and to learn something new (sometimes without even realising).


I know you might think this isn’t for you, but trust me when I say it is for anyone. Meditation has helped me so much over the years, particularly when I’m having a stressful day at work and start feeling myself getting flustered and overwhelmed. If this is something you’re experiencing, I highly recommend just trying a 5 minute meditation and see how feel afterwards. We have over 100+ meditations in the Kic app, and currently I am loving Managing your Monkey Mind. When I can’t get to sleep, I’ll try a sleep story – specifically, Camping Sleep Story.

Switch off your phone by 8.30pm

This is hard, especially if you’re someone who is very attached to a device or if your job relies a lot on social media. In an era of 24/7 social connectedness, I know how easy it is to use this time scrolling through social media, finding and saving sources of inspiration to bring to your work the next day, or simply getting sucked into hilarious TikToks. But before you know it an hour has passed and your brain is fired up before bed time. A few nights a week try switching off your mobile device before 8.30pm (or 1-2 hours before your normal bed time) and see if you notice a difference in how you feel.

Get that coffee

I know inflation is screaming at all of us, but life is too short to not enjoy that coffee. If you can, buy that coffee from your favourite coffee shop and enjoy every sip.

Laura Henshaw

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