We all deal with stress, and lately mine has been really high. It’s all too easy to grab a glass of wine, go shopping, or binge on an entire bag of potato chips…trust me I know! When it comes to stress it’s really easy to get into a pattern of bad habits as a form of relief. So lately I’ve been trying hard to find healthier ways to manage my stress and to decompress. I’ve been really analyzing the therapeutic activities that give me relief, and they really do work! So here are my 15 effective ways to deal with stress. They’ve certainly helped me, and I hope some or all of them can help you as well!
DISCONNECT FROM YOUR PHONE & COMPUTER
In this day and age it’s really hard, but we all need a little downtime from our phones, computer, and especially social media. This one is especially hard for us, Brian has employees texting him day and night, and I have constant text messages from my kids… quite frequently with problems that add to my stress! When possible I try to disconnect at an appropriate time, late afternoon or evening. Even if it’s just an hour or so it’s very helpful just to step away from it all.
SIP A HOT BEVERAGE
What is it about sipping a hot beverage that’s so soothing? It’s probably best to avoid caffeine if you’re highly stressed, but I especially find comfort in lemon water, herbal teas, and my favorite is sipping on homemade bone broth. So find a quiet spot, grab a hot drink, and let the stress go.
There is something just so soothing about lighting a candle and having the scent fill your home. Essential oils also work wonders when you need to decompress! Sometimes just a spritz of perfume on my wrist can put me in a better place. So find an enjoyable scent that works for you and take some deep calming breaths.
This is one of my favorite tips! I wouldn’t go tackle a big project like cleaning out the garage, I find that actually stress inducing. Small organization projects, however, are extremely relaxing for me. So organize a junk drawer, your pantry, or maybe a bin of your kids toys and see how much better you feel!
Nothing beats stress like exercise. Sometimes you just need to crank up some music and sweat it out! I don’t always have the time for a full workout but little bits of exercise are just as stress relieving. Just a short walk around the block, or 15 minutes of yoga at home can do wonders for my stress. Ashley has a rebounder in her room and will bounce 5 minutes here and there, it does wonders for her stress, especially after school.
READ A BOOK
Reading a book is such a great way to escape and relax, but even better how about a book with actual pages? With a lot of us reading books on our Kindle or iPads you forget the joy of holding a book. The feel of a book in your hands is great, the texture of the paper, the sound when you turn a page, it’s so much more calming. Plus it’s all too easy to get distracted by text messages and notifications if you’re reading on an electronic device.
I love visual therapy, a soothing fire, watching a candle flicker, or the trees blow in the wind. 10-15 minutes of visual therapy is so calming. Another favorite of mine is the TV screen savers that are found on Amazon and sometimes Netflix. If you have Amazon prime The Window Channel Network is amazing! You can watch anything from waterfalls to tropical fish swimming, sometimes I don’t like the sound that comes with them so I just mute that.
WRITE IT DOWN
Writing your thoughts and feelings out on a notepad is satisfying in so many ways. It’s an incredible stress reliever and it gives us the chance to really analyze and peel back the layers of our thoughts. So when you’ve had a hard day, or just feel frustrated with life, write it down, journal, and make lists. Being a virgo I’m all about lists!
TALK IT OUT
Don’t hold it in, let your feelings out! I never feel shame or embarrassment talking to others about my feelings. Whether you speak with a counselor, a trusted friend, or a family member, talking it out and releasing your feelings can do wonders for your stress and mental health. Not only is this healthy, it’s a great way to gain perspective and get a different point of view.
When it comes to relieving stress you can’t get any better than music, and I think this stress reliever can be easily overlooked. The right kind of music can completely redirect and change your mood. I have a variety of amazing Pandora stations ready to go when I feel like I’m about to lose my mind.
PAMPER YOURSELF AT HOME
I love all beauty treatments but I find the ones at home especially relaxing. I’m not sure there is a better stress reliever than taking a hot bath with a face mask and deep conditioner soaking in your hair. Maybe you find painting your nails to be the ultimate stress reliever, whatever you fancy these at-home beauty treatments are the perfect way to get centered quickly.
GET OUT INTO NATURE
Sometimes we get so wound up with our day to day routines that we don’t allow enough time with nature. When the weather is great walk a trail, have some patio time, or sit at a park. Listen to the sounds of nature and just unwind.
COOKING SOOTHES THE SOUL
Let me be clear, coming home exhausted from work trying to get dinner on the table with a house full of screaming kids is not stress relieving, it’s probably stress inducing. But when time allows find time to cook, enjoy the art, and savor every moment…and it doesn’t matter what your skill level is. I just find the act of slicing and chopping vegetables so therapeutic, and the sizzle and scents from the kitchen are so satisfying. It’s even more amazing when I crank up some music… Miss Ella Fitzgerald and I have laughed and cried in the kitchen together… in a good way!
FIND A CRAFT OR HOBBY
Having a craft or hobby is such an effective way to manage stress. Go fishing, sew a pillow, paint a picture, heck… even color in a coloring book. Anything that lets you decompress and take your mind off your problems. This may even be a perfect opportunity to help you find a new passion!
REALIZE IT’S OK TO SAY NO
This is a hard one, I try so hard to be a people pleaser. It’s such a great feeling to help people but sometimes it takes a toll on us mentally and even sometimes physically. It’s ok to say no. Let that sink in. We all love helping people but sometimes we need to realize that love and helping people starts with ourselves. If your feeling frazzled and you feel like you can’t do it, it’s ok to be honest and just pass.
The world we live in is overflowing with stress so I hope some or all of these tips can help you! Do you have any tips you would like to share when it comes to stress management? Pay it forward and leave it in the comments below.