It’s a simple fact of life; when one thing goes awry, about fifteen others tend to do the exact same! There tends to be that spiral of things all happening at once, leading to this feeling of being overwhelmed or stressed out.
Thankfully though, despite the amount of pressure, stress or anxiety we may face, there is always something that can ease these negative, unhealthy feelings even just a little bit. And the good news? These are all SIMPLE, will not cost you much (if anything!) and will connect you to a place where stress melts away and you are able to calm your mind.
Here are my top ten simple ways to de-stress:
1. Start WRITING
This is the first thing I do when I feel overwhelmed. I am a lover of lists. Write down all the things you are worried about. These may be things you need to do, deadlines at work, the people you want to call, the groceries you need to pick up. Whatever it may be, write it all down. Don’t be neat; just get it all out there on paper in front of you. Once you have filled as many pages as you need, you have two options; first off, you can move on to another item in this list now that your stresses are no longer bottled up, OR if you are just as picky about organization as I am, you can now go over this list and decide what is absolute silliness and what is the most important thing on that list. This exercise provides you with some perspective. It lets you see where your priorities need to be focused and which stressors are actually ones that you can let go of.
2. SWEAT it out
Whether it is a run outside, your favourite strength training class, or hot yoga, it doesn’t matter. Whatever it is that you do, as long as you get your heart rate up, your blood pumping and your breathing rate quickened, you are doing so much for yourself both physically and emotionally.
3. Get some FRESH AIR
It doesn’t matter if its raining, snowing or sunny. If you go outside and connect with the outdoors; even for just a walk around the block, you will immediately feel rejuvenated and fresh. Just make sure to leave your phone at home or in your pocket and dress according to the weather! Raining? Grab your rain boots and umbrella. Snowing? Bundle up and get cozy!
4. Enjoy your favourite MUSIC
Listen and dance to your favourite song, or put on a really chill, beautiful playlist on Spotify and let the music take you somewhere else for a while. Check out my yoga and meditation playlists on Spotify if you are interested!
Sit still in a comfortable position with your eyes gently closed. Focus on your breathing and try to quiet your mind. Allow your thoughts to drift through, but don’t hold onto any. Let these thoughts float past as if they’re clouds in the sky. You may choose to focus on a breathing exercise, visualize a place where you have always wanted to go, or guide yourself through progressive muscle relaxation from your feet all the way to the crown of your head. Meditation isn’t easy for everyone, but as long as you take a few moments to bring some stillness to your body and mind, you are reaping some pretty profound benefits. Try it!
6. Take a soothing BATH
Try using a bath bomb, adding some essential oils to the tub or putting some Epsom salts into the water to ease aching muscles. Setting the mood is also important. Turn on some soft music, dim the lights, and grab a book and some candles. There are many ways to turn your bathing experience into an art, and the amazing company Bathorium has some great tips and products to make your bath extra special.
7. Enjoy the benefits of AROMATHERAPY
There are SO many ways to incorporate aromatherapy into your daily routine. You can simply buy some lavender or eucalyptus scented hand cream and use that at your desk or as your daily moisturizer for a simple but effective mood boost. Another option is to use essential oils. You can add a drop of your favourite essential oil to a diffuser or nebulizer like the one pictured below and allow the scent to fill the room slowly. Another option would be to mix a few drops of essential oil in with some coconut oil and massage it onto your arms, neck and temples. Be sure to test a small area of skin first, of course. (Psst! Stay tuned for a blog post about using essential oils!)
Enjoy your favourite sweet treat! One rule though, be MINDFUL! Have one glass of wine or one small dessert or piece of chocolate. The key is to really enjoy it, but to keep this little sweet indulgence small so that you don’t find yourself regretting it afterwards! Mmm!
9. TALK to someone
Call your best friend, your sibling, mom, grandparents, ANYONE! It will do you so much good to hear someone’s cheerful voice, and you can confide in them with any problems or worries. It is best to let your fears and stresses be heard rather than bottle them up. Share your worries and ask for help! This is not taboo!
10. DE-CLUTTER and CLEAN
Last, if you are anything like me and you thrive on having a tidy and clean working and living space, you may find comfort and stress relief in doing some tidying and cleaning. It doesn’t have to be a big project! If you even just spray and wipe your tables and counters, or rearrange the books on your shelf, you may feel a sense of control and relief.
There you have my ten go-to activities for relieving stress and clearing the mind. Try some out next time you feel a little bit overwhelmed.
What do you do to relieve stress? Do you have habits that help to deescalate anxiety? What are your favourite coping mechanisms? Leave a comment below and join in on sharing anti-stress techniques!
Thanks for stopping by!