I’ve been feeling a little stressed lately. Okay. A lot stressed.
Between moving to a new state, doing about $40k in home repairs (thanks to renters who clearly didn’t respect the terms of our lease agreement…or our house), and trying to juggle all of this while keeping my clients happy, there has been a time or two when all I wanted to do was run away and find happiness on a beach. In the sun. With a refreshing drink in my hand.
The problem is, that wasn’t an option. So, I did these 11 things instead, some of which you may want to do if your life is feeling especially stressful at the moment:
- Cry. No, crying didn’t solve a thing, but it made me feel better by giving me a way to my release stress from my body and into the world around me. And it had an immediate effect. The moment my tears dried, I felt more relaxed.
- Swear. I’m one of the nicest girls you’ll ever meet, but I can also have a particularly foul mouth, especially when I’m feeling stressed. Certainly, you don’t want to go off at the local grocery store or in front of your children, but releasing a few of your favorite swears when you’re alone can feel more than a little refreshing.
- Talk to a trusted friend. Ever been super stressed and, after having a conversation with a close friend, felt like you could handle life once again? That’s the joy of friends. They have a way of helping us keep life in perspective.
- Get some fresh air. There’s something extremely relaxing about being outside, either by going for a walk or simply finding a place to sit. Nature grounds us. It reminds us that there’s this great big world out there. One that is full of miracles and blessings, not just hardships and pain.
- Create a plan. If your stress comes from feeling like you’re lost or unsure what to do, one way to relieve it is to create a plan. Just knowing the steps you’re going to take next helps reduce the anxiety and fear you feel because it gives you an idea of how to move forward.
- Give caffeine a break. I’m a total coffee girl, but once I realized that drinking it all morning and switching to iced tea in the afternoon was making me feel more amped up, I cut back. Now I only have one cup of caffeinated java before switching to decaf and I’ve swapped out my afternoon iced tea for water. I’m proud to report that I no longer have as much mid-day anxiety as I had before, so this really does work.
- Spend some time alone. Even if it isn’t the loved ones in your life that are stressing you out, spending time alone gives you the room to think clearly. It allows you to really uncover what is bothering you so you can find a way to either confront it or release it and let it go.
- Do something new. Have you ever noticed that if you give a new toy to a crying child, they’ll typically dry their tears and be smiling again soon? You can enjoy this same type of experience by doing something new when you’re feeling especially stressed. Engaging in something you’ve never done takes your mind off what is going on in your life, giving it a much needed break.
- Breathe. One of the simplest ways to calm your body down is to do some focused breathing. The nice thing about this option is you can do it anywhere, whether you’re at work, in the car, or somewhere else. Simply breathe in and out very slowly, visualizing all of your stress escaping each time you exhale.
- Help someone else. There’s something about helping someone else that puts your own life back into perspective. It reminds you that you’re not the only one struggling and, sometimes, your problems are pretty small compared to what they face. Plus, giving to others just feels good, which is incredibly helpful when stress kicks in.
- Plan something fun. I’ve noticed in my own life that my stress will begin to escalate when I don’t have something in the near future to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be something extravagant like a 7-day Caribbean cruise either (though if you can do that, by all means go!). Even scheduling a massage, a manicure, or lunch at a restaurant you’ve been wanting to try can help.
Everyone feels stress from time to time, but that doesn’t mean that you have to build it a bedroom and let it stay forever. Do these 11 things and begin to kick your stress out. And if you can’t get rid of it entirely (because the stressor is beyond your control), at least you can make it easier to tolerate.
Any other suggestions for ways to relieve stress? I’d love to hear them, so comment below!
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