Sadly, stress is an all too common thing these days. Whether it’s caused by school, relationships, politics, or something else, stress is unhealthy for us. If stressed for long periods, one can become exhausted and chronically ill, or develop anxiety or depression.
The technical definition of stress is: “A specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.”
Basically, anything that causes you fear or pain is stressful. There isn’t a way to get through life without fear and pain (and it wouldn’t be much of a life constantly trying to avoid everything anyways).
These are some things that have worked well for me to relieve stress.
HALT – don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired.
This is pretty self-explanatory, but pretty much means: take care of yourself. Take a nap, get a snack, talk with a friend, get enough sleep, punch a pillow (or slime – see below).
This is going to sound more like fun than stress relief, but who says stress relief can’t be fun? Slime is great. It’s easy to make, keeps your hands busy, you can hit it, stretch it, punch it, and pound it to your heart’s content.
Spend Time in Nature Every Day
Even if it’s just a little bit. Every little bit does help. Stroll through the garden. Eat dinner outside. Make a cup of tea and watch the sunrise. Do your homework in a tree, or a chair on the patio or deck. Walk the dog. Start a rock or leaf collection. Being in nature is one of the most therapeutic things you can do for yourself.
Break Up Large Projects/Jobs
Again, this one is pretty self-explanatory, but almost everything big is able to be broken into smaller, more achievable chunks. An overwhelming project can become 3 (or 10) littler projects.
I highly recommend getting a Stress + Gratitude journal. You can divide a page into two. In one section, write down all the things that are stressing you. This can be anything, whether it will go away tomorrow or stay for a year. Write it all down.
The other section is the Gratitude part. Find three things that you were proud of yourself for doing, or that made you happy. For example, eating a good breakfast, taking a walk, and bathing the dog (exercise in itself if your dog doesn’t like water!) Try to do this each day, if you remember :) Of course there will be the tough days, but it helps to try and have a positive outlook on life
Create A “Stress Relief” Toolbox:
I can’t cover all the amazing stress relief ideas out there, so the rest are here in this “Toolbox”. I have used all of these with success at some point. Some have helped me more than others, but every person is different so I thought I’d put them all in.
Slow, deep breathing
Call a good friend
Take a long bath
Light scented candles
Use a hot washcloth on your shoulders
Play with a pet
Savor a warm cup of tea or coffee
Work in a garden
Get a massage
Curl up with a good book
Listen to music
Watch a comedy
Use a tennis ball to massage tight muscles
Have you tried any of these before? Did anything work especially well for you? Let me know in the comments :)