Practical Stress Relief Tips
Most of us, especially during a pandemic, have heightened stress and anxiety. Myself included. Sometimes the above sensations can feel quite overwhelming, and it can seem like there’s no end to these negative feelings. But have no fear! It will pass!
Easy, doable, practical stress relief tips
However, in the meantime, I’m writing this article to give you all some tips and tricks on how to manage hardships, stress, depression, pessimism, anxiety, etc.
It’s so important, especially during these trying times, to find simple ways to re-center and re-ground ourselves.
I hope you all find the stress relief tips below helpful! Here we go!
I’m a big fan of journaling in general. It provides a safe space to uncensor yourself. It can also lead to a lot of learning about one’s self, which is so valuable for self-understanding and growth.
Furthermore, I’m partial to gratitude journaling. There are many to do this type of journaling and many gratitude journals available.
In short, it really comes down to writing positive things about yourself, life, and experiences. It allows you to revel in what’s good, instead of solely focusing on what isn’t going your way or what’s causing you anxiety.
I like to write positive things down daily. Often, when hardships strike, I’ll look back at my positive list to remind myself, “Oh, life doesn’t suck. I have so much to smile about.”
This practice helps to balance out the good with the bad.
With this being said, I often end my fitness classes and training sessions with a meditation asking clients to think of three positive things that happened today. I do this so they can recall this info later if life gets stressful. This proactive positivity can truly help to re-center individuals.
I personally am very big into scents and aromas. I found this amazing collection of candles made by a company called Little Shop Oils. Each candle they sell is designed for a different purpose such as good luck, healing, love, new beginnings, etc.
When I journal, I’ll often light one or some of these candles based on what my intuition tells me I need.
The smell instantly helps to calm me down. I also use an essential oil humidifier that’s quite calming as well.
Find What Sense Resonates With You
We all have a couple senses that we are more sensitive to than others. For example, mine are touch and sound regarding reducing stress.
In the realm of touch, the sensation of cold helps calm me.
When I feel myself getting stressed, I’ll sometimes run my hands under cold water or hold an ice pack.
Regarding sound, I’ll often listen to my favorite uplifting song.
It could be helpful to devise an anti-stress playlist when you’re stress-free. This way, you have it on standby when your mood isn’t as cheery.
Knowing what’s going to serve you best takes a decent amount of self-reflection and often some trial and error. Managing stress can sometimes feel like playing whack-o-mole. However, if you keep trying I’m sure you can find something that works for you!
Sometimes when we’re overwhelmed, we need to move rooms or locations. This is called a state change.
If possible, going for a walk is a great option. Simply going from inside to outside can instantly reduce stress.
Especially with folks inside more than ever, I highly recommend scheduling regular daily and/or weekly times to walk, ride your bike, hike, and/or sit in a park. It will do the mind and body good!
This is one of those classic stress relief tips. So much of our mood can be controlled by the breath. When we get stressed, it’s so easy to breathe quickly and shallowly from the shoulders. When this happens, we’re not giving our bodies enough oxygen-which will not help to regulate our psyche.
To reduce stress, it’s important to breathe deeply and firmly from our center/diaphragm.
When we breathe from our shoulders, they often raise towards our ears.
In diaphragmatic breathing, it’s important to keep a long neckline and expand horizontally from the core.
To practice this, I encourage everyone to place one hand on their belly. Sit with their body tall and spine straight, and try to push the hand on their body away from them using their breath. Breathe deeply, slowly, and steadily while doing this. You should feel more grounded with every inhale and exhale.
This is the essence of diaphragmatic breathing.
This kind of breathing, when done correctly, can help re-calibrate the mind, and reduce “the spiraling out” sensation that often accompanies anxiety.
I suggest practicing diaphragmatic breathing for 1-2 minutes daily, so that when anxiety strikes, you can connect to your diaphragmatic breath with ease.
Slowing the breath will inevitably help to slow the mind, which in turn will reduce negative emotions.
We live in a digital world, and as a society are glued to our screens more than ever with so much being virtual these days.
To reduce feeling overwhelmed, I recommend limiting or cutting out screentime of all kinds at least 1-2 hours before bed.
Put away social media, emails, texts, etc. Let the folks in your world know of your new routine.
I guarantee sticking to this will help. If this isn’t possible, I would at least try for 30 minutes before bed or at least for 15-30 minutes at some point during the day.
I hope just reading this article on stress relief tips has provided you with some relief! Please know that you are not alone.
Managing stress is a lifelong mission for everyone, including myself. Remember, be good to yourself. Practice selfcare. Learn when to rest. Know when it’s a good idea to healthily challenge yourself.
You are the expert on you. Listen to your gut and intuition!
Please reach out with any questions and/or comments you might have here.
Stay healthy and safe! Thanks for reading and stay tuned!