In this fast paced world, it comes to no surprise that some days get a bit overwhelming and stressful. We all go through it more often than we would like to admit, and unfortunately it’s unavoidable even for the most organized and detailed planners.
Stress comes in all shapes, sizes and forms. Sadly, stress doesn’t come alone. It’s usually accompanied by it’s equally annoying twin, anxiety. They both knock us down without a warning paralyzing our thoughts and emotions. More often than not, when I experience stress & anxiety it leads to sudden mood swings, depression, panic, heart palpitations, nausea and the inability to stay still.
After years of experiencing stress related issues, I can guarantee it gets easier to manage by the day. Don’t get me wrong. There are days where my stress levels are off the charts and my usual coping mechanisms (mentioned below) fail to calm me down.
Keeping that in mind, I have successfully found 7 techniques that almost never fail to help me de-stress, relax, and lighten up my mood.
Deadlines, assignments, performance reports, presentations you name it. We’ve all been there. Striving to achieve perfection in everything we do. But what we seem to achieve every time without fail is getting stressed to the point where our brain just can’t handle any more and ceases to function. This is the point where your brain is sending you a warning to pause everything, take a break, and resume when you are in the right state of mind.
Yes, all your deadlines will still be waiting for you. However, your mental health is far more important than any deadline. Plus, you need to realize that trying to achieve something with a stressed mind will not get you anywhere. Your work will be average, at best, and you’d always live with “I could’ve done better”.
Learn to listen to your brain. Pause everything you are doing. Do something that helps you de-stress. Resume with a refreshed mind and a positive mindset.
Lets face it. Your mind is already in chaos and probably a ticking time bomb. You feel disgusted and irritated. You don’t need to make it worse by looking around your room and seeing piles of laundry and trash thrown everywhere. I won’t pretend I’m the queen of cleanliness. There are days I look away from my laptop screen and just stare at my room in complete disgust.
Get up, stretch a bit (chances are your body is so stiff from focusing on whatever you were doing hours on end), and clean up. Do your laundry, pick up the trash (and throw it out, don’t keep it piling up in a corner), do the dishes , laundry and whatever else that needs to be done to give you clarity.
Chaos = Stress. Keep your workspace minimalistic and free of clutter. This will give your mind some clarity.
Put yourself first and pamper yourself! Trust me, nothing feels as good as having a proper body scrub when you’re stressed. Every time your exfoliating loofah touches your skin , you will feel the stress wearing off. It works like a charm EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. You will come out feeling refreshed, energized and ready to tackle the things that stressed you out before with a clearer mindset. Fun fact: One of my favorite body scrubs.
Pampering yourself isn’t just about a good body scrub. It can be anything from a refreshing shower, a hair mask, or even getting your nails done. Find what works best for you. Keep in mind the amount of time you can spare. You don’t want to stress out more once you’re done 😅
Pampering yourself is a form of self respect. Your mind, body and soul need a break for them to help you achieve your goals.
One of my favorite ways to de-stress would be to go to the gym and get a good workout. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but trust me it’s worth a try 😉 Lifting weights or attending a class or two always works like a charm in distracting your brain. The trick here is to go all in, lift heavier and force your brain to use it’s energy on lifting those weights.
If you’re not in the mood to lift weight, try running on the treadmill. Run till you get a “runner’s high”. Your body will feel refreshed and your mind would be focused enough to handle anything that comes along it’s way.
Exercise is not only good for your body, it’s good for your brain too! Any form of exercise will help release endorphins that significantly help in relieving stress.
Being cooped up in a room all day trying to get work done is probably not the best thing you could do when stressed. Your brain needs regular breaks to help it stay sane. If you are not in to hitting the gym, go out for a walk. Pop on your walking shoes, turn on your favorite playlist or take a friend along and go for a walk. Walking outside is one of the best ways to relieve stress and clear your mind.
If you’re not in the mood for a walk, then head to the nearest mall or simply pay a best friend a visit. The point is to get out of your little world and give your eyes and brain something refreshing to see.
Give yourself a break and go out. Chances are you’ll come back feeling refreshed and in a better mood. Most of the time you’ll notice how a good outing will help you see the greater picture and significantly relieve stress.
Another way to instantly help reduce stress levels would be to spend an hour watching your favorite series or binge on youtube videos. What I like to do is either watch some hilarious vine compilations on youtube, investigative series (criminal minds and NCIS are my personal favorite) or watch Kdramas.
The point is to distract your brain and give it something new to think about. It’s best to avoid depressing series and movies when stressed. You want to lift your mood not take it down to a new low 😅
If something continues to stress you out on a daily basis, then it’s time to look back and see what needs to be changed. More often than not, we find ourselves stuck doing something that sucks the life out of our soul, and just the thought of it is enough to push you off the edge.
Identify what you value in your life and make choices according to that. Should there be anything that causes excess stress, it may be time to start thinking of letting go. For example, if a job stresses you out to the point where you feel miserable and dread going to work the next day, it’s time to start searching for other opportunities. If ever, you are confused, take a couple steps back and observe your situation from an outsider’s perspective, then make your choice.
Let go of all the things that weigh you down and give you more stress than you can handle. The moment you let go is the moment you get your freedom back.
Do you relate to any of my stress coping mechanisms? What are your strategies to help you combat and overcome stress? Let me know in the comment section below 😊