I have to warn you, guys, the statistics on stress aren’t pretty. Stress is the “basic cause of 60% of all human illness and disease” and “1 in 5 Americans experience extreme stress” regularly that includes shaking, heart palpitations, and depression (stress.org).
With work, family, bills, friends, and errands constantly on our minds, it’s easy to let it get the best of us. We spend all our time working on project after project and running from event to event without ever taking a moment to step back. However, we seriously need to remember the importance of breaking this cycle of overexertion and focusing on self-care. After all, you always want to put the best version of yourself out there for the world!
I took a moment to ask friends and coworkers how exactly they handle stress and anxiety for this blog. So, the next time you feel like everything’s falling apart and you can’t calm down and you just want to run away and never come back, I recommend using one of these strategies instead.
- Working Out
“Working out helps me. Yoga to clear the mind, and intense cardio to release energy from a busy day.” –Elizabeth
Break a sweat to forget! Working out is a positive way to refocus your energy and relieve tension. It gets the endorphins pumping to lift your mood and calm the mind.
If you like to run, I recommend trying out Spotify’s ‘Running’ function. It will create a playlist of songs that have the same tempo as your running speed to keep you moving.
- Bath Time
For me personally, a bath is usually my go-to activity for stress relief. I drop in a rose-scented bath bomb, put on Gypsy Kings radio, and focus on mindfulness. Don’t forget to silence your phone too!
Journaling is an excellent way to reflect on the day. You can write about your worries, list out your blessings, or doodle to your heart’s content – whatever works for you.
Bonus: for those looking to try something new, try a 30-day journaling challenge. Pinterest has loads of these challenges, which give you a specific topic to discuss or task to accomplish each day.
- Pouring Yourself a Drink
Sometimes, a refreshing beer or tasty cocktail can do the trick. As long as you don’t go overboard (nobody needs to deal with a hangover during a busy week), go for it – you deserve it!*
*Wine is best served with a side of Bravo and a carton of cookie dough ice cream.
- Adult Coloring Books
Keeping yourself busy with a fun yet mindless task like coloring is a good way to divert your attention elsewhere. You can buy loads of different kinds of coloring books at the dollar store. Peace of mind for a buck? Yes please.
- Making Playlists
Creating a kickass playlist for your commute or workday can make the rest of your week much more enjoyable. It gives you something to look forward to rather than just dreading everything on your to-do list.
Putting down the phone and picking up a book is a good way to give your mind, neck, and eyes a rest from technology. I know you have a whole stack of novels you’ve been meaning to get to anyways.
My current recommendations:
Let me know what you think when you read them!
“I go to PAWS animal shelter, and volunteer in ‘Kitty City’ AKA I play with kittens for 2 hours.” –Shannon
Giving back is another positive way to refocus your energy. You’ll be too busy interacting with new people, making memories, and putting good back into the world to think about yourself.
Sometimes, you just need to isolate yourself from our constantly connected world. Putting off text messages to the next day, saving emails for first thing in the morning, and logging off Facebook can make all the difference.
Things to do that don’t require a phone, laptop, or TV:
- Play a board game
- Walk your dog
- Do a Sudoku
- Sew something
- Ride your bike
- Buy fresh flowers
- Write a letter
- Throw around a football
- Clean out your closet
- Make coffee
- Phoning a Friend
Just letting everything off your chest and venting is sometimes the answer to all your problems. Call a friend and ask them to talk – something this simple could be just what you need.
Shoutout to my go-to friends – you know who you are.
Scrapbooking, crocheting, collaging, painting, modge-podging – whatever floats your boat! Working with your hands can be a nice way to give your mind some time off.
“I use Buddhify and Pacifica.” –Sonia
Taking the time to meditate can help you re-center your focus on the things that truly matter. There are loads of apps available in the App Store or Google Play for you to try out.
Pro tip: if you are new to meditation and don’t want to spend money on an app, Spotify has loads of meditation sessions available in their ‘Word’ section.
So there you have it! I hope one of these strategies can help you manage your anxiety and take the edge off your day. I’ll leave you with this little reminder: “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”