Simple Stress Relief Strategies
Lately I realized that for the very first time in very long I wasn’t stressed out about anything. My husband and I haven’t had a fight, an argument or even a disagreement about anything in a while, there are no health related issues in the family at the moment, the kids have been getting on better than normal and finances have been improving over the last few months – in fact, we’ve even managed to put aside some money for our Christmas vacation!
Now while I’m not saying that life and improving circumstances haven’t had an impact on my overall stress levels I believe that the stress management techniques I’ve picked up over the years have had a serious influence as well. And so I thought it would be a good idea to share them with everyone in the hopes that maybe they help someone else, even a little!
Worship the sun
I cannot stress (pun intended) the benefits of sunlight on stress and depression enough. For months I was spending all my spare time working on my computer, which I’d set up in an out of the way corner in the dining room. A corner that gets natural light for maybe an hour in the very early morning! It was only once I started forcing myself to spend a little time outdoors – working in the garden, walking the dog, playing with the kids, exercising in the yard – that I realized how much my mood was affected by being trapped in the dark for so long.
Get your beauty sleep
While sleeping your body is working to recuperate from your day and restore your energy reserves. So while you may think that staying up that extra hour to work on that deadline is a good way to relieve the pressure the next day, you’re actually doing more harm to yourself than you realize. When you’re tired your body uses stress to keep you going, and sleeping for shorter periods means your stress levels have less time to drop. So you wake up just as stressed as when you went to bed!
Stress is your body’s natural reaction to anything that disturbs its natural state. So if you’re trying to survive on a steady diet of takeouts and caffeine, your body is going to start grumbling. Dehydration causes the release of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, so remember to drink plenty of water. Eat healthy foods and avoid those greasy takeouts as often as you can. By the way, this helps with your budget as well! And if you want to save more on all your purchases of food or anything else, make sure you visit Discountrue, Savings.com or any other couponing website. Lastly, as much as it pains me to say this – an IV of caffeine is a very bad idea so limit how much coffee you drink.
Find your happy place
My happy place involved yoga, some meditation and a hypnotic trance album that I pinched from a friend. With one or a combination of these three things, I was able to transport myself to an imaginary somewhere that was hidden from the world and where no one could disturb me. Now this may not work for everyone, for example when my mom goes to her imaginary place people keep coming by to visit her and have a conversation about anything (she loves to chat so I’m not sure that this was a bad thing!), but finding your happy place is a great way to rejuvenate the mind and soul, if not the body.
Do what makes you happy
Do at least one thing every day that makes you happy. If your thing is dancing naked in the moonlight, then make sure the neighbors aren’t watching and do it! If you love bathing, then spend an extra fifteen minutes just soaking and relaxing. If you love to cook, prepare meals, snacks or treats that satisfy your chef urges. It doesn’t matter what it is, but set aside at least fifteen minutes a day to do one thing that is for your pleasure alone. Don’t worry about kids, partners, family or friends. These fifteen minutes are for YOU, so take advantage of them.
There are a whole lot more tips such as daily positive reinforcements, letting go of the things you can’t change and avoiding unnecessary stress. But with these few tips, you’ll be well on your way to being able to cope with anything that life throws your way!