Stress is a genuine and prevalent part of our lives. Not only is a part of our mental life on a day to day basis, but it is scientifically proven time and time again that stress on the mind can also lead to stress on the body. High blood pressure, anxiety, and much more can all be contributed to stress-related causes. So in these difficult times, not just for communities but for the individual, it’s essential to have your array of stress relief tactics in your playbook for when the time comes. So here are ten different simple ways you can help yourself relieve stress.
Go for a Walk
It’s so simple, yet we all forget about it. Going for a walk is one of the best things that you can do for yourself when you feel your grip on your mentality, slipping under the pressure of life. Not only does it provide stress relief by releasing endorphins to your brain from exercise. But it also gets rid of any excess adrenaline in your body by letting your blood get pumping, purging any remaining stress right out of you. It doesn’t even need to be outside, either. Pacing around your house, dancing to some music, jogging in place, or even jumping up and down can all help get rid of excessive nerves.
Sing Your Favorite Song
Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it’s a little weird if you’re not used to it. Yes, it’s easy to get carried away and lost in the music. But it’s so so good for stress relief. Let me explain. Not only does listening to your favorite songs release that sweet, sweet happy juice that we all crave inside of our minds (serotonin and dopamine), but singing is also a very physically reliant activity, specifically within the breath. When you sing, you have to be very aware of how you are breathing to get through a song. From happy birthday to Mozart’s Magic Flute, it’s all about the breath. And we all know how important it is to breathe. So belt out the lyrics to your favorite pop song. If anyone questions it, say you’re practicing your breathing.
Take a Car Ride
A change in scenery can brighten even the worst of your moods. Also, if you don’t even get out of the car, it can be helpful to drive. There’s a certain level of freedom and control that you can derive from taking power in where you are in the world. Many times when we are stressed out, it can come from a feeling of helplessness or a feeling that things are out of control. Stress relief can come from breaking out of that maddening cycle and gaining just a little bit more independence in your life. Even if it’s just a small amount, it can still change the way your brain processes things and set you on a healthier path for the rest of the day.
Go to a Cemetery
Sure, it might sound pretty morbid to say this, but contrary to popular belief, some, if not most, cemeteries are very peaceful and an excellent way to find stress relief. A wide-open field, a few lovely benches, and often a few trees with plenty of shade to sit underneath without anyone around to bother you make them almost like a park just with fewer people. Sure, I don’t recommend having a whole picnic next to someone’s grave. However, letting yourself have some peace and quiet in a place where nature and respectful silence can be enjoyable. I understand that it may not be for everyone, but if you haven’t given it a shot, I welcome you to have an open mind, embrace a little bit of your gothic side, and take a deep breath.
Read a Book
Escapism is something that should not be taken for granted. Yes, procrastination is not something to condone. Even so, letting your mind wander into another place, even for just a little while, can prove to have it’s benefits, especially if you’re searching for a bit of stress relief. Now, of course, you can read whatever you want, but if you genuinely want a good escapist read, I would recommend something to do with fiction. A good Neil Gaimen, Terry Prattchet, or even a Rick Riordan book can misplace your worries for a few hours before you have to snap back into your life. Let the words on the page soothe your troubles away.
Spend Time with Friends
We all love our friends. And no matter what, we’re always there to have a friend’s back. So why is it we never reach out to help ourselves? One of the biggest mistakes a person can make is not to ask for help when they need to. It’s not healthy, it’s not sustainable, and it’s certainly not a great way to get stress relief anytime soon. So the next time you feel like you’re about to implode from the weight of the world on your shoulders, try reaching out to a friend. As the song goes, “We all need somebody to lean on.”
Learn Something New
Has something been sitting on your to-do list for the longest time, but you’ve just never gotten the time to get around to it? Maybe there’s a hobby, or a craft kit, or an art project that’s been collecting dust in the corner for ages since you haven’t worked up the courage to start. Well, now’s your chance! Learning a new skill or practicing a hobby can be an excellent way to stress relief and ease your worries. Not only will it feel like you’re getting something done, but it’s also a low stakes task you can set yourself on when everything else seems too challenging to tackle.
Give Yourself a Treat
Is there a bit of ice cream in the fridge you’re saving for a perfect day? What about that bath bomb that you only want to use for the perfect moment? Is there a video game or movie that you’re sitting on since it’s never been the right time to indulge in it? Stop waiting! You have no reason to restrain something out of your reach if it makes you happy. Of course, there is the question of moderation, but who needs reduction when the world is about to end? Have that extra scoop of ice cream. It’s not going to kill you, I promise.
Try Deep Breathing
This one is tossed around a lot. Don’t forget to breathe, have you tried your deep breathing yet today? Please take a deep breath etc. etc. It may feel annoying to hear, and like it doesn’t have any worth, but it does. Believe it or not, most people don’t even know how to take deep breathes. First, straighten your back: shoulders back, waist in line with your hips. Next, you want to close your eyes and breathe in for ten seconds. Now stay with me. This part is where most people get it wrong. When you breathe in, breathe into the stomach, not the chest. Hold for five seconds, then breathe out for eight seconds and repeat.
Let Yourself Cry
Some of the most cathartic and blissful moments in life can be during a good long cry. I don’t know why everyone says not to cry when you’re upset. Tears are meant to be the vessel for the strongest and most intense emotions that we as human beings experience. It is programmed into us to cry when things get to be way too much, and that’s okay. So the next time that you need some stress relief and you feel the tears start to flow, it’s alright, just let it all out.