I’ve mentioned it countless times in my recent blog posts, but I will state it again. The past few months have been filled with some of the most stressful, but also some very rewarding times that taught me a lot about myself, what I can handle, and how to better-react to stress.
Below are some tricks I tend to use to “de-stress” that may help guide your efforts to rid yourself of those stressful moments.
- Acknowledge the stress
- Write down how you’re feeling and what you think is causing it
- If you don’t have a therapist or someone to talk to, talk to yourself out loud
- Allow yourself to cry
- Light a candle, shut the lights, and soak in a hot bath
- Turn your phone off
- Get involved in other activities
Acknowledging the stress
Let’s begin with acknowledging the stress. The first step to de-stressing is accepting the fact that you are stressed. These overwhelming feelings and thoughts are of course apparent. However, when you sit yourself down and really allow yourself to understand these emotions, clarity is brought to the scene. Acknowledging this stress can really set you up for taking steps to improving the problem(s).
Write it down!
The next step in de-stressing yourself is to write down these experiences. Whether you enjoy writing these feelings down in bullet-form, in prose, or even as a novel, it will help you understand what’s causing the issue. Sometimes there may be “small” troubles you’re facing that don’t seem to have much importance. However, writing these thoughts down can trigger your brain into finding the deeper and underlying cause of the stress you’re facing that are causing additional stress.
Verbally share your thoughts
Another step that really helps me improve my stress levels is talking to myself. I know, that may be super silly, but it’s SO helpful! I don’t have a therapist or a pet that I can just talk to, and there is only so much I can say to my friends or family members. I’m not always looking for advice, but rather to just vent and get everything off my chest. Sometimes I even record a voice memo and then delete it when I’m done. When you just put everything on the table and have verbal diarrhea, sometimes you can really feel better and clear your head. I highly recommend you try it. PS – if you cry, please know that it’s okay and it’s healthy.
Shed a tear if need be!
That brings me to my next point. Sometimes when I perform these monologues, I burst into tears… or tears just trickle down my face. I have no shame in it because it really helps me rid the stress from my head. I’m sure scientific studies were performed regarding how crying can improve your stress levels rather than holding your tears in, but that’s not the moral of this blog post. If you feel like you’re swimming in stress, don’t hold back the tears because they could really help relieve your stress levels.
Light a candle, shut the lights, and soak in the bath
Why is it that baths can be so calming? My friend, Amanda, always talks about how important “me time” is. And it’s true. Being aware of what you’re feeling and experiencing is extremely important to correcting the issues, and being one with your mind and body is super helpful! That’s I think why closing off the world and soaking in a hot, soapy bath is so wonderful because you can really focus on your mental and physical health. Having one flickering light from a yummy-smelling candle is super calming. But heck, if you want to light more candles and give it that romantic feel, go for it! The more the merrier, right?
Turn your phone off
My friend, Brenna, ALWAYS tells me to do this. Get clarity and shut off your phone. As millennials in a first world society, we eat, live, breathe by our phones. Whether it’s exploring the wide web; connecting with friends, family, and strangers on social; or keeping updated on news, we’re always on some sort of tech device that closes us out of our own reality. By powering down our phones, we can be present with our minds and bodies, which allow us to focus on our own troubles and overcome them by acknowledging what’s going on. See how so many of these steps come back to acknowledging the thoughts and feelings you’re experiencing?
Meditating is one of my favorite de-stressing activities. I love laying in my bed or sitting on the floor and checking in with my mental and physical health via the Stop, Breathe, Think app. Introspection before sleep is super beneficial and really calms the overwhelming (and sometimes unbearable) thoughts that keep me from getting shuteye. After checking in with my body to realize my true emotions, I am guided to many different episodes that can help improve my mindfulness. Focusing on the words of these episodes, which are super calming by the way, helps me stay in-tune with my body and almost make me feel revitalized. I highly recommend giving this app a go, or just taking two to five minutes out of your day for introspection and meditation, which can really help deplete the stress.
Some other “feel-good” things you can do
There are countless of activities you can perform to help clear your head. Some of these may include watching a funny or feel-good movie, reading a book to help take your mind off of things, listening to music (if you’re looking for a calming playlists, start here) cooking, playing an instrument, exploring new opportunities and passions, etc. There are so many things you can do to help relax yourself so you’re not constantly thinking about what’s stressing you out.
In 2018, I want YOU to figure out your top 5 ways for relieving any stress you may be facing.