We all need some goods ways to relieve stress. Whether you’re trying to get through finals or pushing through a tough assignment at work, stress is bound to overwhelm you at some point. Stress isn’t just uncomfortable, it can get in the way of you being able to produce your best work. Stress often causes mental blocks that only make a tough situation tougher. While stress is unavoidable, there are many ways you can relieve it. If you’re desperate for a little relaxation time, these 10 ways to relieve stress are perfect for you!
1. Take a Walk
Sometimes, a little fresh air can go a long way. A walk is nice because it isn’t as intense as a workout. While a workout isn’t a bad choice when you’re stressed, walking is good because it doesn’t have to be mission orientated. While working out, your mission may be to burn as many calories or do as many reps as you can, but walking allows you to be introspective and simply enjoy nature. You don’t have to take a long walk, but even a quick one around the block can give you a nice breath of fresh air and help you be more productive when you go back to work. That's why it tops my list of great ways to relieve stress.
2. Find a Fluffy Friend
If you have a furry friend, a cuddle session with your pet can be a great stress reliever. There’s nothing like the affection of a beloved animal! If you don’t have a pet of your own, taking a quick trip to the pet store may be in order. Many pet stores will let you hold and pet the animals, which will be very beneficial to you. Better yet, volunteer at the Humane Society. It will make you feel like you’ve done a good thing and you’ll have benefitted from being around animals.
Meditation is the perfect way to get yourself into a better headspace. Meditation allows you to get in tune with your body and focus better, even during the most stressful of situations. It may seem like taking the time to meditate is a waste, but while meditation does take a little time, it will allow you to be more productive and focus on your work rather than your stress. While there are many apps that can guide you through meditation, it’s perfectly fine to lead yourself through meditation as well. Don’t know where to start? There’s no right or wrong way to meditate. The key is to get comfortable and guide your thoughts to your breathing and yourself. Take deep breaths and imagine light and sensation running through the various parts of your body. Imagine yourself in the most tranquil location you know. Put on some nature sounds or soft music. That’s all there is to it! The key is getting in tune with your mind and body so you feel less overwhelmed.
4. Have a Dance Party (with Friends or by Yourself)
It may seem silly, but dancing can be a great way of relieving stress. Really, any physical activity will get endorphins running through your body, but what’s more fun than putting on your favorite tunes and dancing carelessly? Dancing allows you to be active while not thinking too hard. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t a good dancer, as long as dancing makes you feel good and gives you a much needed break from your stress.
When you’re stressed, insomnia can strike. You can wind up staying up long hours and feeling too anxious to sleep. Still, it is important to try your best to get a full night’s sleep whenever possible. Being cranky and tired will only add on to your stress. People need sleep and when they get sleep, they are happier, healthier, and overall more productive.
6. Meet up with a Friend
When stressed, it’s easy to blow off your friends, telling them that you are too busy, but making time to be social is important to your mental health. Isolation makes it harder for many people to cope with stress and anxiety; therefore, it is important to maintain your social life at least to some degree. While you might feel too busy to hang out with your friends, it’s important to make time because your friends will be the best people to help you blow off some steam.
7. Get in the Kitchen
Treat yourself to a special meal or make some baked goods. When you’re stressed, your go-to meals are probably highly processed and are primarily junk food. While there’s nothing wrong with having these foods every once in a while, they are not nutrient dense and leave you feeling sluggish and unable to do what you need to do. You don’t need to be a nutrition nut to make meals that meet your nutritional needs. Just be sure to have fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, the process of making a meal can be very relaxing and sitting down to eat something homemade is a lot better than a TV dinner. As for baking, while not the healthiest choice, a batch of cookies can feed your sweet tooth and ensure you don’t feel deprived. Food is crucial to human life and accordingly, it is best to ensure you are well fed when you are stressed. Making time for meals will go a long way.
8. Read a Book or Watch a Movie
Whether you prefer reading or watching, indulging in someone else’s narrative can be fun and distract you from your worries. A good story will have you excitedly thinking about it for days! If you like to write, try creating a story of your own. You never know; maybe you’ll write the next bestselling novel!
9. Find a Hobby
Maybe writing isn’t for you, but there are plenty of hobbies to choose from that will get you engaged in something that isn’t your stress. Knitting, sewing and crocheting are some options for hobbyists while there are many others, such as model building, drawing, and photography, just to name a few. Think of what you most enjoy doing and set out to start a project. Maybe you feel too busy, but even completing a quick puzzle in your spare time can make you feel better and allow you to enjoy your life.
10. Listen to Music
Put on your favorite songs and just listen. There’s no need to try to multitask. Just appreciate the music for what it is and focus on the words of the song. Music is around us all the time, but we often don’t let it be our focus. Usually, it is background, but if you focus on just listening to the songs and the emotion behind the songs, you can put yourself into a very peaceful state of mind, similar to meditation.