Do you think you know how to de-stress? You might, but I’m guessing you can power up your techniques for de-stressing. Read on to learn how to increase your resistance to stress and how to power destress when the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan. (If you missed last week’s post, start there. Does the End of the Year Stress You Out?)
Increase Your Resistance to Stress
Build a strong network of supportive friends and family. Isolation will increase your stress levels. Trust me, I know. But when you have people you can count on, people who have your back—life is a whole lot less stressful. Make time for lunch or coffee get-togethers with friends. It doesn’t have to be a two-hour lunch, even thirty minutes can boost your morale.
Take control of the little things. Get more sleep, eat nutritious food, get exercise. Ask yourself what it is you need. Ask others for what you need if it’s in their power to give it to you such as asking your boss for different work hours.
Keep a brag sheet. A brag sheet is a list of things you’ve done that made you feel proud and awesome. Review it to remind yourself of those feelings. And to remember that you did amazing things in the past and can do so in the future, too.
Calm Yourself. If you don’t know how to calm yourself when your sad or mad, you’ll feel more out of control. Need some help? Try what makes you feel peaceful—for some that might be watching a waterfall, for others, it might be music or reading a book. It doesn’t matter what. Try something to calm yourself.
Prepare yourself. The more you know about the situation, the more you can cope with it. For example, if you go into surgery knowing what will be done, why, and how long it may take to heal, your recovery is less stressful and you bounce back sooner.
Recommended Stress Relieving Activities
The usual recommended stress relieving activities have been discussed all over the web. Here’s a list of those with a link where you can learn more if you’d like.
- Deep Breathing Exercises.
- Guided Imagery.
- Gratitude Journaling.
Fun Stress Relieving Activities
In my opinion, the best stress relievers are the ones that are fun to do. In other words, they are things that you enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Seriously. Take time for fun. Play with your children. Play games with your friends. Schedule time to play. It’s a great stress reliever.
A good belly laugh can do wonders for your attitude. Watch your favorite sitcom or comedy act. Find friends who make you laugh.
You don’t have to invest in expensive oils. Use the spices in your kitchen or the flowers from your garden. Learn more about aromatherapy. Here’s the Wikipedia article to get you started.
Reconnect with nature. Tend a garden or a houseplant. Or visit a botanical garden.
Listen to music that makes you feel good. Make a mix CD of that music and play it when you’re feeling stressed. Or, if you play an instrument—take time to make music.
Go to the Aquarium.
Watch fish. I’m not joking. Their movements in the water will help you relax. Sometimes, the aquatic animals can make you laugh. (a twofer!)
Get a massage or a manicure. Take a bubble bath. No time or no tub? Even a foot soak will renew you.
Read a Book.
Not research for the job, read something you will enjoy and immerse yourself into another world for a while.
Play with Your Pets.
This is one of my favorites. My Yorkies’ antics always make me smile. Don’t have pets? Go to the zoo or pet rescue center. Pet rescues usually need volunteers to walk or interact with their animals. Volunteer.
Get and give hugs.
Big, warm, bear hugs. You don’t have to explain. Ask a friend or family member for a hug. Throw your arms around someone you care about. That simple act is supportive and reassuring.
Pay it Forward.
Go out of your way to do something nice for a stranger. It can be as simple as giving a compliment. Making other people smile does wonders for your heart.
Take a Mini-vacation.
Take a half- to a whole day laying around in your PJs. Or go to a museum or art gallery. Or rent a hotel room for one night or go away for the weekend.
Are You Relaxed Yet?
I hope your life and your holidays aren’t so stressful that you can’t enjoy them. No matter the level of stress in your life right now, I hope I’ve helped you know how to de-stress. What things on my list to reduce stress do you use? Is there something you haven’t tried before but you’ll try in the future?