Happy hump day! I’ve been feeling more than a little stressed lately. With Christmas gifts, parties & obligations, along with work and trying to take care of myself, it can feel like a lot. The holiday season is one we look forward to all year, but sometimes it can get overwhelming. Since starting my job after college, I’ve spent a lot of time finding methods of de-stressing and relaxation that work for me, because life is way too short to go about it stressed out.
These methods will help you take a moment to yourself to relax and give yourself a break. You can try them individually, or combined (which I prefer!) and they are guaranteed to take the edge off and refocus your efforts.
DRINK WATER OR TEA
When the day is stressful, taking care of ourselves isn’t always first priority. Drinking more water will help you feel more energized and relaxed, and help you refocus on what you need to get done. Getting water in your system is also a great way to flush out any toxins that could be negatively affecting your mood. The warmth of the tea, especially in winter, will help you relax and feel a little pampered. Best enjoyed gazing longingly out of a window or when reading your favorite book .
Reading will take your mind of the things you’re stressed about (especially if it’s nothing you can fix right away). Always have a book on hand that you love reading, whether it’s a classic novel that will make you feel accomplished or a 50 Shades of Gray (no judgement!). Know what books you really enjoy reading and have those on hand. Ruth Ware is one of my new favorites, her thrillers keep me engrossed until the last page.
TAKE A LONG, WARM BATH
Treat yo’ self because you know you deserve it. Grab some of your favorite bath products (my favorites are Lush bath bombs or eucalyptus and cucumber bath salts), put on your favorite album or movie, and enjoy the luxury that is you time.
I didn’t believe in meditation before I tried it. I only tried it when things got so stressful I was willing to do anything to help. The really awesome thing about a guided meditation rather than sitting and meditating by yourself, is that the guide takes the additional thought and energy out of it. I love Meditation Oasis by Mary Maddox which I find through my podcast app on my phone. She has different meditations for whatever you may be going through or dealing with, like stress, anxiety, or even for a boost of creativity.
TAKE A WALK
Walking is such an easy and calming fix, sometimes we forget about it. This doesn’t have to be a walk just by yourself, either. Grab a neighbor, your significant other, or friend and the connection you feel when walking with a partner will boost your mood as well.
CALL A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER
Sometimes we need to vent, and sometimes we need to feel like we’re not alone. Reaching out to someone we love and that loves us is a great way to talk
The act of creating and being “in the zone” can actually bring a sense of timelessness. I feel this when I sew or paint, and it is such a calming & rewarding feeling. Having created something gives us a sense of accomplishment and pride, whether it’s a simple DIY we found on Pinterest or a wooden bench for an entryway.
PLAN A VACATION OR GETAWAY
Groupon makes this really easy to do, whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a big two week vacation. The act of planning will get your mind off those stressful situations and having the vacation planned will give you something to look forward to!
MAKE A HEALTHY, GUILT-FREE SNACK THAT IS DELICIOUS
One sure-fire way to get me feeling better is making my banana-chocolate ice cream. It consists of frozen bananas, vanilla soy milk, 2 tbsp of cocoa powder, and any fruit or cacao nibs I want to add. If you don’t have a healthy go-to treat, try a few recipes and see what works! I don’t believe in “rewarding” yourself with unhealthy foods because it’s ultimately not a reward as you may feel guilty about it later or feel bad afterwards from the large amounts of sugar or salt that may be in it. BUT if you make a healthy alternative that is filling & satisfies those cravings, you’re good to go.
CLEAN & BE PRODUCTIVE
When you’re productive, you immediately feel better about yourself because you did something. This could be as simple as cleaning out your closet, organizing your bathroom, or doing laundry. Make sure it’s something you can clean in 10-15 minutes so that it doesn’t become an additional stressor. Decluttering is also a great way to reduce stress not only at the moment, but for your future self too. Aim for places that you frequent (bathroom, closet, entryway) because seeing clean and organized spaces will automatically send those de-stress vibes your way and reward the future you.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but the biggest things that help me when I feel overwhelmed. It is so, so important to put yourself and your needs first. Sometimes your needs may be a long, warm, perfumed bath. There’s no shame in that!
How do you unwind?
Thanks for stopping by!