Have you paused throughout your busy day, and thoughts about how you want to combat stress lightly jog through your mind? Not only does stress affect us personally, it can turn from ripples to hard-hitting waves, and it can also affect those around us. Here are a few ways to relieve stress so you can return to doing all the fabulous things you need to do. Once we apply the "self-care" mask first, we can, in turn, return to being our best selves, like being kind, peaceful, and welcoming of others with ease.
1. Turn on your favorite playlist and "swerve to the left and swerve to the right." A hot and sweaty solo dance party ain't never hurt nobody. I love anything with an island vibe... I belong on a tiny piece of land with fruity drinks and curry-slathered dishes.
2. Grab that pen and paper. Write down your stressors and say "peace out" when you leave them on the page—no need to carry that baggage around.
Link to journaling prompts:
3. Take a relaxing bath with your favorite glass of wine and a jazzy playlist, and soak in a luxurious bath oil from Liberate and Lather.
4. Listen to a podcast. Many are out there, from comedy, cooking, personal development, and self-care. Whatever your favorite topic, they're sure to be a podcast. Explore a genre you may have yet to think of peering into. Exploration can uncover new things.
5. Pull a book off your bookshelf or use those Audible credits. With many ways to get books, entire libraries are at your fingertips. Let a story whisk you off to the pounds of Italy, and imagine yourself as one of the characters. Book traveling is free.
6. Be creative, channel your stress into art, and share your birthed art with family and friends. Want to get lost in a state of flow? Color! There are so many coloring books out there on the market for adults.
7. Take a walk, inhale deeply, and take your surroundings. Allow the fresh air to penetrate your lungs while you exhale all the stress.
8. Never too late nor too early to create a vision board. Map out your goals for whatever stage you are at now in your life. Looking to take a vacation, re-doing your bedroom so it is cozier, getting that "she-shed" installed. Put all your hopes and dreams before you visually and make them happen.
9. Get your favorite blanket and watch a few episodes of your favorite show or binge-watch the whole season. You can find a new favorite you may never have thought of watching.
Streaming Channels: Call of The Midwife
10. Have you been meaning to reach out to a long-lost friend or cousin? Or phone someone you care about to say hi, and tell them they are loved and appreciated.
11. Lower the heat and curl up in your favorite spot with a cozy blanket and a hot cup of tea, coffee, Teecino, or cocoa, and get lost in the moment.
12. Pull out one of your favorite cookbooks and cook a new recipe. If you are not feeling adventurous, choose your favorite dish you don't make often. Living in Washington, D.C. expanded my taste buds globally, so I can't help but be attracted to dishes like Tom Kha.
13. Get some tissues and cry your issues into them. Tears serve a purpose; they are a great stress reliever.
14. Unplug for the day. "Say what?" No electronics or social media, and stay away from the news.
15. Instead of driving yourself mad trying to control all the variables, focus on what you can handle.
16. Organize your lists. Are you a caregiver? Make a list and check one thing at a time and then reward yourself at the end of the list.
17. Re-arrange a room in your house. Sometimes all we need is a new perspective, and it releases stress. A changing room can feel like a new place. I love this author and her Book Declutter Like A Mother; she often has challenges online to help spruce up your place from room to room.
18. Get a few quick zzzs. A 20-minute power nap can make you feel like a superhero. You wake up refreshed and ready to go.
19. Grab hold of your little poochie! Play with your pet. Don't have one? Find a neighbor or a friend who does, and offer a play date.
22. Host your spa day, be it alone or with friends. Give yourself a pedicure and/or manicure, and apply a face mask while soaking your feet.
23. Invest in essential oils and diffuse them in your spaces, add them to your diffuser, bath water, breathe them in, and feel the tension go away.
24. Play around with clay or play dough. The resistance of working with clay integrates mental, emotional, and kinesthetic brain functions. Using your hands releases a calming effect.
25. Parlez vous francais? Habla Espanol? Learning something new languages are fun. Research the languages spoken in your area and learn a few phrases. I started learning Arabic right before the pandemic hit, thinking about picking it back up. Between Pinterest and Youtube, you can find the resources to know anything.
So which one will you try first? Comment below. Now that you have all these suggestions, remember that self-care is essential. Why not pull out your calendar and schedule a few of these tips? It is a vital step in maintaining your overall well-being.