Stressed? Me too – here are some easy ways to find relief.
Short term stress is good for you – it lets you know a situation is bad, and encourages you to solve/get away from it. Lost your keys? Find them right now! Persistent creep on a night out? Vacate the premises! However, this feeling is meant to be a temporary prod to solve a sticky situation.
The effects of long term stress can vary from skin problems such as acne or eczema, raised blood pressure, pain and increased susceptibility to infections and viruses. I can tick so many off those right now! So, in honour of International Stress Awareness Week (and partly for me to refer back to), here is a list of easy ways to relieve stress.
7 easy ways to relieve stress
Get some exercise (even a little)! It’s easy to rule out exercising as too difficult or time-consuming, but it’s surprising how little you can do to uplift your mood and leave you a little fitter. Try walking to work or the shops, or if you already do that, try doing it slightly faster. I’ve taken to keeping my little step machine close to me while I work so that I can jump on for a few minutes, a few times a day. I feel much better for it!
Plan in a way that works for you. If you’re feeling stressed before bed or before the start of a new work week, you might find it helpful to write some notes on what you need to do. I’ve been using the Eisenhower matrix to plan the week ahead for a couple of months now and it hasn’t failed me!
Tidy your bedroom. If you’re anything like me, your bedroom is the last place you make time for while doing the chores. We need to switch that around and make it the first. Wake up in a room that is clean and fresh, get on with your day. Then, your reward for getting through the day is to sink into your safe haven. We think we won’t have time for all of the other things if we make time for ourselves, but that’s not true. If it matters, we’ll find the time.
Have sex (even if it’s with yourself). Practicing safe, consensual sex with someone you trust is a great way to release tension. Positive physical contact lowers cortisol and releases oxytocin, the feel-good hormone. And no, you don’t need a significant other for this. You don’t need another person altogether.
Reassess your priorities. If there’s something in particular causing you major stress without much reward, is it worth doing? Can you leave that job, delegate those tasks, switch to another department? If caring responsibilities accounts for part of it, who can you reach out to for support?
Do a digital detox. There is so much noise on the internet now. When I check my emails, I often have to sift through junk to get to the email I’m looking for. I can’t do a quick Ecosia search without also checking Facebook. It’s stressful and time consuming. Doing a thorough digital detox will make the internet a less stressful place to be.
Talk with another human being – as in, actually be able to hear their voice. When the people we love are only a text message away, it’s easy to forget to make meaningful contact. While having text backup is pretty useful in certain situations (awkward family dinners for example), actually being able to hear the voice of the person you are speaking to works wonders for your stress levels.
How do you relieve stress?