I like to think I’m good at a lot of things. I can turn a horrible situation into a funny story, I’ve spent at least half of my married life enduring Man Cold after Man Cold without filing for divorce, and I can embarrass myself better than anyone else I know.
But I’m absolutely horrible at handling stress.
Of course, this little fault of mine worked really well when I was working in the corporate world, and it’s working even better with my life as a stay-at-home mom, but thanks to these 20 fast and effective ways to relieve stress RIGHT NOW, I’m handling life a little better these days.
I’m also drinking more, but that’s a post for another time…
1. Get up and move.
Hit the gym. Go for a walk. Take your car for a spin. Do some jumping jacks. Lift some weights. Do SOMETHING to engage those feel-good endorphins that will help lower your stress levels.
2. Make a list.
Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I write down all of the things I want to accomplish for the day so I can prioritize, delegate, and reschedule tasks to make things more manageable. Sometimes I’m able to cut my workload in half, other times I end up adding MORE things to my list, but I always feel more in control, which goes a long way in helping to lower my stress level.
3. Crank the tunes.
Is it just me, or is it completely impossible to feel stressed about an impending deadline when Pharrell Williams song, Happy, is pumping in your ears?
4. Learn how to say ‘no’.
I used to try and do everything anyone asked me to do, but then I endured the 4-year sleep regression and realized I’m not Super Woman, and that it’s okay to say ‘no’ once in a while. And you know what? It’s been a lifesaver for me.
Whenever my 3-year-old threatens to have a full-blown temper tantrum in public (which happens more than I’d like to admit), my initial reaction is to get on the floor and kick and scream with her. But then I remember I’m the adult and I take a few long, deep breaths while I count to 10, and I am always amazed at how quickly I can feel my blood pressure go down.
If I feel like I’m going to completely lose my mind, I try to think of something funny.
Like the time I fell off a treadmill TWICE in less than 5 minutes.
Or this ridiculous stuffed animal I once saw at a toy store:
7. Call a friend.
Sometimes, all it takes is hearing a friendly voice, or unloading your problems onto someone who ‘gets’ you to make you feel better!
Did you know there are certain foods you can eat to help reduce your stress levels? You can check out the list RIGHT HERE.
Spoiler alert: Twinkies and Ho Hos are not on the list.
9. Put things into perspective.
Will the world end if you don’t get that TPS report to your boss by 5 pm, if that blog post isn’t written before you go to bed tonight, if the laundry isn’t folded until tomorrow, or if you eat take-out 3 nights in a row this week? I didn’t think so.
10. Spend some time on Pinterest.
Whatever your poison may be.
11. Read a magazine.
Have you ever done this? It can be really satisfying. But if you have small kids and/or live in a small community, you may want to scream into a pillow. Trust me on this one.
13. Put the kettle on.
My tea of choice when I’m feeling on edge has always been camomile, but Dr. Oz has a fabulous list of different teas that help combat stress and anxiety that I can’t wait to try!
14. Take a hot shower.
I don’t know if it’s the hot water, the lavender body wash I use, or the fact that personal grooming is one of the only luxuries I get to enjoy on my own these days, but I often do my best thinking when I’m standing under a hot faucet.
I used to be one of those people who thinks she has to do every single thing HERSELF in order for it to be done correctly, but then I learned the art of delegation and my life got a million times easier. You should try it sometime. It’ll do wonders for your blood pressure!
16. Put your feet up.
17. Plan a vacation.
Imaginary or not, planning a getaway is a great way to distract yourself from the demands of your everyday life.
18. Invest in some essential oils.
I feel like everyone is talking about essential oils these days, and after reading this article over on Natural News, I know why!
19. Organize or clean something.
I don’t know about you, but my blood pressure is directly correlated with the amount of chaos in my life, so the more organized and clean I can keep things, the better I feel.
20. Get some sleep.
The more exhausted I am, the more difficult I find it to deal with stress. So do as I say, and not as I do, and get yourself to bed early tonight!
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