- Mental Health
How to Loosen Up from Stress
Are you feeling a lot of stress?
Coping with Stress
We've all experienced stress. And, if you're anything like me, you may experience stress in one form or another on a daily basis. Coping with stress takes an active effort. Not only do we need to identify when we are feeling it, but we also need to have a plan in place to stop it.
After a hard day, the last thing we think about is strategies that will help us loosen up from stress. Chances are, we're reviewing our day and replaying in our minds the things that stressed us out. At least, that's what I seem to do on days when things are particularly hectic.
Over the years, I've developed ways to help me deal with stress better. These strategies include natural options, exercising, taking on a hobby, and eating foods that are comforting and naturally boost the mood. I find that when I incorporate these things into my daily life, I feel a lot better.
Are you stressed?
How often do you feel stress?
Natural Remedies for Stress
Natural Stress Relief - Tips and Strategies
Yes, I know. Sometimes we need something stronger to calm us down than simple doing something fun. As an herbalist, I know that there are some gentle and nourishing remedies that you can try to help calm your nervous system down.
Some of these herbs, however, are a step above "gentle" and should be used with care on an as needed basis (like Valerian root tincture and Skullcap tincture). As always, check with your doctor or other qualified medical professional before you start taking anything. For example, if you are taking depression or anxiety medication, you should exercise extreme caution. When in doubt, don't take it at all.
Herbal Teas for Stress
Two of my favorite herbal teas for stress are Chamomile and Oatstraw. You can find chamomile at most supermarkets. Oatstraw (Avena Sativa), however, is harder to find. If you don't have a store near you that sells herbs, you can order it online. My favorite online dealer is Mountain Rose Herbs. However, I have also been known to buy herbs from Amazon. These are both gentle enough to take every day if you need it.
Herbal Tinctures for Stress
My favorite herbal tincture to take is Skullcap. I take mix a dropperful of tincture in a small amount of warm water and down it like a shot. (I even put it in a shot glass!) I mainly take this when I am having trouble sleeping, but I also take it when I feel a tad bit anxious.
Another tincture you can try is Valerian. I don't use it because it doesn't work for me - in fact it makes me hyper. So, beware of that as a side effect. I am putting it here, though, because you might want to try it - it does work for a lot of people.
Stress Relief Activities - Ten Tips for Stress Management
Favorite Way to Relieve Stress - Do Something You Enjoy
Just have fun!
One of the first things I do when I'm feeling stressed is to figure out ways that I can have fun doing something I enjoy. For me, this means watching a movie, listening to music, cooking something, take a bath, or spending time with the people I care about. I also love to read, crochet, dance, and go for hikes.
Sometimes, I feel refreshed after I chop vegetables for dinner. Other times, I need to cycle through one or two of my favorite movies before I feel relaxed again. The main thing is to take some time out from your busy day and do something pleasurable.
Do you have a hobby you enjoy? Is there a friend you haven't seen for a while? Can you take the time out to enjoy date night with a loved one? Do anything that helps you disconnect from the things that stress you out as long as you think it's fun!
Favorite Exercise DVD's
Exercising for Stress Management
Exercise is a great way to boost the mood and relieve stress. It is not only fun, but it also releases endorphins - the feel-good hormones in our bodies.
These are my favorite activities:
- Dancing, such as Zumba
- Walking (Can also do indoors with the Leslie Sansone DVD)
- Lifting Weights - I like anything Jillian Michaels
What types of activities do you like? Leave a message in the comments! I am always looking for new ideas.
Exercise and Stress Relief
How to Cook Everything
This is my favorite cookbook. It has everything in it! So, you're favorite comfort food is likely in it.
Comfort Food and Stress Management
I love to eat so therefore, eating helps me relieve stress. Now, I am not talking about drowning my sorrows in ice cream or meeting the end of a bag of chips to the point where I am licking crumbs off my fingers. Gaining weight is bad. It is stressful on the body and also emotionally.
No, what I am talking about is the simple joy of eating comfort food during a normal meal time. In fact, eating comfort food, for me, is relaxing on many levels. First of all, the act of preparing a nice meal for myself is a stress reliever. I listen to jazz, pour a glass of wine, and cook. Then, I drink another glass of wine with my meal.
You see, I've turned the whole process into a ritual. It is the act of slowing down, preparing the meal, drinking wine, and eating the meal that really helps me relieve stress. As long as I don't drink too much or eat too much, this is a very positive thing for me.
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Grilled Cheese
- Soups, especially Minestrone
- Piece of chocolate cake
We all have our favorite comfort foods. I know I do. I've found some videos for popular comfort foods that I enjoy. Also, I've found a few great cookbooks on Amazon that you can check out. My personal favorite is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. Whenever I have it in my head to cook something, I always turn to this one.