Top Five Ways to Melt Away Stress
It's Time to Relax!
If there is one thing in common between most adults on this wonderful planet, it is stress. We all experience stress, and we all experience it in a different way. We all also handle it in a varying ways. There are people out there who are wonderful at handling stress, who seemingly aren't affected by it. I must say that I'm not exactly one of those people. When I'm overly stressed, trust me, people notice. I'm normally a very cheery upbeat person, the first person to smile, and always greeting strangers. I had been at my current job for about 6 months when all of a sudden our workload increased dramatically. My small, slow, two person department had grown to fourteen people. And we were working 14 hour shifts, 7 days a week. This went on for 5 months. I was promoted and I was in charge of these people. I was running the whole department. As a 22 year old. I was no longer the same person. I was beyond stressed, and I was doing nothing to relieve myself of that. Luckily I've learned since then. And lucky for you, I'm going to share that knowledge!
Think About Meditating
This doesn't necessarily have to be food related, but it sure is for me. Do you love ice cream? Or chocolate milk? Maybe salt and vinegar chips? Possibly a delicious warm Chicago Style Pizza (see picture of me enjoying this!)? I know I sure do. When I was working 85+ hours a week, on nights, and had very few moments to spare, I didn't have time to do many of the things that most people associate with relieving stress. When you really think about it, most traditional ways take quite a bit of time. Instead of grabbing something quick to eat and climbing in bed, about once a week I would indulge. I absolutely love homemade waffles. I would make myself a fresh, warm waffle, and some of my mom's raspberry sauce and enjoy. For the 10 minutes it took me to eat my meal, I made sure to think of nothing but what I was enjoying about my waffle. It was relaxing, and a strange sort of food meditation. You might not have time to meditate, but we all have to eat, right?
While this isn't the healthiest option to relieve stress, I've found it's a very quick one. Just be sure not to run to this every time.
Be a Kid! - At heart at least...
Do you know when I wasn't stressed? When I was a kid. I suppose I might have been a little bit stressed... I remember when I got my first B and I sure was distraught about it. However, despite being a bit of a nervous kid, I still have many memories of stress free summers and joy. I know not all people were lucky enough to have such a childhood, but there's no reason not to grab hold of that childlike happiness, even as an adult.
Do something silly. Do something unnecessary. Something that doesn't relate to work. Or whatever your source of stress may be. When I was a senior in college, during exam time my close friend and I would go to a coffee house and color. Coloring books. It was silly and we got some strange looks, but it was nice for a few minutes to only worry about what color buttons I should pick for the jumper I had just colored green.
If it's seasonally appropriate, you should consider carving a pumpkin. As you can see, I had a blast!
Give It a Try
My best friend and I would always take a break from studying for exams and do a little coloring. There is just something about it that is calming. What's the worst that can happen? You'll at least have some fun...!
Get Some Sunshine - You'll Glow!
Go outside. Enjoy nature. Soak up some sun! It is so easy, when you're busy, to cut your outdoor time down to the walk to your car. This wasn't enough for me, and it didn't even cross my mind at first. I worked overnights. I came in when it was dark out and left work around noon. One day I stopped on my walk out. My coworkers were confused. I stood in the sunlight and enjoyed the sounds of the birds. I took a deep breath. I could feel my muscles relax. Get some outdoor time. You'll feel better.
What Works Best For You?
Leave a comment with your own unique idea!
How do you handle stress?
Whatever you do, get your rest. We all need a different amount of sleep. Some people get by on 5 hours. Others need 8. What we all have in common is that we absolutely MUST get sleep. If you're the sort of person that needs 8, don't try to get by with 4 hours. It might work for one night, or it might work when you're 21! But it's not going to work regularly. Make sure you get sufficient sleep. If you're exhausted, go to bed an hour early. Take a nap. These are things we all know, but when you only have an hour of spare time every day it's hard to sacrifice that to sleep. Trust me though, you're going to be much more produce during the time you are awake and you might get more done.
I was able to get 5 days off for a family cruise after 6 months straight of working. This is how I looked most of the vacation, but boy did I love it. And those 8 hours a day that I was awake, boy was I rested and ready to play!
Spend Time with an Animal - Whether it's your own, a friends, or at an animal shelter...
Many studies have shown that pets can help relieve stress. I don't need studies to tell me that, though. Spending time with my kitty-cats are one of the most relaxing ways to end my busy days. Yes, pets can be stressful. They can require a lot of work. In return they give you love and affection. When I sit on my couch and my sweet Charlie boy jumps up in my lap and starts purring, I instantly feel better. Take some time out of your busy life to love a pet, and they will love you back. It's a great investment and one you will never regret.
I would love your input! We all would!