Everyone experiences stress – as humans we are prone to it. There is no way avoid it, try as we might, and we all handle it very differently. I’ve been in some pretty stressful situations and circumstances over the last few years/months and I’ve come to realise that I have mastered the art of coping with it. I can safely say I now generally handle stress like a pro. Almost as though nothing phases me anymore, and I absolutely would never have said that a couple of years ago!
I’ve thought about my coping techniques and the things I do to switch off and unwind and figured they may be useful to some people. None of my suggestions are magical cures by any means, and they may not always work for you – but I’ve found that the simple things are the most beneficial. There is nothing costly, unrealistic or un-achievable about my top tips and we all have access to each and every one of them.
Do not underestimate the power of a bubble bath! I never used to enjoy them much – just felt like I was stewing my own soup, but now I could sit in the bath for hours without a care in the world. I load mine up with bubbles, bath bombs, sometimes I grab myself a face mask and just relax.. Let the warm water release the tension in your body and just float there. Occasionally I’ll take a book in with me, light some candles and read or I’ll just listen to some Zero 7. I always leave feeling refreshed, relaxed and in good spirits.
Having mentioned reading a book in the bath – I find reading itself to be very relaxing. TV is great and all, but the manufactured blue spectrum light can be bad for your eyes and can cause strain, ultimately resulting in headaches and other unpleasant side effects. It also interferes with your body’s “time to sleep” cues meaning you’re up and unable to drift off at night time and makes it hard for you to switch off when you really need it.
Plus, TV in general and doesn’t give your mind a chance to get creative or detach. You’re taking in the information but it’s not the same as when you are engulfed by a good book. I usually take myself to a quiet room with a hot chocolate or a cup of tea and read next to a soft light. You get swept up in the story and forget about everything else for a while – there’s no room for it because you’re using your imagination to put together this whole other world.
These things are amazing – not only do they look pretty but they have a list of benefits as long as your arm. Some examples are that they help purify the air, reduce asthma and allergy symptoms, improve your sleep and breathing, neutralise electromagnetic radiation from electronics, reduce stress and increase energy levels and so on.
I like to have my Himalayan Salt Lamp next to my bed and have it switched on for a few hours before I go to sleep to purify the air and because the soft light is perfect for reading next too. I’ve seen a big improvement in my quality of sleep and overall well-being because of this thing, so they come highly recommended from me!
I don’t mean rock climbing or anything as exerting as that. If those kinds of things suit you then go for it! Expelling energy is a great way to reduce stress, but I would find something that occupies your hands and requires attention such as crochet, cross stitch, knitting, hand lettering, bullet journals, colouring books, craft. They all need your full attention and the rhythmic nature of doing each of these activities sets your mind into a similar motion and you become absorbed in the task at hand. You’ll find yourself doing these things for hours and not even notice how much time has passed and won’t have thought about the things that were causing you stress.
I’m yet to find my perfect hobby but I used to really enjoy cross-stitch when I was younger. So I think this is going to be my next venture. Who knows, I might even get good enough to set-up a little Etsy store!
Walking is good for the mind, body and soul. Obviously a stroll to the shops and back isn’t really going to do it but most of us with live a stones throw away from a country park, a woodland or a trail of some sort. Take yourself out of your house and be outside, it doesn’t matter if it’s warm of cold. You can wrap up and take in the sensations of the cold on your nose of the breeze on your skin. Take some music with you and just walk. It’s good exercise, releases endorphin’s gives you a change of scenery.
Having a dog helps because they get you outside anyway and they will be as excited as you to explore and release some of that pent up energy.
I hope some of these may have been useful to you. I’d love to hear what you like to do when you’re stressed. Let me know in the comments! ♡
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