10 Tips for De-Stressing on National Stress Awareness Day
Sometimes we just need to take a step back to de-stress.
November 4th is National Stress Awareness Day. With a world that’s in constant motion it’s easy for us to find ourselves submerged in a pool of stress, not knowing how or when we got there. Sometimes our stress may be so extreme that it causes us to feel helpless, but it’s important to know you’re not alone. It’s vital to always have a go-to technique in order to relieve your stress the second you start to feel it, preventing it from taking over your life. With that being said, here are 10 Tips for De-Stressing on National Stress Awareness Day.
1. Take a Bath
It’s common for people to seek solace in a hot bubbly bathtub when they’re feeling down. If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed set aside at least 20 minutes to sit in a hot bath filled with a handful of Epsom salts, 10 drops of lavender essential oil (or scent of your choice), and half a cup of baking soda. The combination of these three ingredients draws out toxins and lowers stress-related hormones present in your body. Light your favorite candle, put on some music, and allow the hot water to melt away your stress.
2. Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is known to be very effective in reducing your stress level. Adding even just 10 minutes of focused breathing techniques into your daily routine can reduce your heart rate almost immediately, causing you to feel more relaxed and at ease. The best breathing technique to reduce stress is called abdominal breathing, and is done by sitting up straight with one hand placed on your chest, and the other on your abdomen. Take a deep breath in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, noticing the hand on the abdomen rising along with your breaths while the other hand doesn’t move. Try to get anywhere from 6 to 10 deep breaths per minute for 10 minutes each day.
3. Read a Book
Getting lost in a good book is probably one of the best ways to de-stress, as it allows you to forget about reality for a little bit and only worry about the lives of the characters written on those pages. If you’re not a big reader and spending your time reading a novel isn’t your cup of tea, choose something shorter such as a magazine or explore the Internet and find a blog that interests you.
4. Listen to Soft Music
The sounds that you hear around you have more of an impact on your mind than you may realize, even if it’s just background noise. Listening to music can have powerful effects on your mind and body, as certain types affect our physiological functions, such as slowing your pulse and heart rate, and overall decreasing levels of stress hormones. If you’re feeling stressed out, put on slow classical music, lay in bed, and try to focus only on the sounds you’re hearing.
5. Make a Cup of Tea
Herbal teas can be miracle workers for your mind and body. They contain loads of vitamins and minerals that energize you, while not containing caffeine, which can induce feelings of stress and anxiety. Although you can enjoy a cup of tea at any point throughout your day, it’s best to drink herbal teas anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before bed, as this will help you to relax your mind which will grant you a more peaceful sleep. Some of the best teas for stress are Chamomile, Lavender, and Lemon Balm.
6. Put on a Face Mask
Stressing out is a surefire way to cause breakouts on your face as stress causes your body to produce hormones such as cortisol, which causes your glands to produce more oil, clogging your pores and leading to acne. Face masks are not only perfect for getting rid of acne, but they also can help your mind feel more relaxed depending on what ingredients are used. A perfect DIY face mask can be made by mixing one tablespoon of raw honey with 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil. Apply it to your face and wipe it off with a warm washcloth after 15-20 minutes. Lavender has calming and sedative effects, which are perfect for curing anxiety and stress.
7. Exercise or Practice Yoga
Exercise produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. Even five minutes of physical activity produces enough endorphins to help improve your sleeping habits, which in turn reduces the presence of stress on your body and mind. Yoga is the best activity to reduce stress, as it focuses directly on your breathing practices, but if you’re not a yoga person any physical activity in general will work as well.
8. Write in a Journal
Do you have a habit of bottling up your emotions to the point that one day you can’t handle them anymore and you explode? If this sounds like you, journaling may be a helpful way to process your feelings and thoughts. Writing down in a journal how your day went and what sorts of things you were thinking and feeling can help you understand yourself better and leave yourself with a clear head.
9. Doodle or Color
Coloring is not just for kids – buy an adult coloring book or drawing pad. Recent studies have shown the therapeutic effects art therapy has had on people with physical and emotional distress, suggesting that coloring books are no longer just for kids. Countless amounts of adult coloring books have been finding themselves on bestseller’s lists throughout the world, and their healing effects are what has them flying off the shelves.
10. Disconnect from Technology
In a world so dependent on technology it’s easy to get sucked into spending hours on social media. Although we want to make sure we’re always on top of what is going on in the lives of people around us, social media can often do more harm than good. Not only does it cause us to constantly compare our own lives with someone else’s, but it also gives off the illusion that that person’s life is perfect, which can cause us to stress and feel bad about ourselves. Make it a goal to set aside a certain amount of time each day where you shut off your phone, disconnect yourself from the world, and focus on something that involves only you.