It’s incredibly difficult in today’s day and age to find time to wind down and relax. However, it’s super important to relax if you wish to live a long, healthy and happy life.
Because I know you’re short on time, I’ve created the list of all the lists: 20 activities that will instantly reduce your stress levels!
Get more sleep
Believe me, getting enough sleep doesn’t make you lazy. Sleep is the body’s natural way to heal it, and you also allow your brain to get some rest. Allow yourself to rest and get at least 7, but preferably 8 hours of sleep every night. You’ll notice a huge change in your attention span, energy levels and food cravings.
Write your thoughts and feelings down
We all have things that we don’t want to talk about with other people, yet they still occupy our minds. When you start getting into a journaling habit, you’ll notice that the little notebook will become your new best friend.
Take a drive to nowhere
I’m among the people that enjoy taking trips to nowhere: whether it’d be driving or taking a train. Sometimes you just need to do that to declutter your mind. I like to go to the beach and watch the sunset all by myself, or go into the city to watch people walking around enjoying themselves.
Check in with yourself
We get so distracted by work and taking care of others that we can forget to check in with ourselves. Ask yourself ‘what do I need today?’ and you’ll find an answer. Be sure to schedule whatever it is that you need. Self care is important!
Get dressed up for fun
I believe ‘dressing up for the job you want, not the job you have’ is one of the best pieces of advice out there. Dressing up makes me feel good, and you don’t need a reason to doll yourself up! It’s also a great excuse to take some selfies.
Drink some tea and read a book in bed
Tea makes you feel warm inside, and reading a novel or a good non-fiction book has tons of great benefits. Bonus points if you listen to a relaxing playlist and light a scented candle at the same time. So cozy!
Take yourself on a date
Who says you can’t sit in a coffee shop by yourself? I love to take a book or my laptop to a coffee shop and just hang out with me, doing something that I like. More often than not I end up meeting other people who are also by themselves. I’ve started a few great friendships that way.
I recently got into meditation, and have experienced great benefits. Meditation can increase your focus, happiness and self-awareness. Of course, it also helps to reduce your stress levens and put things in perspective, something I absolutely need from time to time.
Get some exercise in
Exercise is very closely linked to stress levels and anxiety. It doesn’t only provide a distraction from stressful situations, but also helps you create an outlet for your frustrations. So get out and get active!
Sex is a great tension reliever, which you probably already know. Sadly, many people have less sex when they feel stressed. If you’re one of those people, you might benefit from setting aside some sexy time with your partner on a regular basis. They’ll probably appreciate it too.
Play with bubble wrap
Bubble wrap has been proven to reduce stress. If you feel stressed, just pop some bubbled for a minute or two to get immediate results. I know it sounds weird, but it really does work for me!
Cuddle with your pet
Do you really need a reason to cuddle your pet more often? If you do, being stressed definitely is one. Domesticated mammals are just like your average human by the way, they love to be cuddled as much as we love to cuddle them. It’s science.
Plan a trip
The happiest part of a trip isn’t actually taking the trip, strangely. It’s planning the trip. According to this study, planning a trip can make you happier, even if you’re never taking that trip. It’s that anticipation and excitement that releases that happy hormone.
Studies suggest that the act of chewing gum can reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, so why not pop some gum before you have to do that big presentation? For me personally, chewing gum in stressful situations helps me to not pick at my skin or nails instead.
Did you know that art therapy can greatly reduce stress? Art therapy can help you express thoughts and feelings that might be hard to put into words. Of course, you don’t have to visit a therapist, you can also get crafty by yourself. Get out those art supplies and get it going.
Recall a past success
Taking a few minutes minutes to reflect on how you pulled through other stressful situations like your last breakup or when you switched jobs can help you reconnect with yourself. In the moment, it may feel as though you’ll never get over your present problem, but when you look back, you realize that you felt something similar before and found a way to overcome it then, so you will do the same thing now.
People who handle stress well tend to employ what stress experts call an “optimistic explanatory style.” It means that they don’t beat themselves up when things don’t work out in their favor. Instead of using statements that make an incident sound worse, like “I’m a complete failure,” they might say to themselves, “I need to work on my backhand.”
Doing a rhythmic movement such as knitting or crocheting can help you reduce stress. Of course, creating something beautiful for yourself or for someone else can also help improve your self-image and overall happiness. Making people smile is awesome!
Listen to a podcast or audiobook
Listening to someone else talk, whether it is a podcast or audiobook, helps you shift your attention away from the thing that stresses you out. It might also spark creative thoughts to help deal with the stressor. Bonus points if you listen to the podcast or audiobook while doing another stress-relieving activity, like knitting or working out.
When we are stressed out, we tend to get dehydrated and eat unhealthy. Drinking water can be soothing and a way to help our body handle all the reactions that happen when we’re stressed. Make sure to carry a water bottle with you at all times and keep sippin’.