By Elizabeth Dubos
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional or healthcare provider.
Down time, de-stressing, chilling out, relaxing, or whatever you’d like to call it is vital to one’s health. Stress can have negative effects on your body that include high blood pressure, headaches, weakened immune systems, and stomachaches. A prolonged period of stress can have long-term effects on your respiratory, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. Between work, family, and school obligations it may seem impossible to relax. Does it frustrate you when people tell you to relax and you can’t? Does it seem like you never have enough time to relax? Believe me, I understand what you’re going through; without getting too personal, I have a medical condition that requires me to maintain my stress to avoid its negative effect on my body. Over the years, I’ve performed research and tried various techniques to relax. Here are my tips and tricks to help you relax.
1. Yoga. According to the Mayo Clinic, Yoga is excellent for stress relief because it helps practice breathing techniques and releasing physical tension. If you’d like to read more, I attached the article. You purchase an affordable yoga mat from Amazon, Target, or Walmart. YouTube has excellent yoga themed music to play in the background to help further calm you. Plus, you can find stress relief yoga tutorials to ensure you’re performing the yoga position correctly. Try to do a Google search of yoga poses for relaxation or try stress relief yoga positions. This is important because there are numerous yoga positions for different purposes. The purpose of yoga is to de-stress you, not incur more stress.
2. Stress ball. It’s alright to be frustrated, angry, and upset when you’re stressed out. Stress balls come in handy for when you need to deal with fiery emotions. Pummel all your stress into the ball by squeezing it, throwing it, or stomping on it. You can DIY it from a YouTube video or buy one from Amazon, Target, or your local dollar store. They come in numerous shapes, sizes, and densities. Try to purchase a few to put them around your house, car, or purse. That way it’s easily accessible for when you need to squeeze it.
3. Write it down. You can write it on physical paper or type it on your phone, computer, or tablet. Whether you’re stressed or not, it’s important to journal all of your feelings. Try not to make your journal all about negative stressors, but the positives in your life. For example, write about how work, school, or family is stressing you out, but you loved how you aced that chemistry test or ate a healthy dinner. Journaling is important because when you see or hear the words, it helps give you a different perspective. For instance, you could be stressed out about your term paper, but in reality, that term paper grade determines your eligibility for scholarships to remain in school. If you identify your feelings it helps to communicate to others how you’re doing. It’s important to remember if you feel alone, you’re not alone because there’s always a friend, family, or pet that cares about you.
4. Retail therapy. Here’s your green light to purchase that book, necklace, shirt, makeup palette, or video game. Chances are you’re working extremely hard and this gives you the opportunity to reward yourself. Retail therapy can be an effective stress reliever because it helps you focus on the positive item, instead of the original stressor. Plus, this opens the door for another stress relief technique by engaging in a hobby like reading, makeup tutorials, or playing video games.
5. Hobbies. Hobbies are an excellent way to minimize stress because it allows you to have fun and offers something to look forward to. If you’re unsure about which hobby to pursue I’ll include a link of hobby suggestions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hobbies
6. Schedule in relaxation time. Whether you have a physical or digital calendar it’s essential that you make time for relaxing. After it’s scheduled, try to make it public knowledge so friends, family, or coworkers know not to disturb you during that time unless it’s an emergency. Relaxing is an important part of your mental health, so you do not burn yourself out. Try to schedule in at least an hour every day devoted to relaxation. You don’t have to do the same relaxation techniques every time either; try to switch it up to avoid getting bored.