Every now and then we get overwhelmed and stressed about the millions of things we have going on or need to get done. I definitely do. It can be the little things like homework or doing laundry (which add up!) or a single large thing that seems to weigh you down. This past weekend I bought a car, which is super exciting and all but man is it a energy draining process. This car buying experience made me reflect on ways that truly help me to relax and deal with anxiety or stress.
Whether its the little things or the big things in life that are stressing you out, it’s important to take a step back and reset. Here are a few ways that have helped me to handle stress…
- Get outside – Being outdoors recharges us. We spend so much of our time indoors behind screens. According to the Harvard Health Medical school, “calming nature sounds and even outdoor silence can lower blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which calms the body’s fight-or-flight response”. Crazy! When I am feeling super anxious or overwhelmed I’ll go for a walk or hike Sugarloaf Mountain. It’s essential to get outdoors and get some fresh air.
- Move your body – As a former athlete this has always been my way to get out of my head and to release any negative emotions. Just 30 minutes a day can do wonders for your mental clarity. No matter the intensity of the workout, exercise makes changes in parts of the brain that regulate stress and anxiety for the better. Recently, during COVID I’ve been doing a lot of workouts streamed online like Yoga With Adriane or POPSUGAR Fitness. USG also has some group exercise classes streamed via Zoom. Getting some sort of movement in the day is a great stress reliever!
- Workshops & Journaling – USG has some great free workshops that focus on mindfulness and psychological well-being. The Mindfulness Skills for Successful Living is coming to an end this upcoming week… Don’t miss out on the final workshop, “Handle Things Better,” held on 10/7 @12PM! The workshop utilizes evidence-based skills that help handling big emotions and feelings. When I have a lot on my mind, writing it out through journaling is a great release. It feels like once I’ve gotten my thoughts out onto paper – it’s no longer juggling around in my mind creating stress. It feels as though I am sorting the files in my head.
Coping with stress and/or anxiety is different for everyone. These are just a few ways that have helped me and improved how I approach and handle stress. It’s okay to take time out to recharge. You can’t pour from an empty cup! So make it a priority to take time for yourself and develop good coping methods when dealing with stress.
Leanne, this is such great advice! Nature walks are the best!