Life is stressful. You agree, or you wouldn't be here reading this. Can we talk about some ways to relieve stress. Let me just stress that there are innumerable ways to cope and de-stress. These are just a few of mine.
Read. No, this isn't just me plugging Left on Main, Right on Walton, Deep in the Heart of Madison, Waiting for the Girl Next Door, My Words Are Whiskey, and Letters to Lost Lovers. Seriously--reading is one of my greatest stress relievers. Right now, I'm trying to decide if I'm going to dive into another romance or take a genre break with a mystery. It will depend entirely on my mood.
Garden. If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen that my living room has become a forest. I'm not mad about it. It helps with my stress, and it's pretty to look at too. Win-win.
Exercise. Did you just give me the side-eye? Don't do that. Exercise doesn't have to be punishing. In fact, it shouldn't be. Do something fun for fitness, not something you hate. I cycle, do yoga, paddleboard (sometimes with my kids or dog), throw axes (at an actual axe-throwing space, not in a fit of anger), and hike. It feels good, and it's fun. Yes, I said FUN.
Nap. Who doesn't love a good nap? If I could take one every single day, I would. My schedule won't allow it, but I say nap whenever you can.
Laugh. Laugh with a friend, watch some funny videos, or crack up at hysterical memes. It really is the best medicine. Laughter, not memes--though aren't they really the same thing? Anyway, even watching funny shows can make you feel good. More of that please.
Meditate. Okay-maybe you think you can't. Maybe you think your mind has to be totally blank or you're not doing it right. WRONG! One of my favorite yoga teachers would compare thoughts in meditation to clouds in the sky. Let them pass. They'll come and go again. Let them. Don't try to hang onto them. Just observe them and return your attention to your body and your breath. See? No completely clear mind necessary. In fact, cloudy skies are pretty normal for most of us. Mindfulness meditation can even be done while sipping tea or coffee or having a bite of chocolate. Make your practice your own. Just don't forget to breathe.
Sensory Stimulation. Want to relieve some stress? Put on your most cozy pajamas, have some comfort food, or spend time petting your fur baby. What makes you feel better? Is it a pint of ice cream, a soft blanket, and your favorite music? Do that!
Get Out There. I'm not encouraging you to date. I'm saying go outside. Visit nature. Get your feet on the ground. Go take a walk. With the exception of extreme weather, any day is a good one to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Disconnect to Connect. Taking some screen-free time can help you better connect to yourself and lower your stress. Try it sometime.
Make Healthy Choices. No, this isn't about diet and exercise. You probably already know what foods and movements make you feel good versus bad. I'm talking about other healthy choices like the people you spend time with, the thoughts you allow yourself to dwell on, and the way you speak to yourself. Are you making healthy choices there? Are you showing yourself love and respect by only allowing that treatment from others? Are you being as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend? Be good to you today.
What would you add to this list? What brings down your stress?
Thanks for being here! Have an amazing day.