10 Ways to Combat Stress
Stress happens to everyone from time to time and is usually not something to worry about. It’s when stress seeps into your life and takes over your thoughts that you must do something about it. If your mind has been on high-alert while worrying, and it’s affecting your energy levels and ability to sleep, then it’s time to learn how to manage your stress. Here are 10 ways you can do that.
- Understand Your Triggers
Unlike mental illness, stress is always caused by some kind of trigger. To manage it well, then, you must first know what they are. Some of the most common stress triggers include a lack of sleep, overworking, and relationship problems.
By identifying what is keeping you up at night, you can then figure out how to solve it. It might not be easy, but knowing is the first step to controlling it.
- Take a Day Off
With one of the most common stress triggers being work, sometimes, the best thing you can do for your mental health is taking a day off. After all, everyone needs a break sometimes!
Don’t think you need to use your day off for something extravagant to make the most out of it. A day of reading your favorite novel or crashing out in front of the TV is enough to give you a healthy dose of your time.
- Talk to Someone
Stresses seem to melt away when you talk to someone. If you feel overwhelmed, then give someone you trust a ring and let it out. Be as honest and brutal as you like, and at the end of it, you are sure to feel much better.
If you struggle to find someone to confide in, or you don’t like the idea of oversharing your worries with those you know, consider seeing a counselor. They are there to help you work through your thoughts, and you will walk away with much more clarity than before.
- Buy Yourself a Gift
Who says gifts have to be from someone else? Have a look around for something you want (not need!) and let it come home with you – it’s a simple way to lift your spirits.
If you want to treat yourself long-term, then consider purchasing a subscription box. There are plenty out there to suit your tastes, including book boxes and a monthly scent box. Whatever you choose, make sure it makes you smile when it comes through the door.
- Watch a Comedy Show
Laughter is really good for you, so get in your comfiest pants, bury yourself under blankets, and put on something that makes you laugh. Whether that’s stupid cat videos, a stand-up show, or a rerun of your beloved sitcom, it doesn’t matter – as long as it leaves you in fits of giggles!
Laughter stimulates your heart and releases endorphins, making you feel instantly better, allowing the stresses to melt away for a while. When you have needed to put on a serious act all day at work, nothing beats coming home and allowing some silliness to take over.
- Make a Plan
Planning is extremely therapeutic. If your stresses are caused by too much going on all at once, then writing down a plan is a great way to feel in control. Even the simple act of putting pen to paper can ease the worries of your long to-do list.
Get yourself an attractive diary so you are more inclined to use it and make it a daily tradition to write down everything you need to do that day. When your goals appear tangible, they seem more attainable. Also, nothing increases stress, like forgetting to complete a task!
- Schedule a Friends Date
Sometimes, you need to let off steam with your friends. After a long work week, schedule something fun to do with your friends. This could be going to the local bar, going to see a movie, or even just going to one of your houses for a catch-up and some home-cooked food.
One of the worst things you can do when it comes to stress is to isolate yourself, so make sure you regularly meet up with your friends for some much-needed chatting and fun.
- Do Some Exercise
When you are stressed, exercise might feel like the last thing you want to do, especially if you barely have a minute to spare. The truth is, working out is one of the most important activities you can do for both your body and your brain, so it’s crucial to squeeze at least 20 minutes of active movement in each day.
You don’t have to hit the gym five times a week to reap the benefits of exercise. You could take up swimming, cycling, or simply start walking more. If you decide to workout outside, aim for places filled with nature, as this is an additional de-stressor.
- Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Unfortunately, stress can impact your sleep, but you must get those peaceful eight hours to feel OK again. It rejuvenates your mind and gives your body time to relax, allowing you to wake up with a fresh perspective. If you’re struggling to sleep, you could try:
- Chamomile Tea – Chamomile is a naturally relaxing herb and makes a lovely tea, so consider a cup of it with a squeeze of honey before bed.
- A Warm Bath – The warmth of the bath will make you feel sleepy, and you could even add in some relaxing oils for some scent therapy.
- Exercise – Working out your body is a great way of tiring yourself out, so you drop off quickly at the end of the day.
- Herbal Remedies – There are plenty of over-the-counter remedies for sleep, so have a look around and choose one that suits you.
- Forgive Yourself
It’s important to remember that stress isn’t your fault, and nor are the consequences of it. If you have failed to meet a deadline, only gotten three hours of sleep, or missed seeing your friends two times in a row, you are allowed to forgive yourself. Brush yourself off, move on, and tell yourself you’ll do better next time.