Let’s face it, we all deal with some form stress on a regular basis. Whether you are a college student, a young mom, or if you’re working a full-time job. No one is immune from stress! And if you’re anything like me, you might not handle stress very well! Sadly, anxiety can seriously affect both your physical and mental health. So I decided to share some of my favorite techniques to reduce stress and create a little bit of piece in mind. Now remember, they may not work for everyone, so you can either give these all a try or maybe even be inspired to come up with one of your own methods!
For me, music is my absolute escape! I love to lose myself in a good song and forget about my life struggles for awhile. I often find myself blasting my music, singing and dancing around like an idiot. Luckily, I live alone. Also, I have my set of different playlists for the different moods that I may be in for each day. My current favorite playlist is my “Angry-Chick Playlist” which includes artists like Pink, Letters to Cleo and The Cranberries. Also, if you are lucky enough to be gifted in playing a musical instrument, then take some time out of your day and play! Just lose yourself in the music!
- Have A Healthy Snack:
I said HEALTHY, not junk! Have some fruits or veggies. Recent studies show that cashews and pistachios have the same effect as Prozac so have a handful of nuts to help raise your spirits. The keyword again is HEALTHY and don’t overdo it! You do NOT want to stress eat!
- Go For A Walk:
I love to go for long walks to blow off some stream. I try to get up early every morning and walk, weather permitting, of course. Who wants to walk in the rain? Some days I power-walk, other days I walk at a more leisurely pace. But walking always eases my stress. I usually bring my phone with me and listen to some music for the trip.
- Call A Friend:
We all have that one friend we turn to when we feel like our world is caving in. That one friend that is ALWAYS there for us no matter what. Give that person call or shoot them a text. However, DO NOT overburden them! You don’t want to push them away or use them as a scapegoat. Hopefully, this goes both ways and they are also calling YOU when they need to vent.
- Read A Book:
I have been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. I love to escape into a fictional world and forget my problems for a while. Also, poetry always makes me feel better! My personal favorite poet is Sylvia Plath!
- Watch A Movie:
Throw on a DVD or tune into Netflix. Lose yourself in a chick flick, comedy, or whatever genre suits your mood at that moment. Sometimes a really sappy movie will move me to tears thus releasing my personal frustrations.
I started keeping a diary when I was seven years-old and still to this day I will write in my journal whenever I am upset. Just sit down, get into your happy place, and let the words flow. Even if you tear it up after you let out everything that is stressing you out. Writing is extremely therapeutic and who knows, it might even be the next great American novel!
- Have A Good Cry:
There is nothing wrong with a good, old-fashioned meltdown. Just make sure you are not in public or anywhere you will draw unnecessary attention to yourself. Let it out. Tears are healing. Just don’t let it overwhelm you. Cry it out, pick yourself up and get back into the swing of things. Go shopping! There’s a difference between a healthy meltdown and a complete breakdown! If you feel that everything is getting out of control, it is time to seek help.
- Seek Help:
There is nothing wrong with seeking help when you need it. Everyone at one point in their life will most likely seek some sort of professional help, whether it’s a guidance counselor, college advisor, therapist or even group therapy.
These are just a few suggestions. See if they work for you, or find your own. DO NOT let stress rule your life! Find a healthy outlet. My FAVORITE stress release is to walk or sit on the beach with a thermos full of coffee, my iPod on full blast in my ears, and a journal handy! If you feel that you are losing control over your handling of stress, don’t be afraid to seek help. There’s nothing to be ashamed of being that this is a matter of your physical as well as your mental health!
By: Julie McKee
EDITED BY: Amanda Badillo