Stressed out lately? You're not alone. A lot of us are juggling way more than we can handle, most of the time with no relief in sight. Since stress can really affect our bodies and minds, it's always good to learn some easy ways to relieve stress —ones you can decompress with quickly when you finally find a moment to focus on yourself.
If you're not sure what those are for you, Reddit is always a great place to go when you need some fast suggestions or recommendations. After all, it's a huge community filled with people ready and willing to give tips. When I hit up their site to find out what they had to say about reducing stress levels, I found a lot of eager people sharing their awesome and helpful ideas (and the occasional odd piece of advice, but such is the nature of the Internet).
Taking time out to do something creative, going on a walk, unplugging for a few hours, listening to music, meditating, and even baking have helped reduce many Reddit user's stress levels. Find what works for you, and don't forget to take some time to relax and manage your stress. You owe it to yourself!
1. Accomplish The Little Things First
Gosser9 suggests people who are feeling stressed to, "Make a list of small tasks you can finish relatively quickly. That feeling of accomplishment will help reduce your stress." Make a to-do list and see what you can get done quickly. Check a few of those items off to feel some well-deserved instant gratification—and leave you with a more manageable workload. This one lets you prioritize what's important and allows you to start every day with a battle plan.
2. Distract Yourself With Another Project
According to CocoaBagelPuffs, working on a puzzle is the perfect distraction from stress. "I love puzzles, ever since I was a kid. I used to do them with my mom and now doing them is so relaxing. I go into a trance and can literally work on a puzzle for hours without a break." A puzzle is a fun way to focus on an easy task, and keep your mind from wandering over to the things that are stressing you out. Try picking one that features something you love, or a scenic view that transports you to somewhere more relaxing.
3. Teach Yourself Something New And Different
"I came across an old crochet hook and some random yarn cleaning out my mom's house. A couple of weeks later I watched a YouTube video for beginners on how to make a flower. I'm so glad I did - there's something so centering about essentially making elaborate knots into useful or cool looking things," says HootLifeAllNight. Learning something new will remind you to put some focus into other things, not just your stressors. Try this starter pack that comes with several colors of yarn, crochet hooks, and weaving needles. It even comes with three e-books to get you started.
4. Allow Your Body To Relax For A While
Yoga is well-loved for a reason—it allows you to release tension from your body while you relax your mind. If you haven't realized yet that stress can make your muscles feel tense (and who doesn't hunch their shoulders when they're at their desk all day?), then try out a yoga class online or in a studio. Your tense body will thank you. And whether you're practicing at your house or taking a class, you will need a yoga mat. This one is an affordable option that comes with it's own strap for easy transport. Myceli-yum said, "I started yoga for mental heath reasons at my spiritual teacher's urging. It has become an important part of my practice for better physical and mental health."
5. Take Your Frustrations Out On An Inanimate Object
A stress ball is a wonderful way to get some of your emotions out. Since you can't keep a punching bag at your desk, it's also a convenient one. While I find this particular stress ball to look like grapes from another planet, Reddit has a bit of an obsession with it. A thread from several Reddit users talks in detail about its satisfying squeeze. Be warned, though, because if you squeeze it too hard, it can break!
6. Set Up A Schedule For Mundane Tasks
According to Shifter25, "Cleaning, setting up a schedule for things like getting organized, exercising, taking out the trash," is what works for them. This goes beyond a to-do list, because it can set you up to schedule things much farther ahead. If you set reminders to do your laundry or clean your apartment, you might not let those things go to the wayside, which can equal stress for you later on. This day planner even comes with e-books to help you tackle your goals, and it's not dated, so you can get full use out of it whenever you start.
7. Don't Let Technology Control Your Life With This, Uh, Technology
According to drbufka, "The challenge with technology is that it allows us to access content all the time, and lots of information, exposure to news, demands, and requests via email, can add to all the things that we are trying to manage...decide what your limits on technology are." There are plenty of apps to block you out of your phone and computer for a set amount of time, but what about your TV? Use an allowance device that connects between your TV and the power source. You can allot yourself a certain amount of time to watch, and it will turn the TV off automatically when you reach that time. It's the perfect tool to monitor how much you're really watching the (stressful) news.
8. Go Ahead And Bake Something
"I started baking basic breads...At its most basic it's flour, sugar, salt, and a packet of yeast. I love the careful measuring, timing, kneading, watching it rise, and then you get bread for the week when you're done! I love it, it really relaxes me," said ronbilius. Make the perfect batch of bread every time with this round bowl, cloth liner, and danish dough whisk set that also comes with directions. Not only will this possibly relax you, but you can enjoy the fruits of your labor, topped with some avocado or butter!
9. Block Out Any Outside Noise
According to The_Doctalex he loves, "Walking the dog with nothing but trees and grass surrounding you, while listing to my Spotify mix. Nothing puts me in a better mood." What's more relaxing than listening to some of your favorite tunes? When you're feeling a little overwhelmed, go for a walk, put these noise-cancelling earbuds in, and allow yourself to take a breather. Since they're noise-cancelling, they'll also help you block out sound when you're at your desk, which may help you get more work done.
10. Write Things Down To Get Them Off Your Chest
According to wellhellooonurse, their coping method is all about journaling. "The more I do them, the longer my fuse is, and the less likely I am to feel stressed. Once you're stressed it's way harder to calm down, than it is to have just never let it get to you in the first place." When you're stressed and just need to vent, this journal will let you get it all out there, while also keeping a focus on positive thinking. Use it to reflect and move past things that may be holding you back.
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