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Being stressed out has become a standard for living these days. It seems like no matter what industry you’re in or how you spend your free time, stress and anxiety are prevalent and constant. The effects of stress, especially chronic stress, include a whole litany of physical and mental health issues, like heart disease.
That’s why it’s so important to find healthy methods of stress management and stress relief. Without proper ways of coping with stress, you’ll likely be left feeling drained and incapable of handling the various responsibilities in your life. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out, no matter what’s causing the stress, try these ways to relieve stress.
1. Get a Move On
I’m convinced there’s nothing a healthy, committed exercise regimen can’t fix, and exercise is especially useful at offsetting the symptoms you feel from being stressed out. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which ignite all of those happy, feel-good emotions. Even just a quick 10-minute walk around your office or neighborhood can turn your stress into positive energy that will make you much happier for the rest of the day.
If you make sure to get some form of exercise every day, you’ll experience those feel good emotions even more and find you have an easier time dealing with stress when it shows up and de-stressing quicker. Not to mention, regular exercise is good for your body, helps you maintain or lose weight, and keeps you feeling younger longer.
2. Take a Break
Sometimes the best stress reliever is actually ignoring the things that are making you stressed out and focusing on doing the things that make you feel calm and happy. It’s a good idea to designate (at least) one night a week to doing the things you enjoy. That way you feel refreshed the next day and don’t end up burned out or frustrated that you’re constantly obsessing over the source of your stress.
Your me-night can consist of a movie on the couch with popcorn and wine, a bubble bath with soothing music, a long hike with your dog, or even baking your favorite cookies before curling up in bed with a book and a glass of milk. Those are just a few ideas, though. Choose an evening activity that gives you a sense of calm and quiet or helps you release that pent up stress energy. If you have the time, you can even combine the two.
3. Remind Yourself of the Positive
When you’re feeling completely swamped with stress and anxiety, one of the best things you can do is write down all of the good things in your life. This helps you put your problems into perspective and reminds you that the stressors aren’t the only thing in your life. Write down the people you’re grateful for, the things you like about yourself, the things that make you smile, things that made you laugh that day, and the things you have to look forward to. Once you’ve written down every positive thing you can think of, you’ll realize work or whatever else is making you feel stressed out isn’t the only thing in your life.
4. Find Your Work/Life Balance
If you feel stressed out at work, then a good way to manage the stress is by leaving it at the office. Instead of trying to continue working from home or answering and checking emails at all hours of the day, log out of your email, shut down the computer, and go do something that isn’t remotely related to your job. It might seem like constantly working to get ahead of the problem will reduce your stress, but in reality, it just leaves you feeling more stressed out and even burned out from not taking a break. Breaks are essential for destressing.
When work hours are done, leave your work alone. Go home, spend time with your family and friends, and dedicate time and energy to the other areas of your life. The emails and messages will still be there tomorrow.
5. Talk it Out
Even if you’ve done all the above and tried your hardest to destress on your own, you might still find yourself too stressed out to fully function to the best of your abilities. If the stress you feel starts to inhibit your ability to work and socialize normally, consider talking to a professional. Online therapy with places like TalkSpace is a great way to get professional help from someone who will listen to you without going through the hassle of finding a local therapist.
Talkspace is incredibly convenient as well — you don’t have to drive anywhere or even take time off of work. You can simply write down the way you’re feeling from your device, and your therapist will write back one to two times each day. You always have the same therapist, and you can even schedule a video chat if you feel you need it. It’s a flexible program that works with you no matter your schedule or where you are that day.