Stress. It's a killer. In fact, physicians are becoming alarmed with how much stress is affecting our health. More and more people are suffering from stress-related illnesses. Illnesses such as stomach problems: indigestion, cramping, gastritis, and irritable bowel syndrome are becoming more prevalent. Anxiety related illnesses such as depression, self-injury disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders and suicide are also on the rise. While a little bit of stress is normal, continued, long-term stress is not, and can have severe impacts on the human body. Here are 52 totally doable ways to relieve stress on a dime.
Sleep Is Important
If you're having problems falling asleep, listening to a guided meditation can help you get to sleep that much faster and easier. Search them out on your favorite YouTube channel or try looking for a podcast that you can transport you to slumber land.
These journals are all the rage to help you feel more appreciative of the things that you are experiencing every day. A pretty dollar-store book is the perfect thing for this. Simply make a point, every day, of writing down even just three things you're thankful for. As you get better at this, you will find that you have more than just three things.
Walking With A Friend
Stay-at-home parents find it hard to feel important or visible. It's too easy to vanish into the background. Take some time to go out for a walk with a friend. Moving your body and having social time with someone who cares about you will help you feel seen and important.
Soak In The Tub
Let's face it, you can't always escape the house. Sometimes you're stuck at home and need a relaxing break. Wait until the kids are in bed, pour a hot bath, light some candles and burn some incense and soak your tired achy body in the bath while enjoying a glass of wine.
Binge-Watch A Show On Netflix
As a parent, you can only watch so many episodes of Dinosaur Train without feeling like your brain is going to explode. Take some time to watch something you really want to by yourself. No kids, no partner. Heck, you can even break out the microwave popcorn and make it feel like you're taking yourself to the movies.
Start A "Let This Go" Journal
If you have problems falling asleep because your mind is racing with thoughts of things that you did today, or of things that you have to do tomorrow, try this cool trick. As you prepare for bed, write down all those things that are running through your mind - things you did, things you did wrong or right, and things that you need to do tomorrow. As you do so, visualize that you are letting it go for the night and that you will pick it up in the morning.
Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and help you manage the stress you're already under. There are many ways to practice meditation. There are moving meditations, as well as guided meditations (see number 1). Find a way that works for you, and do your best to meditate once a day.
Watch Fish Swim
Aquariums and fish bowls are a great thing for helping you reduce stress. Simply spending as little as ten minutes watching the fish swim can help you relax and take your mind off your troubles.
Clutter Stresses You Out
You know that corner of the house that is a total mess? Go ahead and take care of the clutter. Ditch the stuff that you don't need, take it out of the house and get rid of it. Simply looking at a cleaner, more organized space can help you reduce your stress.
The jury is out on this in terms of long-term benefits of napping. However, if you find that you are tired part-way during the day, consider taking a short nap. This siesta can help recharge your batteries so that you can do what you need to later. This is especially important for new parents whose children can keep them up at night.
Use The Good Plates
Sometimes, when you're feeling stressed, particularly about finances, it's easy to feel like you can't afford anything nice or to go out for dinner. Treat yourself to a "fancy dinner" at home. Take out the good plates and dress up whatever you're eating.
Read An Old Love Letter
There is nothing like feeling like you're worthless or unloved. It stinks. Seriously. Find one of the old love letters from your partner, and bask in the glow of their love again.
Eat Clean (For One Day)
Try eating no processed foods for an entire day. Eat only fresh, wholesome foods (stuff your great-grandmother would recognize), and see how you feel at the end of the day.
There are two types of commitments: the ones you HAVE to do and the ones that aren't a high priority. Give yourself permission to say NO to the ones that aren't important without guilt. You can do it.
Take A Deep Breathing Break
Sometimes it can get kind of stressful at work. While it's good to get up and go for a walk, sometimes you can't do that. Instead, take a moment to practice a few deep breaths break at your desk or during lunch.
Hire A Housecleaner
Housecleaning is the job that just never ends. It can get downright depressing to look at a corner that you cleaned yesterday, that is now a total mess, thanks to the kids. Give yourself a gift of a day off and hire a housecleaner to come in to do the cleaning while you do something you love.
Create An Evening Exercise Routine
Instead of staying home and watching television after the kids are in bed, try doing a bit of light exercise. Take a walk, go for a swim, or do some light cardio in the living room before you sleep.
Treat Yourself With Speciality Coffee or Tea
If you're starting your day feeling a bit off, treat yourself to a speciality coffee or tea on your way to the office. It'll perk you up.
Treat Someone Else to Speciality Coffee or Tea
While you're in the café giving yourself a treat, think about sharing your experience with someone else. Buy a "coffee on the wall" for someone else. This small act of generosity toward others can give you a boost.
Pack Healthy Snacks
While you're packing lunches for the rest of the family, make sure you pack a good one for yourself. Add healthy snacks that you can enjoy throughout the day so that you don't run out of energy before you run out of day.
Spray Your Linens
Even if you're cleaning your sheets on a regular basis, sometimes the smell can become unpleasant. Spraying your linens with a relaxing scent such as lavender can help you sleep more soundly.
Sing Along With Your Songs
Don't be afraid to sing out loud with your favorite songs while you're driving down the road. Belt them out and have a blast.
Dark Chocolate (Need Anymore Be Said)
Dark chocolate is a super food that can seriously improve your stress levels. Slowly savour just one piece of this decadent treat when you're feeling really anxious, and let your stress melt away.
Retail therapy can be helpful, as long as you do it responsibly. Create a budget, then allow yourself to spend as much as you have budgeted on anything you like.
Rediscover Your Inner Child
Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. Get one and a bunch of coloring pencils and get in touch with your inner child.
Play With The Kids
Some adults think that playing is just for kids, but they would be wrong. Adults need play time too. Join in your children's activities and let go of your big person worries. Simply enjoy.
Send A Thinking Of You Message
People love it when someone else thinks of them. Send a loved one a quick message to say you're thinking of them. You'll likely get a nice response and some good feelings back.
Turn Off Your Phone
Carrying a cell phone can sometimes make you feel like you're on an electronic leash. If you can, turn off your phone, even if it's for an hour a day so that you can disconnect and take a breather.
Take A Free Course
Community colleges and centres always have some sort of free class going on. Look through their course offerings, and choose one that interests you.
Morning Sun Salutation
Taking the time to limber up in the morning, while doing a full sun salutation, can improve your mood, as well as your ability to handle stress. Best of all this only takes about ten minutes and has long-lasting benefits throughout the day.
Break Down A Big Task Into Smaller Ones
It's tough sometimes to complete large tasks, so it just makes sense to break these bigger projects into smaller ones. By doing this, you are able to complete small tasks, giving you a sense of accomplishment and the belief that you can complete that big thing.
You know that expensive hair treatment you've been wanting? Or maybe it's that mani-pedi you've been thinking of? Go ahead. Spoil yourself a little and enjoy.
Give A Long Hug
Sometimes you just need a hug. The best way to get one, though, is to give one. Choose someone that you love and loves you back, and, rather than pulling away after a short squeeze, snuggle up and give them a good long hug. You'll both feel good.
When you have a particularly daunting task or day ahead, plan to give yourself a reward that only you can appreciate.
Talk With Your Boss
Sometimes, the problem that you're having at work won't go away unless you take it to the boss. Do that and try to come up with a solution together.
Red Wine With Dinner
It's okay to have a drink sometimes. A glass of red wine with your dinner can help you relax, and also has a number of health benefits.
Early To Bed
When you're feeling particularly tired, rather than waiting until your usual bedtime, it's okay for you to go to bed an hour early. Alternately, give yourself an extra hour's sleep by setting your alarm for one hour later.
Renew Your Hobbies
You know that hobby that you used to do all the time? Knitting? Sewing? Painting? Learning foreign languages? Violin? Take them up again. You'll be glad you did.
Calming Scents Are Relaxing
Sometimes the best way to relax is simply to breathe in calming scents. Try essential oils such as basil, lavender, or chamomile. Citrusy scents like lemongrass and satsuma orange can be invigorating.
Watch The Sunset
Find out what time the sun sets where you are, and find a good location to view it. Then make a date with yourself (or even your partner or a good friend) to watch the sun go down.
You don't have to be a child to enjoy a picnic lunch. Find a park close to home or work and take your lunch there. You'll enjoy fresh air and the sunshine, which is a sure pick-me-up.
Cookies are probably anyone's favourite treat. They fit in your hand, they're tasty and they make your whole house smell good while you're baking.
Discover A New Neighborhood
Sometimes being in the same place all the time can make you feel like you're going nowhere fast. Take a drive and go for a walk in an area of town that you have never explored before.
Go To The Movies
Take yourself on a movie date all on your own. Don't wait to bring your partner or the kids, treat yourself to a solo movie experience. Heck, if you go on Tuesdays, you can see the movie for half price!
Revisit Your Accomplishments
Sometimes it's easy to forget the good stuff you've done, which makes you feel invisible and unimportant. Find your memorabilia of things that you've done that make you feel proud and happy.
Play With Your Pet
Your pet loves getting attention from you. Spend some time throwing the ball for your dog, or tease your cat with a catnip mouse. And if you have other critters, find a way to play with them too.
Eat Something New
Eating the same old thing all the time can be really boring and can make you feel depressed. Go to the store and walk through the produce section. Try a new fruit or vegetable.
Revamp Your Menu
If you're stuck in a food rut, look up new ways to prepare the fruits and veggies that you have. Rather than having mashed potatoes all the time, try roasting them, or grilling them, or adding something to them to make them different. Salmon cakes anyone?
Plan A Getaway
If you're in need of a break, check out what sorts of options there are for you to enjoy a nearby getaway just for the weekend.
Go play in the dirt, plant something pretty or something tasty. Your choice. Have fun and wait for the seeds you've planted to come up. This is also a good place to go when you need to relax and work things out.
Practice Staying In The Present (For One Hour)
While it might sound like it could be more stressful than the stress you're experiencing, try focusing on each of your senses for this period. You might want to try doing this when your kids are napping during the day, or when you wake up before everyone else, rather than running around and trying to get your day started.
Give Yourself Flowers
While it's nice when others give you flowers, sometimes you just need to get them for yourself. Even one single flower can brighten a room, and give you a happy feeling.