I've also figured out that I stress myself out for no real reason. Put it like this, if I ever randomly bump into someone in town, I won't have time to stop. I run to a schedule. I always have some place to be. Even if it is just 'BACK HOME AT 6;15PM TO PUT YOUR FIRST LOAD OF LAUNDRY ON.' I can categorically say I am stressed.
Which isn't good. Stress is really harmful to your body.
|Source Look at all the harmful things you do to yourself!|
So I want to share my mid-week de-stressing tips to help you beat the stressful blues!
I have been raging about baths for the past year. My childhood was full of bathing, and usually playing Barbies in the bath rather than washing myself. In our household, using the shower was a true mark of being a grown-up. You washed your own hair. You didn't need to play to enjoy 'wash-time'. As such, I grew out of baths and associated them with little kids.
That is of course I rediscovered the beauty of a bath.
While I will always choose the shower as my quick and simple week-day routine, the bath is for special occassions. Stretched a muscle exercising? Run a bath. Have some time to kill? Read a book in the bath. Feeling stressed? Relax and soak in the bath. It relaxes your muscles and your mind.
So I've spent the past year telling my friends to have a bath. Only when they finally went and took the plunge themselves they realise just how relaxing baths are. That is until one of my friend's dogs tried to join her in the tub...
Work it Out
Exercise, exercise, exercise. You go and workout and the stress leaves your body. It really is that simple. If you don't like running (me neither, so hard to motivate yourself to run alone), or if you can't afford a fitness class, then try playing music and dancing. Seriously. It leaves you energised and often laughing at the ridiculousness of you dancing in your room alone. And that's okay.
Take a Break
Research (I don't have a particular source, but google it if you must!) says that you're more productive if you take short but regular breaks in between your work. Whether it's cramming for exams, a regular day in the office or working on a blog post, take time out to go for some fresh air, a coffee, or even to throw on some TV, don't forget to unwind.
Make a cup of tea
Escaping to the kitchen for a tea break can be a nice pause in a busy day. But, having one outside the office when you can really appreciate it is so much better.
|From: This Folded Mind|
Adult Colouring Books are all the rage now. Embrace the trend and pick up some bargains (and not the overly priced books they are offering to cash in on the trend). Colouring relaxes you, is fun, and is lauded by psychiatrists as a great way to practice mindfulness! (I read it on the Guardian or somewhere. But google it and I'm sure you'll see countless other recommendations). On the other hand, you can get creative in other ways. Don't be afraid to make something with your own hands, time and energy. Even if it is described online as a 'kindergarten craft'. It's rewarding to see what you've made at the end of it, but remember not to be too harsh on yourself. Do you think Da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa the very first time he picked up a paint brush? It takes time and practice to build up your skills. For some Crafting Inspiration, see my latest Pinterest finds here.
Write about it
Journalling and I aren't the best of friends. I always forget about it, get bored of it, or feel silly when it comes to putting pen to paper. But writing really does help. A few weeks ago I made a list of all the reasons I was feeling like crap. I knew there were many, but it was easier to identify them if I wrote them down as a list. So, I did. And looking at the list made it easier to tackle each one individually. When you have a lot of worries they can feel overwhelming. Instead, identifying each one makes it easier to start working towards tackling the problem. One of the reasons you're sad may be because you had a row with your sister. It's one problem that be solved with a 'sorry'. And it gives you one less thing to be stressing over.
Screw what anyone tells you, laughter really is the best medicine. You feel much more relaxed when you laugh, even your muscles. So find some comedy, whether it's from a stand-up or a Disney film, and make yourself chuckle. However, I know laughter is a whole lot more difficult to come by if your stress is also part of a wider mental health issue, such as depression. Seriously, when I'm really down I can barely muster a smile yet alone a full blown laugh. But, at the early stages of stress and feeling down, it's a lot easier and offers light relief from your worries!
Talk it Out - Ask for Help
Talking doesn't have to be a professional. Have a chat with your friends, your family, a co-worker. And it doesn't have to about your stress or what's stressing you. Sometimes talking about anything but it is a great de-stresser and takes your mind off of the problem.
It's also really important to build up a support network of people you can confide in, so that if things do get really bad, you have somewhere to turn.
I also have a page on my blog with helplines and information if you need help, or just someone to talk to; Getting Help.
And there you have it! I'm not always very good at doing all the things on my list when I'm feeling overwhelmed, but having a colouring book by my bedside has definitely helped me unwind lately. Even though I wrote this list myself, I'm going to print it off for my wall so that I see it every day and can encourage myself to practice thee habits even on the good days.