Stress, unfortunately, is something that we all face in daily life. But how often do you take time to de-stress? There are a lot of great ways to confront your daily stress and even mitigate it. But sometimes, we don’t even realize that we’re stressed until it’s too late!
Rather than waiting for it to hit you like a ton of bricks, you can be proactive. Why not take about 10-15 minutes a day to acknowledge and cope with stress? It’s not as hard as you may think it will be. Just set the alarm during a part of the day where you are least busy, and try one of the suggestions below.
10 Suggestions for Stress-Busting
Even if you’re still able to work during this stressful time, there’s probably more weight placed on your shoulders than ever. Here are some ideas to help you get through the day with a little less of that load you’re carrying:
- Take time to stretch. Whether you realize it or not, most of us tighten our muscles when we’re feeling the impact of stress. You may clench your jaw, fists, hips, or even stomach throughout the day. Try finding some stretching exercises on Youtube.
- Get up and go for a quick walk. You can walk in most places and maintain social distancing. If for some reason this is impossible, take a walk up and down the stairs or do a quick 15-minute workout online.
- Join an online meditation. There are a ton of places online offering free meditation and relaxation sessions. Check Eventbrite for freebies.
- Take time to read. And NO, not the news! You may think that reading things on your cell phone is relaxing, but that’s not accurate. News often focuses on the most stressful bits of information from the week. Pick up a meditation book, novel, or self-help book instead, and give yourself 15 minutes to become engrossed. (Set a timer if there’s a task you need to get back to urgently.)
- Walk the dog or play with your pets. Animals are always happy to have your attention, and they’ll reward you with affection, which can calm down your body as well as your mind.
- Take a long bath. While you’re at it, add some Epsom salts if you get body aches or pains.
- Listen to your favorite music with the headphones on. With the headphones, you’ll not annoy any housemates, and you’ll also be able to concentrate on the tunes and slip away from reality for a while.
- Do some gardening. There’s something a bit magical about helping bring a plant to life. If you’re not into formal gardening, you can always just plant some wildflower seeds and help them sprout with water and some sunlight.
- Bake something you love. Most beginners like to start with boxed mixes or banana bread, but you can work on whatever you enjoy! Just remember, it’s for fun and relaxation, so if you mess up, it’s OK!
- Do something artsy or crafty. There’s a craft or art out there for anyone. If you don’t like to paint, maybe strumming the guitar and learning new chords is something you can explore. Or, perhaps you’ve always wanted to make jewelry. It’s the best time to learn something new, and there are plenty of online tutorials you can try out.
De-stressing usually involves getting outside yourself, so there are tons of other opportunities for you if nothing above sounds fun. Just remember to respect the guidelines for social distancing. And stay sober! While right now may seem stressful and scary, there’s a whole future waiting for us, and the one constant thing is change. Somewhere ahead, there are better days waiting for you. Right now, it’s time to slow down and let yourself grow in place.
The San Diego Society of Addiction Professionals is a coalition of working professionals that works towards enhancing opportunities for education, interdisciplinary problem solving, and access to resources. We want to help people grow and build their best lives going forward in recovery. If you’re interested in joining or learning more about our organization, please contact us at 760.402.5682.