Feeling overwhelmed? Simple ways to de-stress on the spot
We all have stressful days. Sometimes, you can power your way through and relax at the end of the day. But on other days, you need a way to shake off the stress. Here are some simple ways you can feel calm and collected within a few minutes.
Take 10 deep breaths
This is the easiest one, because you can do it anytime, anywhere, with nothing else required. Before you start, notice the rhythm of your breath – is it faster than your usual breath? Is it shallow?
Then close your eyes – unless you’re driving or doing some other sight-requiring activity, of course! Take 10 deep breaths. Breathe as deeply as you can.
After the 10 breaths, notice your natural breath rhythm again. It’s probably much slower and deeper than before. This is a sign that your nervous system is feeling less stressed.
Find something to laugh at
Want to feel less stressed? Look for a chance to laugh at something. This might be a call with a girlfriend, or a YouTube clip of your favourite animals doing silly things. The bigger the laugh, the greater the relief.
Have a 60 second dance party
Music and movement are a magical combo when it comes to stress. Both have the ability to make you feel better within moments!
Pick your favourite song, whether it’s the latest track or your ultimate track from your teen years. Pull it up on YouTube or Spotify, and groove it out. This one is best when there’s no one around to judge you, except maybe your toddler or your dog!
Write it out
When the trouble is all in the mind, it’s easy to spiral out of control with worry. Or maybe you push it to the back of your mind and pretend there’s nothing wrong. But when you put pen to paper, it stops being as scary because you know what you’re dealing with.
Grab a notebook, or a device if you prefer typing. Set a timer, and spend 5 minutes writing every thought in your head about what you have to do, and what you’re worried about, and whatever it is that’s ticking away in your head. Even if you don’t feel magically better, at least you’ve written down what you need to sort out.
Hug someone (or something)
When we hug, our bodies release feel-good chemicals – the same ones that are released when we fall in love. So find something that you can hug with all your heart. It can be your partner, your kid or even your pet. If you don’t have any of those, borrow someone else’s – kid or pet, that is.
Have a cry
If you can find somewhere quiet for a quick sob, go for it. Emotional or stress crying can actually reduce your stress levels. Tears can reduce a substance that increases stress hormone levels in the body.
Take something off your plate
Overwhelm is often because we take on too much at once. So an easy way to take away some of that overwhelm is to take something off the to-do list. You can do this by postponing, deleting or outsourcing it.
Sometimes this might mean cancelling something that you’ve been dreading, or rescheduling an appointment for next week. But it could also be as simple as getting someone to do those household chores that you’ve been avoiding for weeks!