6 Life-Changing Ways to Relieve Stress

mental health Jan 19, 2021

I didn't include meditation (because, duh).

The moment you've all been waiting for...

1. Know and limit your stressors.

I'm going to cut straight to the point and I'm not going to sugar coat this one for you: if you're still regularly watching, reading or entertaining the news and you're complaining about lack of sleep, anxiety, depression or moodiness - I don't want to hear it. BOOM. Harsh, but truth. You cannot feed yourself negativity and then wonder why you're feeling so down.

Pay attention to the things that stress you out and make a list of them. Some may surprise you: like a subtle anxiety about cooking dinner, while others may be more obvious: the news, your work, etc. It doesn't matter if these items stress other people out or are unique to you - your peace of mind is not anyone else's. With no comparisons, either entirely cut out the stressful things in your life or implicate healthy boundaries around them. Whether you prepare yourself to alleviate tension or limit your time with the things that shake up your calm, it all starts with knowing what (or who) triggers your peace.

If you find the morning emails or turning on the news puts you over the edge, replace that routine with a mini-meditation on Insight Timer before diving in head-on. If you find yourself checking social media relentlessly, set those time limits via the app settings. You can even mute or unfollow people in your life who are driving you crazy with opinions and rants to keep the moments you do check-in a bit mellower. If your job allows, don’t book meetings during your most stressful times of the day. Keep your space safe (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually).



2. Do something soothing.

When it comes to physical disarray, we don't hesitate to take care of ourselves. If you had a migraine, you'd lie down, dim the lights and drink some water, but what about when you're stressed or in emotional turmoil? It's so much easier and more accepted to tend to our physical needs vs. our mental and emotional health. The same way you'd care for an injury or an illness, do for your mind and heart. Spending time in nature, baking, meditation, gentle stretching or watching something light, joyful and funny are all wonderful options to calm nerves. What soothes you? Do that. This is the stuff that supplements the stressors we eliminate or pad the ones that slip in.



3. Shake up your normal. When things are heavy, traumatic and stressful, one of the best ways to get out of that funk is to switch things up. Some of my favorite shake-ups are a simple walk in some new scenery, a new workout, trying a new recipe, a mini-road trip or a new craft. Personally, I love kicking up the wall into a handstand. It literally offers a new perspective, an adrenaline rush, focusing challenge and is actually proven to boost endorphins and bring more joy. More on that here.



4. Indulge your guilty pleasure with an at-home concert.

One night, mid-the 2020 election, I got so fed up with the stress in the air (and the lack of answers) that I switched the Apple TV to Youtube and played Machine Gun Kelly's Live @ The Roxy show from a month prior and pulled out my absolute worst dance moves on the living room floor. I indulged my guilty pleasure, I moved my body, I blew off steam, I distracted my frenetic thoughts, and honestly, it was one of the best 30-minutes I had all week. There's only so much you can do right now. Why suffer? Take moments to enjoy, indulge and let the rest go.



5. Practice acceptance.

In our society, acceptance is often misperceived. Acceptance is the opposite of weak. Acceptance is the tranquil smile in the face of disaster. Acceptance is brave, bold and authentic. Acceptance is looking at the situation for what it is and making the absolute best out of it. Acceptance has no expectations and no assumptions. The world is chaotic right now and we don't need our own stories and delusions clouding the already foggy air. Acceptance brings a kind of clarity that is unmatched by anything else. Once we accept what is happening, we can make the most authentic and effective decisions. We can lead with truth, love and empathy. Acceptance accomplished is peace. Choose peace.



6. Try reiki energy healing.

Reiki is a touch-less Japanese energy work that helps to realign your emotional and even physical energy. The wonderful thing about reiki is: energy has no bounds so it can be received far and wide - even through a computer. If that sounds too out there for you, UCLA Health conducted a study to find these benefits to ring true, alongside alleviating stress and inducing deep relaxation. There are free reiki-infused meditations on apps like Insight Timer and even Youtube. You could also schedule a Zoom session with a trained practitioner for a deeper and more customized experience. Try a google search for reputable healers that don't even need to live in the same country. As a certified Reiki Master, I also offer reiki remotely and would love to help you alleviate any blockages or stress. Schedule and inquire about a session by contacting me here.

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