When you feel stressed it’s hard to imagine feeling any different. I think it’s one of those emotions where you kind of get stuck in this place with no way out. I definitely used to find it difficult to control my emotions when it came to being sad, angry, or stressed and it’s only really been up until recently where I’ve figured out what I find helpful to managing my stress. So, I thought I would let you into some of my stress relievers.
I feel like when the word exercise is brought up, you instantly think of a weightlifting gym session or a run – which for sure if it helps you, then squat that 80kg! - but it doesn’t have to take a toll physically on your body, remember this is to help you mind, not to hurt yourself. Whether it’s a hardcore session at the gym or a brisk walk, exercise is known to release chemicals in your brain that boost your sense of well-being and suppress hormones that cause stress and anxiety. Of course, we aren’t saying that exercise cures mental health issues, or that it even helps everyone, but it is possible that it will help short term.
As of lately, walking has been a way that I’ve found to relieve me of stress. Regardless of if that’s by myself with my earphones blasting ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version) by Taylor Swift, which for me, weirdly, is an instant mood booster! Or, with a friend where we chat about anything and everything the whole time. I find that for myself, being round a scenic environment can help me forget about what’s going on in my mind and focus on what’s around me in that moment.
Having Some Me Time
Taking a step back when you are struggling may make you feel more stressed, especially if you’re stressed due to a deadline, but it’s important that to remember that taking yourself away from the situation for even 10 minutes is ok. I remember being at uni and feeling like I couldn’t give myself 5 minutes away from writing an assignment because of the upcoming deadline, but when I did, it helped me a lot. You know your boundaries when it comes to your own stress management, so if you think you need to take a 5 minute break or the rest of the day, it’s not the end of the world.
Take some time to do something that you enjoy, this could be listening to your favourite song or watching your favourite film, figuring out what you see as self-care can really help when it comes to managing your stress.
I Either Talk To My Friends…or Don’t
Ok so this might be a confusing one, but basically when I’m stressed I either find that I ignore the world or tell my best friend every emotion or feeling I’m having in that exact moment, along with an essay long text as to why, and I think both are ok! I know some people don’t have that person that they feel like that can talk to on that deep level, so I do feel very lucky that I have a few in my life that I can always count on. On the other hand, when I feel stressed I find it easy to totally detach myself from everything, which goes hand in hand with having some me time, as I can focus on doing something I enjoy to help me relax.
Listen To Music
Music for me is medicine, it’s rare that you will find me without my earphones in, and if I don’t I’m either working, or in my car, where the music is blasting through the speakers. However, the one issue I do have when it comes to music is that I always listen to the same thing, which isn’t necessarily bad because I am yet to be sick of my favourite repeated albums and playlists, but I do wish I could switch it up from time to time. I think that’s why music is a huge stress reliever for me because my favourite songs are like my safety blanket. I think music can definitely define how you’re feeling, and I don’t think there’s anything better than putting on your favourite song or one that you find relatable.
What Dorrie does…
“The times when I get the most stressed is when it’s very busy at work (the build up to Christmas) and when I have assignment deadlines to meet (I am studying whilst working full time Managing Sweet Cecily’s). I can either be totally easy going and let it wash over me, or I’ll go the other way and start overthinking (did I get back to that person on email? or I wonder if I made a mistake and didn’t realise?).
When I’ve had a stressful day, the most important thing for me is to blast some music on the way home (that’s step one!). Once I’m home, I’ll either take a long soak in the bath and listen to a podcast or I’ll go for a quick walk by the sea. I find the sound of the waves really relaxing and being more in tune with nature allows my stress levels to slowly decrease”
What Beth does…
“If I am ever feeling stressed, I like to take my mind off things with a Gym Workout. Before I get to the gym, my head can feel full of thoughts and worry. But, as soon as I put my headphones on and start my first exercise, my mindset changes. I focus all of my energy both mentally and physically on lifting a heavy weight that I forget about the stressful day that I have had. I have found that it is these Gym sessions where I can push myself further and even achieve personal bests. After I have finished my workout, I like to spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching whilst listening to meditation style music. This really helps me to relax my mind and relieve any worry I may be having. When I leave the gym I feel that my mindset completely changes.
As cringey as it may sound, finding a love for the gym has helped me overcome barrier both mentally and physically.”
Effective stress management helps you break the hold stress has on your life, allowing you to be more productive and happier. Try some new hobbies out and see which one helps you relax the most!