What with our lives being jam-packed and moving at a crazy pace it can be hard to take a step back and de-stress. Google apparently has a slide in their office but we’re not all that lucky, so we have to find relaxing moments in the mundane instead. To help, I’ve pulled together my top tips on how to de-stress. Easier said than done I know, but try a few and hopefully one or two will help!
Breathe And Count To 10
Your first step to saying goodbye to stress. When you feeling yourself getting worked up, focus on your breathing - keep it nice and slow and really concentrate on exhaling and blocking out everything else around you. Do this for a minute and also try counting to 10. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s quick.
Put Things Into Perspective
Sometimes it’s beneficial to remember worse things are happening. Take a step back, re-evaluate and think of all the happy and good things in your life.
Leading a cluttered life can also contribute to stress. Whether it’s hoarding receipts (yep I’m definitely guilty of that one), having an unorganised desk, an overflowing wardrobe - whatever it is, de-clutter. File away the receipts you need and bin the rest. Have a wardrobe clearout - sell what’s worth selling and donate other items to charity. And as for your workspace, make a conscious effort every Monday morning and Friday evening before you leave to cleaning and organising whatever’s on there.
Jot Down What's Bothering You
Sometimes writing down exactly what’s on your mind can help. Talking obviously helps with it too but if I’m in a negative mood, i’m conscious to not bring others down with me, so writing it definitely helps. It can map out any problems or issues you’re having and you can put actions against how you’re going to resolve them.
Make A Change
Depending on what it is that’s stressing you out, you can use the stress to turn your life around. Not enjoying your job? Look for new opportunities. In a bad relationship? Get out of it. You’re in control of your own happiness, so if it’s causing you to be stressed and sad, do something about it.
Some fresh air can do you the world of wonders. It doesn’t have to be the most picturesque path, it can literally be a 15 minute stroll around the block but it will instantly clear your mind.
Put On Your Favourite Music
I couldn’t live without music - fact. If you’re the same, put your favourite songs on when you’re feeling stressed. Avoid anything too slow and sad and opt for more upbeat tracks. I for instance LOVE Coldplay, Snow Patrol and Kodaline but there’s a time and place - I hardly want to hear ‘Fix You’ when I’m in a bad mood as it’ll probably make me worse, but you’ll know from your own personal taste what songs help lift your mood. Make a playlist on your phone, IPod or Spotify so that they’re always quickly accessible.
Play An Instrument
Whether you can physically play one or not, it can relieve a lot of stress. I love playing the piano and although I don’t get to play as often as I’d like, as soon as my fingers touch those keys, I instantly feel less stressed. Just like listening to music, it can take you to a whole new place and changes your concentration completely.
Want to burn calories and cheer up? Try dancing to de-stress your life. It always works for me and it doesn’t have to be good dancing but just moving around and making a fool of yourself. We all know how happy everyone gets when the Macerna or Saturday Night comes on…
Spend Time With Those You Love
Sometimes when you’re stressed, seeing the faces of the people you love can instantly help it go away. If you can’t be physically with that person, a text, an email or a phone call to hear their voice can achieve the same effect.
Watch Your Favourite Film
They’re your favourite films for a reason so in times of stress, switch on your TV, grab some snacks and chill out. Unfortunately one of my favourite films is almost four hours long so that actually sends me to sleep but the principle is there…
Exercise is a great way to feel good, tone up and forget your worries. Whether it’s a run around your local park, a gruelling spin class or a group workout with your girls, sometimes 'dropping and giving 20’ can de-stress you straight away.
Get A Massage
As a treat I’d highly recommend getting a massage. It’s dedicated ‘me’ time, it’s ridiculously relaxing and you’ll feel so much better afterwards. You’ll also know where you’re carrying your tension and they’ll help relieve that.
Take A Bath
Light some candles and run a hot bath - lavender is also great in this situation as it relaxes your muscles.
Get More Sleep
Sleep solves most things - stress being one of them. There’s a reason why the whole ‘It’ll feel better in the morning’ is always bandied around. Get an early night, get more sleep, have more lie ins and see if that makes you less stressed.
Hug It Out
Hugging for me is definitely up there with getting more sleep (providing it’s a good hug). Obviously don’t go round hugging people you don’t know or with people who aren’t into physical contact but do more of it. I’m lucky in that a lot of people at my work are huggers, so providing I need one, it’s always an option.
Finally as we all learnt from Peter Pan - think happy thoughts - it’s as simple as that. Negativity breeds negativity and will bring not only you down but those around you. Be grateful for what you have and celebrate the good aspects of your life. Avoid bad vibes and bad people and surround yourself with those who do good and bring goodness into your life. That to me is the recipe for success and lifelong happiness - oh and hopefully no stress!