Sometimes life can just be f*cking stressful, one thing after the other, bills, relationship problems, pressures at work, world issues, cruelty, injustice, I could go on. Sometimes though things just get so overwhelming and this is when I jump to my go-to stress relievers so the world can feel a little bit more bearable until life calms down again so here they are:
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At Home spa evening
Chuck on your comfiest pj’s and get pampering. You could paint your nails, give yourself a pedicure, a face mask, anything to make yourself feel pampered and special. My fave nail polish is Barry M – it’s cruelty-free and vegan! I guarantee you’ll wake up the next day feeling that bit better. Not only looking and feeling a bit better but knowing that you spent some time on yourself. Sometimes we do so much for others we forget we need time for ourselves too.
Grab some Epsom salts, coconut oil and whichever essential oil you like, my favourite is lavender. I like to treat myself to a hot steamy Epsom bath salt bath every once in a while when I need an extra pick me up. Epsom salts have such healing properties, they contain magnesium and sulphate which help to detoxify the body. Coconut oil too does wonders for your skin leaving it soft and supple and essential oils like lavender are known for their relaxing properties. If you do use coconut oil in your detox bath, just be careful when stepping out, it can get rather slippery!
Watch funny videos online
My go-to is animal videos! They’re such innocent sweet full of life creatures. They don’t have to worry about paying bills or social media. Hopefully, if they are well treated all they want is love, warmth, food, and fun times. Scour the Internet – I guarantee a good half an hour of watching funny cute videos of animals will give you a laugh, and help you put things in perspective.
Go for a walk or a run, do some yoga or get dancing. My favourite yoga mat is this super thick foldable mat from MB Zen. Whatever your thang is just getting moving. Being sedentary or sitting in an office all day can really be detrimental to your well-being – I know from experience I can easily get stuck in a rut of going to my 9-5 sitting at a desk all day then sitting on the couch all night. But you just fester – ok sometimes festering is just what you need and you’ll know it when you feel it but sometimes we just need to get our blood pumping and get active.
Ok, forget what I just said, sometimes our lives truly are so hectic that we are rushing from one thing to the next and we don’t even give ourselves time to sit down, have a cuppa or catch up on that box set we’ve been meaning to finish. Try to schedule in some time to do just that. Put down your phone, switch off from social media (it will still be there after) and just focus on what’s in front of you, get lost and immerse yourself in a great series and lose track of time. Or watch your favourite movies (mine are Step Brothers and Lego Batman Movie!) After, know that you deserved that time just to yourself to do exactly what you want.
If tv series aren’t your bag, read that book you keep meaning to get round to, really take your time to enjoy every chapter. I know sometimes I’m too distracted by what’s going on around me I can read a whole page and completely forget what I’ve just read. Dedicate some time even if it’s just 30 minutes before bed. Reading benefits include mental stimulation, stress reduction, memory improvement, and tranquility.
Plan an adventure, holiday or even a day trip. Take back some time for yourself to do just what you want. It doesn’t mean you have to spend a tonne of money either. Whatever your budget, you will be able to find something to have a sense of just getting away from it all. There are so many free things to do out there, check out what’s going on in your local area or city. Plan and explore some time just to enjoy a day, week or even a month of adventure, you won’t regret it. Check out these beautiful journals for all those plans!
Meditation is always a recommended stress reliever, you read about it online, in books, magazines, from health professionals. There’s no doubt it can help to relieve stress but sometimes it’s hard to know where to get started. There’s an array of books, YouTube videos and apps out there to help. A couple of apps I’ve tried myself are Head Space and Pacifica. Just find a quiet place, pop your headphones in and you’re good to go. I’ve even used a meditation app on my way into work on the train, it can really help to filter out the hustle and bustle around you, especially on trains and tubes!
Try something new
This could be absolutely anything – learning a musical instrument, cooking, painting, writing, surfing anything. A therapist once told me the three main components to changing brain function are, anti-depressants, exercise and to have new experiences. Learning something new activates the brain to think in a different way and can provide a boost of self-esteem and sense of achievement, especially once you mastered a magnificent Victoria sponge or managed to stay on your surfboard for more than 5 seconds! Just be mindful though, trying something new could also be the source of frustration if the task or skill is too difficult, so start small and build your way up.
Following on from the above, and getting my creative side in gear, my recently new project is knitting! I recently discovered that someone I know is expecting a baby, and decided I wanted to give them a gift which was more heartfelt and sincere than buying something from a store. As well as making sure my gift was 100% vegan. So I settled on knitting a baby blanket. I researched vegan-friendly wool and found a beautiful pattern. The difficulty of the pattern is labelled ‘beginner’ so I’m hoping it won’t be too tricky! Check back soon for an update of how this is coming along.
Listen to some music
Any music you like! It could be just listening to chart music, a favourite album, Classical Jazz, Rock. Anything that you know you enjoy, stick it on. If you’re feeling adventurous why not try listening to a different genre of music than you usually would, you might just discover something new!
What are your favourite stress relievers when things get too much? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below.
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