Feeling Stressed? Give These 5 Things A Try

Above: Life is stressful--but you can handle it
Above: Life is stressful--but you can handle it

Stress is, unfortunately, a part of life. From your career to your relationships, there will always be ups and downs. Stress can have a serious affect on your health, so it’s important to figure out ways to manage those ups and downs and take time to focus on your mental well being. You’ve heard that exercise, eating right and getting enough sleep will help keep stress levels manageable, but what about when you need a little something extra to help get you through a rough patch? Here are a few ideas for making sure the stress in your life doesn’t take over.

Get an adult colouring book
Colouring is no longer just for kids. You’ve probably noticed all the adult colouring books that have been popping up in bookstores lately—and they’re selling by the millions. Johanna Basford’s Enchanted Forest, Lost Ocean, Secret Garden, and Magical Jungle books have been flying off shelves and top Amazon’s best seller list. That’s because methodically colouring in an intricate design is relaxing. Not only will it take your mind off whatever is bothering you for a little while, but it will also give you the opportunity to get a little creative and feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish a page.

Try aromatherapy
Smell is a powerful sense—it has the ability to bring back forgotten memories, alert you when something is wrong and affect your health in surprising ways. The best way to use aromatherapy to manage stress is to get an diffuser and put a few drops of select essential oils in so you breathe in their benefits while you sleep. The most commonly used essential oils for dealing with stress and anxiety include lavender, rose, ylang ylang, and chamomile. If you don’t have a diffuser, simply taking a whiff of the oil when you’re feeling particularly out of sorts can help calm you down.

Book an acupuncture appointment
In traditional Chinese medicine, there are certain points that run through the body called “meridians”, which correspond to certain organs. When an acupuncturist inserts a needle into those points, it works to get rid of blocks that might be holding up energy flow through the body. Each organ is associated with certain emotions. For example, the liver is associated with anger. Emotional issues like depression and anxiety can cause physical problems and vice versa, so acupuncture can help clear blocks and get everything running how it should. People also report that the actual experience of having acupuncture done is very relaxing.

Meditate
Life can be hectic, meaning there often isn’t a lot of time to make the effort to be mindful about every little thing you’re doing. Meditation can give you that chance to clear your mind and focus on something that doesn’t cause you stress. You can close your eyes and making breathing your one and only concern. It might sound counter intuitive to have to focus on relaxing, but sometimes that’s exactly what you should be doing. Don’t check your email, don’t worry about what you’ll be having for dinner and don’t make a mental note of all the things you have to do tomorrow—just empty your mind and breathe.

Give back
When you’re stressed out, it’s easy to forget about all the good things in your life. If you find yourself dwelling on the negative, think about all the ways you’re incredibly lucky. Not everyone has what you have—and they could use your help. Even if it’s something small like donating to a cause you care about, volunteering at your kid’s school or just buying someone in need a coffee, it can make you feel just a little bit better. You can’t save the world all on your own, but you can do your part—and even taking the smallest action can make a difference.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

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