Throughout the past few months, it’s safe to say we have all oscillated in feeling a complete variety of ways. One day we might be relishing in our ability to safely stay at home and spend time with our loved ones, and the next day we might feel as though we are itching for the sense of normalcy we felt at the beginning of the year. There is no one right way to feel (we’re leaning into it all!), but we have found it’s important to discover new ways or dive back into old habits in order to keep our stress levels in check. Whether you’re facing decisions about school or a desire to go back in time, try one of these six ways to lower your stress levels below.
One of the best ways to disconnect is to get lost in a great book. There are plenty of sites to turn to for inspiration if you’re looking to create a reading list or simply find one great read. Try Reese’s Book Club, Read with Jenna, the Bad on Paper Podcast Book Club, and/or this list from Real Simple about the best books from 2020 (so far). The great thing about reading is you can slot in a few moments throughout the day to read a page or two or you can set aside a full block of time to complete a number of chapters. Once you start, we think reading will become a daily habit you look forward to throughout the day!
Exercise looks different for everyone. Some people love to get in a spin workout at home on a stationary bike with an app; others like to run, golf, or play tennis; while other people prefer to take a walk. No matter what you choose to do, make sure it’s something that doesn’t feel like a chore. The idea with exercising to lower your stress is to move in ways that bring you joy and boost your mood, rather than spending any time dreading working out as though it’s a to-do you would rather skip over. Before your workout, create a playlist, download a podcast, or purchase an audiobook!
Whether it’s on our blog or in our app, we love sharing new recipes with you! We find cooking is a great outlet because it combines the process of following steps with an opportunity to be creative. Plus, it’s something that requires focus. Altogether, we find we do feel more relaxed and stress-free when we try cooking or baking a new recipe. The best news? You will (likely!) end up with delicious results to enjoy with your family or share with friends.
Similar to cooking, spending time working on a craft also involves working with your hands. Because it’s physical (and clearly creative!), we find our stress starts to dissipate because we have a fun task to focus on. Think about working on a DIY project, making something with your kids (Good Housekeeping has plenty of ideas!), paint, or learn how to sew or stitch. Don’t be surprised when you end up with a number of completed projects and a newfound hobby!
Oftentimes, things are less stressful than they may seem in our minds once we can stare at them on paper. So, make a list! You might note things you need or want to accomplish, ideas you don’t want to forget, or even specific things that have been adding to your feelings of stress. Journaling or even typing an email to yourself are both known as being great tools to help you process whatever you’re feeling. Once it’s on paper, work to complete the to-dos or try to release your thoughts.
Sometimes feelings of stress can be magnified when we spend too much time mulling things over within ourselves. So, call a friend or family member and talk! You don’t have to run through all that might be bothering you. Instead, it might be helpful to ask them questions about their lives as a way to turn off your own thought process. Another idea: meet for coffee, a meal, or ice cream together. Sometimes even five minutes spent with another person is enough to fill our wells for quite a while.
It’s safe to say we’re all experiencing stress, albeit for different reasons and in different ways, but it’s important to find ways to cope. So, how do you combat your stress? Let us know on Facebook!