How to De-Stress
This has been a really stressful week for me this week and I can feel it all over. My chest hurts, my shoulders hurt and I cannot remember the last time I had this many headaches. I usually hit the bathtub to soak in a bubble bath, but when you're slammed in the middle of the day, a bubble bath isn't always an option so here are a few ways to de-stress in a hurry.
Sometimes taking a deep breath is the most simple way to clear your mind and clear your head and gain some perspective. Breathing deep has also been shown to release the feel good chemicals called endorphins that can give you a little pick me up and make you feel more at ease. I have been heaving some pretty big sighs lately and it does feel better, so this one actually works. Sit in a comfortable position. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four and let your belly push your hand out. Your chest should not move. Breathe out through your mouth like you're trying to whistle. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out. Repeat about 10 times and when you start the exercise, tell yourself you're going to feel better when you're done. It works. Trust me.
Shout It Out Loud
I remember being so mad I could just scream. Screaming in my car, screaming into a pillow or just screaming in general. It's not the best thing for your throat or your voice, but it does feel better. If you're overwhelmed and frustrated, remove yourself from the stressful situation if you can and just let it out. Laughing also works, so when you can, sit down and watch a funny movie. I usually turn to Airplane or Tommy Boy. Popping in a Seinfeld DVD works, too.
Go To Your Happy Place
We all have a happy place. Where is yours? Are you by a stream in the woods? Are you in a field of flowers in the sunshine? Are you in front of a fireplace with a glass of wine? Are you in a bubble bath? Wherever your happy place is, make sure it has soothing scenery and it's a place you love. If you're not able to get there physically, go there mentally. A mental mini vacation can really calm you down.
Listen to the Music
Music is a wonderful stress reliever. It doesn't matter if you love Foo Fighters, Lady Gaga or Vivaldi. Whatever your favorite song is, crank it, have a little dance party and move on. Making music is also a great way to relieve stress. Do you still have your trumpet from band in high school? Maybe you should dust it off. I have a drum kit in my basement and after a bad day, banging on my drum kit is fun and it definitely reduces stress. If you don't have any adult sized musical instruments, try your kids toy pile. Do they have a little baby piano or a small xylophone? Plunking out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star can help, too.