The Do’s and Don’ts of Dealing With Stress
It’s Monday. Maybe you’re stressed because you had a bad morning. Maybe you have a big meeting this week or you’re working on a big project, you’re a little behind and the deadline is looming. Here are a few ideas on what to do and what not to do when you’re dealing with stress.
Do Go Outside
It has been so incredibly cold lately, it physically hurts to go outside, but the good news is that it’s going to warm up soon. Like as soon as next week we’re looking at temperatures in the 30s. Go outside and breathe some fresh air. Even if you do an all out sledding session with the kids or just go outside for 10 to 15 minutes after lunch, research suggests that the vitamin D we get from the sun can improve our mood. Still not a fan of going outside? Keeping some sort of plant in your space can also help.
Don’t Take Up a Bad Habit
I used to drown my sorrows in a bottle of wine after work so I could go to sleep without racing thoughts. Before and during work, I smoked like a chimney. All that did was make me more on edge and take away from my productivity. None of it was good, so I quit all of it.
Do Take Up a Hobby
Ever heard the phrase that “idle hands are the devil’s play things”? It’s true. Think of what you do when you’re bored. Maybe you eat, waste time on social media, or your thoughts begin to wander. Then the what ifs crawl inside your ear and start having a party. What if this happens? What if that happens? Then your thoughts go down a bad road and you can’t seem to shake it. Find something you like to do. Do you doodle when you’re on the phone? Start a sketchbook. Do you like to write? Start writing short stories or start a blog. Especially if you’re into something like cooking or exercise. Do you like music? Learn to play an instrument. or learn a new skill like knitting or a foreign language. The more you occupy your mind, the less your thoughts will wander.
I’m guilty of this. I used to have a bad day and then I would come home and then go to bed and not come out until the absolutely last minute I had to. That’s not good because it just gives you more time to think about it, plus you can also tire yourself out from too much sleep.
Exercise is an awesome stress buster. Afterward I always feel better because when we’re moving, our bodies make endorphins that can lower stress, improve mood and regulate sleep. My favorite way to exercise is kickboxing. When people hear that I am avid kickboxer, they ask where I go, and they can’t believe I just do it at my house. There are tons of great videos online. I’m not Jean Claude Van Damme, and you don’t have to be to do it. It’s fun, it’s a good confidence builder and burns some serious calories. My favorites are Jillian Michaels if I don’t have a ton of time, or Chris Freitag’s Exercise TV if I have more time. I also often turn to Fitness Blender for different exercises and kickboxing workouts.