When life gets to be too much, we all experience stress. Whether it’s constantly worrying, feeling anxious, or overwhelmed, we all feel stressed at some point or another.
In fact, 70% of Americans say that they feel stressed on a daily basis. From the minor challenges of life to the major obstacles we face, stress is something that impacts us all.
I will admit that I am one who struggles when it comes to dealing with stress. Sometimes it gets to the point where it becomes hard to breathe and challenging to find stillness.
That’s why it’s important to know yourself and know how to relieve stress in stressful times. The more we allow stress to accumulate, the more of a toll that stress is going to take on both our mental and physical health.
7 Ways to Relieve Stress in Stressful Times
While there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” method when it comes to dealing with stress, I want to share with you some of the things that help me to relieve stress in stressful times.
I don’t know why, but I never used to take meditation seriously. I felt as though it wasn’t going to benefit me in any way, and honestly, I feared I was going to be judged for being one of those people who meditated.
What I have learned, though, is that meditation is one of the easiest practices to implement into my daily life. Not only that, but the benefits are incredible.
Every morning after I work out, I grab my journal, sit comfortably, and just meditate for five to ten minutes.
That’s it. All you need is five to ten minutes. Once I am done meditating, I feel like a million bucks. My mind is clear, my focus is sharp, and I feel little to no stress at all as I get going with my day.
Well, I mentioned it in the last section, but exercising is another great way to relieve stress in stressful times, especially when we are all cooped up within our homes.
Whether it’s following along with a short YouTube video, going out for a run, or even just walking around the neighborhood, make sure to get out and get your body moving.
I start each of my mornings with either a run, or with lifting weights. It helps me to challenge my mind mentally for the day ahead, but it also helps me to relieve any tension I am feeling from the day before.
Plus, I hate going through my day knowing I have to go home and workout when all I want to do is relax. So, I get it done first thing in the morning so that it’s out of the way and I won’t have to think about it again.
This is a super easy way to relieve stress, and it’s one that anybody can do.
Your thoughts aren’t going to do you any good being bottled up within the walls of your mind. Let them out. Express yourself, let go of the thoughts you are thinking, and get them out on paper so that you can finally let go of them once and for all.
This is my online journal. I have been writing every day for over 2 years straight. While I want to inspire others, I also write for my well-being.
I was in a dark place two years ago. I didn’t feel as though I had an outlet to express myself, and I bottled up my emotions as a result.
When I finally started writing, everything changed.
I found clarity, I found peace, and I found stillness. Above all else, I was able to let go of my negative emotions and was able to find love for who I am as a person.
And to think, it all started with a 99 cents journal.
4. Let go of the past
A lot of the stress that I was feeling was a result of caring about what others thought of me and holding onto my past.
I hated making mistakes, and every time I made one, I would hold onto it for days and let it eat at me.
Okay, who am I kidding… I still do this. But I am getting better, and that’s what matters most.
But as hard as it may be to realize, the past is the past. It’s not going to do us any good to focus on it and let it take away from our present. Why do we look back when the only way we are going is forward?
If you want to stop feeling stressed, let go of your past. Accept all that has happened for what it’s worth, but focus on the here and now, and start creating the best life you can for yourself.
5. Watch how you talk to yourself
This is something that we all need to do a better job of.
In times when you are experiencing stress, be aware of how you talk to yourself. It isn’t going to do you any good to beat yourself up or to talk down upon yourself. Instead, try encouraging yourself and using positive words to lift yourself up.
This is why I am a firm believer in positive affirmations.
I will admit that it’s not always easy in times of stress, but the more we uplift ourselves when we are feeling stressed, the better we will feel.
6. Get some sleep
Sleep is one of the best cures for anything – at least it is for me.
If I do not get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, I become the most miserable person to be around. I get a headache, I lose my temper, and I get lost in my thoughts.
For me, this is not a good thing. When I get lost in my thoughts, that’s when I overthink everything and hold onto things in which I can’t control.
If you are feeling stressed, make sure to get some quality rest and sleep. Give your body and mind a chance to regroup and re-energize.
It’s recommended that we all get 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night at a very minimum. If you are feeling stressed and aren’t getting that, call it an early night.
7. Take a day off
I am lucky here. I work for an amazing company and have an awesome boss.
After a challenging week, my boss could tell I was stressed. He called me up and told me to just take a “Mental Health Day” and regroup after a long week. The nice thing is that it doesn’t count against my PTO or anything. With the challenges we are facing in the world, my company has given out “Mental Health Days” for employees to use if they just need a break.
When I am stressed, I am not as productive as I am capable of being. And if my boss didn’t tell me to take today off, I wouldn’t have.
If you don’t have PTO, plan to take a mini-vacation from work or find someone to cover a shift for you. You aren’t going to be productive if you are overworking yourself into the ground. It’s a lesson that I am learning, and one that I want you to learn as well.
Before You Go
Again, there isn’t one single method that is going to work for everybody. We all deal with stress in different ways. Find what works best for you so that when you are stressed, you have a way of managing it.
Everybody is going through a stressful time right now. The most important thing is to be kind to yourself, learn to loosen up a little bit, and find a useful method to help you relieve stress in stressful times.