We can think of our capacity to handle stress as we think of water in a bucket. When there is too much stress the bucket starts to overflow. That’s when we get unfavorable reactions or behaviors; we can no longer contain the burden.
When you can’t decrease the amount of stress coming in or when it seems to be pouring down, we can let water out of the bucket by “putting” holes in the bucket.
Here are ten healthy stress hacks to help lower the heat and soothe tension.
1. Exert yourself physically.
Stress can manifest as tension, and exercise or challenging labor can be the physical outlet you need. Maybe it’s rearranging furniture, going for a run, or digging trenches for a garden, any type of movement that takes effort is key. Moving like this after a long day of work can be the key to a soothing evening.
2. Water on a fire method.
Get cold. Nothing slows down racing thoughts and stress like cold. Take a cold plunge in a river, lake, or hop in a cold shower. On a hot day, put on a wet bathing suit as a way to cool off or a cold, wet towel around your neck.
3. Abort mission and retreat.
Find a quiet space and let all the thoughts melt with deep breathing exercises. Even better if you’re in a green space. Deep belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system.
4. Lavender smoothies
2 tablespoons of culinary grade lavender, frozen dark cherries, almond milk, and blend. Stary night beverage. Sink into sweet dreams.
5. Gaba and Theanine
These two together increase a sense of calm. A supplement can help lower cortisol levels and support restful sleep. It can be taken with anxiousness or tension that is persistent throughout the day. (ask your doctor of course)
6. Eat super healthy.
Nothing feels worse than feeling back mentally and emotionally, eating feelings, and then feeling double bad about food choices. When you’re feeling your worst, it is tempting to eat mood-enhancing foods (chips, cake, alcohol, or sweets, anyone?). I’d suggest if you’re able, get yourself some extra healthy foods (salmon, fresh greens and spices, ripe avocados, fresh berries, or favorite takeout from health restaurants). This way, you’ll feel good about the food you’re eating and have health benefits of minerals and vitamins to support you through the challenging times.
7. Keep the routine and healthy habits.
When stress is high, we may forgo meditation, walks, cleaning, or other self-care practices, which in all actuality, is when we need this in place the most. These little consistencies can make a huge difference.
8. Sleep it off’ go to bed early.
It can be tempting to sleep in and snooze, and sometimes we need that. Sleeping early allows for better quality sleep and usually doesn’t take away the much-needed daytime hours.
Find someone to hug. Hug for 20 seconds or longer or do a slow dance. When was the last time you slow danced? Human touch is wonderful therapy for reducing stressful sensations. Getting or giving massage is another way to get that therapeutic touch.
10. Laugh- get silly.
Laugh at yourself. Call your funniest friend or rent a comedy. Laughter is the best medicine. We can always use more of it, especially with everything become so serious and heavy.