Stress. Let’s face it- we have way too much in our lives. From work, to family, to friends, to what to wear tomorrow, to what cook for supper, to is my child going to go to the best university (in 16 years..) it can all get a little overwhelming at times. Some stress is good- feeling stress let’s you know what is important in your life..but constant worrying and feeling anxious..or stressing about too many things at once can have serious effects on your life..and that’s just not fun.
So here are some ideas of ways you can unwind and distress when it gets to be too much
1. Go for a walk. cheap. easy. little prep required. just go out your front door and see where your feet lead you.
2. Enjoy a cup of coffee. One of my favourites. Sit and enjoy a cup of coffee…don’t chug it while in the car on your way somewhere else. Sit. Drink. Enjoy. Bonus points if you don’t have to warm it up 2 or 3 times because other things (or people..or mini-people) interrupted you!
3. Colour. This seems a bit silly when you think about all the things that fill your day and up until recently the idea of taking time out of a busy day to sit down and colour like a toddler would be absolutely outrageous. But you know what? Thanks to the colouring book phenomenon, adult colouring books are a thing and colouring is now an acceptable hobby. It is especially great for creative who are uncreative about what they want to create. You grab a book (or free printables- check on Pinterest!) and some pencil crayons, and colour! Here is one of my favourites
4. Spend time with family. Seems easy enough but how often do you spend time with your family? I know my family and I spend a lot of time in the house, under the same roof, even in the same room…but how often do you spend time doing the same activity, engaging one another? Spend some time with your family by watching the same movie or maybe going for a walk together, or playing a game inside or out. Nothing makes me as happy as recharging with my husband and daughter and feeling full after doing something we all shared in.
5. Do something by yourself. I struggle with this one. BIG TIME. In fact, the idea of getting a sitter or asking my husband to take care of AB and add to his already piled-high plate, so that I can do something alone makes me significantly more stressed. So bonus points for doing something alone and not feeling guilty for it. Some of my favourite by-myself activities include napping, getting a pedicure, reading, taking courses, going to the gym and just sitting in Starbucks people watching. I also love love taking a coffee to the grocery store and doing the week’s shopping by myself.
6. Buy a new beauty product/ nail polish/ skin treatment and set aside time to really enjoy using it. This can be something as simple as buying a $3 nail polish and setting aside an hour after the kids go to sleep to give your toes a nice coat of colour. My favourite polish is Essie’s Fiji. Looks super good on tanned feet but requires patience and some meticulous application. This could also be more indulgent like buying an expensive face mask and setting aside a whole evening to use it as directed and feel pampered afterwards.
7. Silence. This is one of my favourite things when I find myself in the house or car alone. Turn off your iPhone ringer. Turn off the car radio. Turn off the TV. Just sit in the quiet and have no noise. You can return those texts later. I am always surprised by how easy this is and how big of an impact it has on my happiness. Must be my introverted personality.
8. Take care of a it. This one might seem counter-intuitive but is another so simple yet so effective idea. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the things that you need to do or by something big you have to do- take care of something you don’t like about it so that it is out of the way. Sit down and pay bills. Answer all of your e-mails. Write that blog post you have been struggling to complete. Having something daunting out of the way will feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. It will no longer be there to stress you out!
9. Write down all of the things you need to do. I heard this one on my favourite podcast . When you are feeling overwhelmed by all the things you have to do, take 10 minutes and write down all the things you have to do and plan how you will get them done. Turns out you are likely being consumed with just a couple things and on paper, you really only have 5 or less things that need to be done at a time. Taking the time to write everything about them down gets this out of your head and you can fill that space with other (and hopefully nicer) things.
10. Eat ice cream, drink a glass (or bottle of wine), do something you shouldn’t and don’t dwell on it. Sometimes it is also nice to just have a treat or a drink or binge watch a show and then return ready to re-devote yourself. The trick here is not to let giving in once spiral into a habit of unproductiveness and really dedicate yourself after the fact. It is also key to truly not dwell on the ‘giving in’ part. Depending on your personality this might not be the best option for you but sometimes it’s nice to just give in then move on and start fresh.
What do you do to recharge or distress when you really need a break?