How Can I Relieve Stress Fast? 5 Ways to Relieve Stress
January 3, 2019
Whoa, I can see it now…
You’ve just gotten off the phone with someone who took way too much energy from you… the kids need to be picked up from school in an hour… and you still need to figure out what is for dinner.
The stress is building, your body is starting to not feel great, and you’re wondering how to make it better – FAST. And naturally. Well, let’s help get you through this.
Below are 5 ways to relieve stress without adding chemicals or the side effects of over-the-counter medicine.
1. Relieve Stress in Nature
We like friends. Nature is definitely one of them, and being in it can usually help us relax, breathe better, and become more grounded. Here are just a few quick ideas:
Get your hands in some dirt. Do some gardening or pull some weeds. Or just put your bare feet on some grass.
Take a quick walk around the neighborhood, local park, or even your front or back yard (if you can’t really go too far away). Focus on the flowers, plants, shrubs or trees around you, noticing what colors they are, new branches, how old they look etc.
Watch a sunrise/sunset.
Go outside and just look up. Look at the sky, how it’s ever-changing, how many different colors it can be in a day, how fast or slow the clouds move. It doesn’t matter what season it is, there is beauty in the sky day or night.
Nature is always changing and adapting. Sometimes we need to stop and just take long enough to notice the changes while giving ourselves a chance to take a few deep breaths.
2. Create a “Me Time” Space
For me, I NEED to have a space where I can go and just shut the door for a few minutes. A space to bring a favorite beverage, turn off the phone, and close my eyes for just a few breaths. I encourage you to find a “Me Time” space as well.
And believe me, I get it if the only space you have is the bathroom or a small closet though.
My “Me Time” space is quiet (earplugs are sometimes a MUST just so I can hear myself think!), and has things that I like – such as pretty colors, books, essential oils, coloring books, and enough floor space for a foam roller, which works wonders on tense muscles. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be my sacred place, especially when the door is closed. This is actually the fastest way for me to relieve my stress.
3. Help Your Body Out – Start Moving
We’ve all heard that exercise releases stress and, in general, helps the body feel better. Guess what? It can help the mind feel better too! Even quick bursts of exercise can lower stress hormones, as well as burn fat. And it doesn’t have to be in some big, sweaty gym. Win, Win!
So what are you waiting for?
Dance around the house
Go for a run or walk with the dog
Take a quick bike ride
Do some yoga…
Any of these can relieve stress pretty quickly, and help your body out as well.
4. Lose the Clutter
Did you know that excess clutter in our home or workspace can cause stress in our lives? True fact.
Clutter can cause overwhelm because we feel unorganized or overextended, which then creates stress in our bodies. Taking just a few minutes to declutter one space can help bring back a sense of organization and control in our lives, which helps to relieve stress.
NOTE: Be careful with this one! Start with a small space – maybe one counter or a part of a closet, and use a timer for just a few minutes (maybe start with15 minutes?). It can be super easy to bite off more than you can chew at first, which is why there is a time limit. Once the task is finished, the feeling of accomplishment definitely outweighs the stress that was felt before.
5. Get Creative
Write something – in your journal, that book you started (or want to start), etc
Start/finish a DIY project
Bake something yummy
Create a vision board
Creativity is very similar to physical exercise – I guess we can call it mind exercise. Creativity gets the mind juices flowing, it helps us feel better about ourselves, helps to create a feeling of accomplishment, and consequently can relieve stress in the mind and body.
So How Do These Actually Help?
OK, so any of these things can distract the mind from the stress you were feeling. Once distracted and focused on something else, the brain releases the stress hormone (for the time being).
Our brain and body are kinda funny though. They use stress as a way to keep us moving in a fight-or-flight situation. But building up too much of the stress hormone, Cortisol, can cause issues inside of our brain and body. It is up to each of us to take time to care for ourselves and find ways to relieve that stress – the faster the better so it doesn’t keep building up.
As we learn how our brain and body react in different situations, we can learn to anticipate what will start causing stress and find ways to limit or eliminate that from our lives.
Ahhhh… Finally, I Understand “Me Time”
And now I hear you say, “But I just don’t have time for me.”
From experience, I can say I did not make time, and stress has taken its toll on my mind, my body, and my life. I am getting back to being me, and am grateful for the experience. I am becoming a priority in my life because I’m worth it.
Now it is your turn. It’s up to you to MAKE time. For your health, your sanity, your life, FOR YOU.
Start today, go do just one of the things listed above. Or create your own list. Whatever works best, make it yours. I’m here to help you along the way however I can, even if it’s just being that voice, whispering in your ear, telling you, “JUST DO IT. You’re worth it.”