Everyone has their own way of processing stress. While there are general guidelines of the things that can help reduce stress, I feel we each have our own triggers and the tactics we use to reduce stress/calm ourselves down vary from person to person. Paying attention to our stress triggers and techniques that help us relax is key to working proactively towards a well balanced life.
I have been working with a nutritionist to lose some of the pandemic weight (a lot to be honest!) and she asked me what I do to reduce stress. I had to pause for a second to think of things I do and the tricks I have in my back pocket. I call this building my own toolkit. Everyone needs to design their own list of stress reduction techniques. You may use one or multiple in a day depending on what you need. Mine looks something like this:
Meditate Multiple Times A Day: Meditating for short periods for even 5 minutes multiple times a day really seems to center the mind by creating more awareness around the present moment. I find this more calming than once a day especially on stressful days.
Mind/Body Exercise: Depending on the exercise this can do wonders for you. My latest favorite is Boxing. Oftentimes you can be in the middle of a workout and still be ruminating on that one thing that is bothering you. Boxing forces you to get out of that by demanding the attention of your mind as well as body. Remembering the various routines your instructor is calling out and imitating is not easy without being fully present. Jab, Cross, Hook and Uppercut! You will end up releasing everything you have going on at least for that hour!
Being Surrounded By Water: Being around water makes me go from a 9 to 3 in terms of stress. This can be a lake or a beach. Any body of water does the trick. Maybe it’s the mountains or a favorite park for you.
Sunlight and Fresh Air: Walking under the warm sun has its own effect of uplifting your moods. Try walking barefoot in your backyard and feeling the sun from head to toe! Instant way to come back and be present with your surroundings.
Get Involved In A Game: Any kind of game that brings you laughter and excitement also works magic in its own way. This for me lately is to play badminton with my son and enjoy him poke fun at all my moves.
Listening To Soothing Music: Music has that power to influence your mood, the ability to lift your spirits when you are down and get you to relax when you are tense. Try Alexa, play Meditation Music when you are looking for ways to soothe your nerves or something else from your own playlist.
Creating a Home Spa: Nothing like being in the water around good music and candles with your own little home spa. Add on a book and soft music and you are transported!
Phone A Friend: This is my go to for free therapy sessions. A non-judgemental place where you can lighten the load.
Have you been paying attention to what helps you relax? Hope you are building your own little toolkit to lean on when you most need it. What’s in your stress reduction bag? I would love to hear about what works for you!