Stress is one of the most common causes of mental health issues. Our work and life demands can sometimes drain us out of energy and motivation. According to the Global Institute of Stress, 75% of Americans reported moderate to high levels of stress in the survey they conducted on November of last year. That is more than half of the American population.
Stress does not care about your age, religion, sex or ethnicity. It simply exists. It exists all around us. You may be stressed about school, work, finances or just life in general. Whatever it is that’s causing your stress, it is imperative that we find ways to combat it. Otherwise, we’ll lose our motivation or even worse, our sanity.
I have had moments feeling so down just because I’ve exhausted myself too much. Back then, there wasn’t really any concrete ways for us to combat stress. We were taught to work ourselves to the point of exhaustion. “Busy” was the thing. When I first started working, your stress is celebrated because it means you’re doing something impactful. In reality, it doesn’t work that way.
Self-care is also important. Just like machines, we humans have to recharge too in order to maximize our performance and potential. But sometimes, it is really hard to determine how you can take care of yourself properly and lessen your personal stressors. With the rise of social media, I first thought that scrolling through my phone is the key. Sometimes, it is. Most of the time, it just adds more stress to me. If you’re anyone like me, I have listed some self-care tips that you can use to be able to regain your best self.
Whatever caused your stress, spend some time to just do nothing. Be mindful and be present. Feel how you breathe in and out and just be in the moment. Meditation does not need to take so much of your time. Simply dedicating 10-20 minutes each day can really make a difference. Take a deep breath and just relax.
Meditation can increase calmness and decrease your stress levels right away. If done daily, you will notice that you feel more peaceful and at ease. I honestly wish I had done this sooner.
For some, it could be reading a book. For some, it could be watching a movie. Basically, just do the things that you love but cannot dedicate much of your time to because you’re too busy. If you think about it further, the reason why we get so stressed is that we simply don’t give time to do the things that we’re passionate about. We get so focused on earning a living but we forget to live our lives more intentionally.
Everything is simply about balance. If you want to get rid of your stressors, you have to learn how to balance your life even further. You can spend a few minutes doing what you love whenever you feel so tired and unmotivated. I have ingrained reading for at least 30 minutes per day to my daily habit and I loved it.
Sometimes, we just need people to talk to. I am an introvert and I am normally okay not talking to my loved ones a lot until this pandemic started. I realized how important deep conversations are with the people that you love. It is so refreshing. It makes me feel a renewed sense of purpose. It also amplifies the reason why I’m doing the things that I’m doing.
When you’re stressed, talk to a friend or just someone that is close to you. Avoid talking about work and just share some good laughs. Things may be harder now that everything is almost virtual but the human connection should be more than enough.
I don’t know about you but hot showers really relax my mind and body most especially if I add some scented candles to it. Sometimes, I add some bath bombs too. It’s funny how most of my creative ideas start to flow when I shower. I can easily work on my thoughts and find solutions to my problems. Smelling the candles and bath bombs take me to a different space mentally. It always feels like I live in a perfect world.
This may mean different things to different people. You can simply walk, run or exercise. All these can be beneficial not only in reducing your stress levels but to also improve your total well-being. But for me, I’d like to have my own dance party.
Yes, I know this may sound so silly but hear me out. Dancing releases endorphins, the happy hormones. Above all, it’s fun. I simply play some upbeat songs and dance to my own drum. No choreography needed. I just dance my heart out. No words can describe that feeling of euphoria right after. The next thing I know, I’m smiling ear to ear.
I am the kind of person that associates scents and songs to different moments of my life. Whenever I’m stressed, I play the songs I listened to on my most uplifting moments. This is my kind of time travel and it works every single time. By hearing those songs, I travel back to those stress-free times when I don’t have anything to worry about. My mental state shifts so suddenly a few seconds into the song. I’m still amazed how our mind can work so many wonders.
If you’re feeling stressed, know that you’re not alone. Remember that a whole lot of people experience the same things as you. Stress simply means you have to take care of your body more. Think of it as your body’s way of asking for a cuddle. Give it what it wants. If you’re not a self-care expert, save this article and read through it again if you run out of ideas. Trust me, self-care goes a long way.