With today’s fast pace, no wonder we get stressed out at times. Crammed schedules, work demands, and family commitments may leave us feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Having tools to calm yourself, or self-soothing, is important. Here are some useful tips to use when feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious.
· Deep breathing has a calming effect. Sounds simple, but it can be helpful and is something that can be done anywhere, anytime. Check out 4-7-8 breathing on Youtube. It is one of my personal favorites!
· Take a walk. It doesn’t have to be a long walk, just 10-15 minutes can be helpful to defuse some of the stress you are feeling.
· Reach out for support. Talk to a trusted family member or friend. Sharing what you are feeling with someone who is encouraging and is there for you may be a relief, and in addition, you may be able to enlist them to help with tasks if you are feeling overwhelmed by too much to do on the “To Do List”!
· Take a warm bath or shower and wash the day, along with its stress, away.
· Some people find essential oils calming. Do some research and talk to others who have found it helpful to see if that may be something you want to try.
· Progressive Muscle Relaxation is an exercise that can melt tension away. Start with your feet and flex the muscle groups for a few seconds, then relax them. Move up your body, contracting then relaxing the major muscle groups till you get to your face. Grimace, then relax. Repeat as needed.
· Imagine yourself in your favorite spot, where you feel most calm and peaceful such as the beach or in the mountains. If you don’t have a place like that, imagine one. Use all your senses to really place yourself there in your mind. What would you see, hear, feel, taste and smell there? Take a few moments to enjoy your experience.
· Many people find Yoga or Massage helpful when feeling overwhelmed by stress.
· Give yourself a moment to sit with a cup of hot tea and relax.
· Try the Calm or Headspace app. I have used the Calm app and recommend it frequently. There is a free version, with meditations, breathing exercises and sleep stories, useful if you are having difficulty sleeping.
Give some of these tips a try the next time you are feeling stressed or anxious. Some will “fit” better for you than others, or you may come up with some of your own! Here’s to self-care!