Life is hectic and stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some healthy ways to relieve stress for those days when you need to take at least five minutes to yourself and let go of all that built up tension:
You can buy “adult coloring books” (no, no online sex involved, just intricate designs to color in with pencils or ink) or you can say “Screw it” and buy Disney princess coloring books and crayons. There is no wrong answer; either one is terribly soothing.
Try some free-association writing.
Simply write down whatever’s flowing through your mind. You can choose a topic or just write down whatever’s going on in there. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, sentence structure, or anything — just keep the words flowing.
Organize and/or clean your living space.
Reorganize your desk. Sort clothes to keep and give away. Set a timer and focus on a specific area in your home and just do it. Even if you’re not a neat freak, you may find that this still relieves your stress, because it gives you something to do that doesn’t require deep thought and has a positive outcome.
Give yourself a mani/pedi.
Giving yourself a manicure could also help you avoid biting your nails, too, because once your nails are all pretty and shiny, the last thing you want to do is ruin them. Plus, there’s nothing as soothing as self-care.
Read a book.
Take a quick reading break during the day or use it to unwind at night. Pick something that you genuinely want to read, whether that’s a biography of JFK or your favorite Goosebumps book. Doesn’t matter, as long as you can get lost in the story.
It doesn’t have to be an epic gym visit, just do a few jumping jacks and crunches when stress strikes. Take a short walk, get your heart rate up and your body moving. The worst part about working out is psyching yourself up to do it. Once you’re doing it, you’re golden.
Do some Mad Libs.
Mad Libs are a great stress reliever because they’re the perfect combination of brainless, nostalgic, and silly. I have a Mad Libs app on my phone that I turn to when I need a quick break. Yes, there truly is an app for everything.
Pinterest is a better stress reliever than hardcore drugs. Screw Xanax, I’m fine just scrolling endlessly through Pinterest, pinning various slow cooker recipes, David Bowie photos, and Larry David memes. Pinterest is a great stress reliever because it combines the act of organization with the act of sitting on your ass doing nothing. Perfection.
Zone out or dance to music.
Music is a great healer of stress. Some prefer to put on a pair of headphones and zone out to soothing sounds. Others prefer to crank the volume and dance themselves into a frenzy. Either one is good — find which music therapy works best for you.
Sew or knit.
Keep your hands busy and make something cute! It’s a great way to relieve stress while creating a whole new wardrobe at the same time. I’ve heard knitting is another good stress tool for the same reasons. Maybe one day I’ll get around to it.
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