DESTRESSING ACTIVITIES: 10 SUGGESTIONS TO HELP YOU RELAX
Managing day to day stress can sometimes feel like a constant internal battle. Whether it's financial or work-related, caused by current global events, or because of strain on paramount relationships, finding ways to relieve your mind and body from troublesome pressure is important for long term happiness.
Here are 10 suggestions to help you relax and stay relaxed, but before we start...we need to get organized.
Finding ways to stay organized to manage tasks and responsibilities can help you prioritize what is most important in your everyday life.
First start by making a to-do list. In this list, also include personal stressors or worries that are truly outside of your control.
Once you do make your list, you can help yourself from worrying about the things in life in which you have no influence over.
Allowing you to prioritize and redirect your energy in a more productive manner.
After making a list, start by decluttering your personal areas, including your home, bedroom, and work space, can transition to increased mental clarity, reduce distractions, and improve focus.
I’m sure all of us have been told to take a deep breath at some point. Meditation has a variety of benefits, including stress reduction. Even for those individuals who are new to the practice, it can be as simple as focusing on conscious breathing.
By focusing on your breathing during stressful moments, may help you release negative energy or decrease stress cortisol levels.
Instead of storing it in your body, that could cause muscle tension or other negative physical side effects such as high blood pressure.
Below is a quick and easy exercise you can try at home:
- First, start by getting into a comfortable position, typically away from distractions is best.
- Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing.
- Place one hand on your stomach, just below your belly button, and the other on your chest.
- Focus on breathing both in and out through your nose,
- Allow your abdomen to rise and fall as you pull your breath in deeper.
- Take full, long, and slow breaths.
A video that can help walk you through your first conscious breathing exercise is here.
A perfect addition to any of the other means of stress reduction is Aromatherapy, or the use of plant extracts and essential oils to promote well being.
Some of the best essential oils that can help alleviate stress include:
- Clary Sage
Both our Peace and Dream variations can be used to promote a peaceful mindset and help you relax.
These nasal inhalers can be used throughout the day, and are safe for all users. They are non-toxic, do not contain any harsh chemicals or substances, but instead consist of organic essential oil blends carefully selected with your everyday needs in mind.
Moxē Dream incorporates lavender, lemongrass and grapefruit essential oils.
Moxē Peace incorporates Bergamot, mandarin, geranium, and lime essential oils.
Sometimes all we need is to give ourselves a little extra attention and self care. Taking a bath and adding a few drops of essential oils (any of the above mentioned essential oils are recommended).
Be cautious of the amount used (especially if you have sensitive skin, proceed with caution) and start out with less until you know how your body will react.
Best practices call for mixing the desired blend of essential oils (recommended a combined 5- 20 drops of desired extracts) with a carrier oil such as grapeseed, jojoba, sweet almond, or apricot kernel.
This will prevent the over-concentration of oils that come in contact with your skin, since the oils will not dissolve in water, but will instead sit at the surface.
UNPLUG FROM TECHNOLOGY
Technology is an essential and necessary for day to day communication in today’s society.
However, prolonged exposure to blue light (produced by digital screens) has been linked to the reduction of melatonin production.
The disturbance of our circadian rhythms, and decreased sleep quality.
This disturbance in our sleep cycles and quality has a negative impact on our stress levels, and can even progress to depressive symptoms, and even mental health issues.
Be conscious when managing your screen time and try out limit usage during bed time.
Pro-tips for unplugging
- A good tip that works well is leaving your phone outside of the bedroom (just make sure you have an alarm set for the nest morning). Instead, listen to soft easy music and practice your breathing techniques.
- Also try reducing the use of technology or phones to a minimum of 30 minutes before going to bed. Research shows that "unplugging" before bed can have a positive impact on your ability to fall asleep, and increase sleep quality.
You may not always be able to run away from your problems, but finding ways to be active and get your body moving can significantly decrease stress levels. Exercising, even for a short amount of time, activates multiple neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine which can aid with stress management.
Whether you’re stretching, taking a 10-minute walk to clear your head, or running a marathon, getting your body up and moving is a great way to combat stress.
DO SOMETHING ARTISTIC
Tapping into your creative side can reduce stress hormones and help take your mind off whatever is stressing you out. It allows you to tap into a flow state that can help lower stress levels. Some artistic activities that you can try out are:
- Adult Coloring Books
- Playing an Instrument
LISTEN TO CALMING MUSIC
Music can be an effective means for relaxation and stress management. Typically music with a slower tempo can help you calm your mind and relax your body.
Spending time in the great outdoors can help relieve stress. Any fun activity you can find outside, whether it’s bird watching, fishing, hiking, or biking, can give you that boost you need to alleviate stress. If you want to bring the outdoors in, you can also invest in a house plant or two, or possibly start a small garden if your space allows it. A study showed that individuals who kept small plants (such as succulents) at their desks reported less stress than those who did not.
Animals have also been known to help us manage stress. When petting animals your body typically releases endorphins, that can reduce your heart rate and help put you in a more relaxed state.
JUST BE A KID AGAIN
Sometimes all it takes is the simple things to help give us perspective. If all else fails, try to relive or recreate your childhood memories.
Some fun, childlike activities you may have enjoyed in simpler times include:
- Hula Hooping
- Jumping Rope
- Blowing Bubbles
- Playing Dress Up
- Board Games & Puzzles
- Flying a Kite
We all have stressful events that life throws at us every single day, but it is our perspective and attitude that drives us to better outcomes.
There are countless avenues that give us the ability to reduce mental strain and physical tension, and in turn help us manage day to day stress factors.