7 Natural Ways To Relieve Stress When You're Juggling A Jam-Packed Life
If I'm being honest, sometimes when I'm feeling super stressed out, all I want to do is lay on my living room floor and think about whatever situation is giving me anxiety. But eventually, I stand up and actually do something to address my stress so that it doesn't consume the rest of my day. If you're juggling a lot of different responsibilities, or you're just worried about a major upcoming life decision, try one of these natural ways to relieve stress, and maybe it will bring you some relief.
If stress is consuming your life and preventing you from being your best self at work or in your relationships, you might want to seek out a mental health professional who can work with you on a regular basis and give you strategies (and potentially medication) to help you cope. But if you just have the occasional stressful day, there are ways to calm your mind. Whether watching episode after episode of Parks and Recreation is the best way for you to raise your spirits high, or you prefer sweating out your stress during a fun cycling class, some of these strategies can help you feel more balanced and relaxed.
1. Find A Funny Movie To Watch
One of my personal favorite remedies for a stressful day watching the best episodes of The Office. A quick quip from Kelly Kapoor or a one-liner from Pam Beesly is all I need to begin perking up.
"Laughter is truly the best medicine for the soul," Dr. Kristen Fuller, M.D. of mental health facility Center For Discovery, tells Elite Daily. "A good belly laugh not only brings people together and establishes amazing connections," she says, "but it also releases endorphins which promotes an overall sense of well being as well as decrease stress levels and minimize pain."
2. Try A New Workout Class
If you're someone who feels way less stressed after a good workout, find ways to work one into your schedule on a regular basis to keep your anxieties at a minimum. While your standard exercise routine might work for you, reap all of the stress-relief benefits by making your workout extra fun, suggests Emily Cook Harris, a certified personal trainer and lifestyle coach.
Don't get stuck in day after day of squats, but instead check out a rumba class or pull some friends together for an intense game of laser tag. "Find a style that interests you (dance, yoga, pilates, strength training, boxing, running etc.) and mix it up to keep it interesting," she recommends.
3. Talk To An Online Specialist
Seeing a regular therapist is a great resource when you're dealing with stress. If you're feeling totally overwhelmed, but don't have a regular therapist or you just can't wait for an appointment, check out Basis, a company that connects you with a mental health specialist who's available to talk with you over the phone or through a video call. Sessions are only $35 for 45 minutes, and you can connect with someone the very same day you need it.
4. Snuggle Under A Weighted Blanket
"Weighted blankets can help with anxiety through a process called deep pressure stimulation," Ellen Wermter, FNP-BC, a certified sleep professional at Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, tells Elite Daily in an email. "The pressure helps to activate the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system, which is responsible for calmness and relaxation."
As you cuddle into the blanket, your muscles begin to relax, your heart rate slows down, and your breathing becomes more regular, she says. Just make sure to find the right blanket for your body. Dr. Wermter recommends opting for one that weighs about 10% of your weight for the most soothing effect.
5. Pick Up Some Magnesium Citrate Powder
You might be familiar with turning to chamomile tea or warm milk to calm your body down. But for an even more relaxing drink, Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, author of The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health recommends trying magnesium citrate powder.
"This is an anti-stress mineral and sleep aid that will help you relax and recover," she explains. "Magnesium regulates melatonin (sleep hormone) production and relieves the muscle tension that can prevent restful sleep," she tells Elite Daily.
Dr. Dean suggests products from Natural Calm, which come in a variety of flavors such as sweet lemon, orange, and cherry. Simply stir some into some hot or cold water and you'll be de-stressing in a natural way.
6. Keep Your Apartment Tidy
Marie Kondo's Netflix series Tidying Up with Marie Kondo highlighted the emotional benefits of cleaning your living space, so if you haven't tried your own hand at deep cleaning, get on that. According to Heidi McBain, a licensed marriage and family therapist and professional counselor, keeping your environment can really pay off when it comes to your stress level.
"It can help you be in the present moment, it can [also] help you feel productive, because when you’re finished your place looks great," she says. Plus McBain says, "It gives you time to process and think about your day or your life."
If you aren't quite convinced that cleaning will make you less stressful, try turning on your favorite TV show or listening to an upbeat playlist while you work.
7. Get Up And Go... Outdoors
"Getting out in nature actually does wonders for the nervous system," says Lori Miranda, MSSW, certified health and wellness coach and founder of Wellbody. "As little as 10 to 20 minutes walking outside can help reduce stress," she tells Elite Daily in an email.
A brisk hike might do the trick, but if the weather's nice enough, head to a nearby park, Miranda recommends. "There is evidence to suggest that walking barefoot — on the grass or other surface — can help reduce inflammation and stress in the body."