Simple Ways to Relax During These Stressful Times

Simple Ways to Relax During These Stressful Times

This past week has been one of the more stressful weeks among a very stressful bunch of months. So I thought I’d keep things pretty simple, give you a small push in the right direction, and remind you all about the small things you can do to help yourselves relax. It’s not good for your health to be stressed out all the time. These days especially, it’s important to go out of your way and take care of your mental health. 

Breathe. This is the most obvious one. I find taking deep, long breaths calms me down if I need it. Breathing in slowly through the nose and out the mouth is really helpful in clearing your head and to get your heart rate leveled out. There are breathing techniques that you can look into to help calm down; in fact, I wrote a blog about that! 

Take a nice warm bath. It’ll help with the tension through your body and hopefully your mind. Really get into it by lighting some candles and turning off the lights. It might sound silly, but sometimes you really have to go all-out to get that relaxing atmosphere going. 

Do a crossword, a puzzle, play some chess . . . do something to keep your mind occupied but is also lowkey and won’t stress you out. It’s just a nice activity to engage with for periods of time. The alternative is probably staring at a screen of some kind, constantly updating your feed for new information, but the truth is, the important news will always make its way to you. Everything else is just noise to keep you anxious. 

Read a book. I love to read because I like to learn. But a lot of people read to escape, dream, relax. Pick up a book and close yourself off to the rest of the world for a few hours. 

Do some cleaning. Clean out your closet or whatever thing that you’ve been meaning to clean out for the last few days/weeks/months/years. Cleaning can be one of the most rewarding activities you never thought you needed, and it can help you feel mentally clear as well. 

Do some cooking. Even if you aren’t a cook, just take some time to go through the process of cooking something simple, like scrambled eggs. Making it a process keeps your focus on what you’re doing in the moment. It’s also better than the alternative–which is probably ordering fast food or junk, scrolling through your phone as you wait for the food, and then stress-eating everything. Making the food yourself will at least put you in the right direction a little bit. 

Work out. Obviously! But you don’t even have to do anything intense. Go for a walk or a short jog–something that will keep you focused on the activity. I don’t have to tell you this, but exercise also releases endorphins that will bring up your mood, so you’re killing two birds with one stone. 

As you can see, none of these suggestions that I listed are ground-breaking in any way–but have you been doing these things? Have you been making sure to take care of yourself? We all tend to forget about relaxing or taking breaks when we need it the most, usually because we’re caught up in a whirlwind of stress/pressure. 

So make sure that you do your best to do something that helps you relax when you feel that happening. Also know that you’re really not alone in this. 2020 has been tough. We’re all being tested in some way. Don’t let yourself get caught up by the stress or anxiety you’re going through. Take a break, take a figurative and literal step back, and do some things to relax. You deserve it.  


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