We all know and have met you at some point or points in our life, you come to haunt us even in our humble abodes which should be a place of escape, love, and peace....yes I'm talking about you stress. Wow, how to even begin with the feelings and emotions that stress gives us...hmmm...
Shall I continue? I think you all get the idea😉 Our stress levels from all over the world are now skyrocketed due to this virus, people are being furloughed and can't even leave their own home for date night on a Saturday, however I'm not here to talk about the coronavirus for I feel everyone is talking about it in some form. Today I want to talk about several different ways I personally handle stress that have helped me.
I recently started back at my job as a receptionist at a dental office; I officially started back in March, I worked for five days, went on a seven week quarantine, and am now back to work. The stress of having to develop a new routine and learn new skills and information has been incredibly stressful, however I believe I have found a healthy balance and I wanted to share with you how you can achieve it.
I feel everyone lists this as the number one stress reliever, and I'm here to tell you- it is! I know it's a little redundant, however I can't stress it enough (hahaha, sorry couldn't resist), we all need to get that blood flowing. For those of us who have sit down jobs for eight hours per day, this is extremely important. You don't even need to break sweat everyday just to get blood flowing, during lunch break take a quick little walk, have a stretch break, do some squats after a potty break. You can also try out yoga, which has been known to be an amazing stress reliever and strength builder. Now for those of you who get stressed out by not working out enough, I 100% understand. With starting back at work full time, which I haven't worked in a couple of years, I've only been able to get in 30-45 minute workouts in per day and I normally work out for an hour or over an hour on top of being up on my feet cleaning the house and walking the dog. I get home from work around 5:30 PM and don't want to spend a lot of time working out so I can spend time with my husband and work on my blogging. To whoever is reading this and can relate, just know you're not alone however working out should not be a stressful thing. What matters is you set the time aside for yourself and it's better than sitting down on the couch 😊
Sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we have, so why not use it to our advantage? Whenever I feel super stressed out I break out my essential oils and my incense and just let the aroma take me away. My favorite scents for both oils and incense are:
Oils: Lavender, Peace & Calming, and Thieves (which also doubles as an amazing cleaner!)
Incense: Patchouli, Sandalwood, Lavender
Both oils and incense you can purchase at your local health store, amazon, or YoungLiving (strictly essential oils).
Nothing helps me more to get rid of my stress than to get lost in a good novel. I go through spurts where I read non-stop and then life gets busy and in the way and my poor book takes a backseat on my night table. My reading spurt has returned and I plan to keep it going, nothing makes me feel more relaxed than lying down in my bed with my husband after a long day at work with a great book. One great way to make it fun is to start your own book club! My husband and I began our own little book club in which we purchase two of the same book and only read it together. Once we've read a couple of chapters or when we decide to take a break, we discuss it. I think book clubs are a great way to meet new people with similar interests and tastes as well as get the brain flowing with reading and reducing your stress.
Friends & Family
Having friends is something that even I didn't realize is a big stress reliever until I stopped to think about it. When you feel you're about to erupt with anxiety and stress, what's the first thing you do-lean on either your friends or family for support. After a long day of work: call your mom, walk the dog with your significant other or neighbors, schedule a wine night with your best friend through zoom. Whatever floats your fancy, be sure to keep your friends and family a constant in your life.
If you're like me, this virus has given me a serious case of travel bug. Before I moved to my current town, my husband and I went on a cross-country road trip and I was so excited to finally settle down in a home, well I'm laughing at myself now as I'm itching to get out of the front door and just go. Once quarantine is over, let's all make it a priority to travel. You don't even need to go far, I understand that life holds a lot of factors such as pet and child care and finances. Why not take a day trip to a neighboring town or city with your family or a close friend, sometimes it's even nicer to have a stay-cation than go somewhere far. What's even better with stay-cations is you don't even need to worry about child or pet care, bring them with you, the more the merrier! Our country is incredibly hardworking, unfortunately we've all become so focused on money and not what really matters, which is time. We work for 40 hours per week and earn all this money however we seem to never get to spend it the way we want. I highly recommend putting away some money each paycheck and save it, then once you've accrued enough go on a nice little vacation, you deserve it!
I'm sure I speak for the rest of us when I say that baking has exploded since the start of quarantine. My husband and I have been dibble dabbling a little with vegan baking and let me tell you, it's the bomb diggity. Don't get me wrong I like full fat and sugared cakes and cookies too, please bring them to me! I will say though that the vegan treats we've been baking and eating have not affected my GI tract as much as regular baking. I feel a little less guilty for eating vegan desserts, not none but less 😆 plus it's such a great stress reliever for me. I don't know if it's the focusing of mixing items together or licking the spoon or bowl at the end but I feel loads better after I bake a tasty bread! (Now that I think of it, it's 100% licking the batter....but I'm okay with that.)
I am a strong proponent of rescue as opposed to buying, not that I'm saying you shouldn't buy puppies in pet stores because they require love too, however dogs that are in rescue shelters have been through hell and back and most of them don't know what love is. My husband and I rescued our dog Harper a little over a year ago and she could not have come at a better time. When we rescued her, we were both going through an incredibly hard and stressful time, my husband just got back from his first deployment which during that time we lost a loved one. We were both at a loss as to how to move on, my husband was in distress and after you lose a loved one very suddenly you're never quite the same. We both contemplated adopting a dog, we thought the life and energy would be a nice addition however we were scared of any extra responsibilities. We looked at and met a couple of dogs and as cute as they were, they weren't quite a match for us. Then one day, we met a foster with a rescue dog named Harper, who we didn't know much about only that the rescue got her just in time before being put down. She had the happiest little smile on her face, was incredibly excited to be here, and I couldn't wrap my head around someone putting her down. My husband and I took one look at her, and we pretty much knew we wanted her, we took her for a weekend as a test run and she never left. Pets in general I believe bring a certain joy and happiness into your life, whenever you come home after a long and arduous day, nothing quite brings a smile to your face than a joyful puppy who's so happy to see you. Whenever I feel a little stressed out, I just give my puppy a big cuddle and I feel much better🐶
Something about greenery is incredibly relaxing, at least for me. Whenever I go to a green house, garden, or plant store I am in heaven! Over the past couple of months, I've been slowly accumulating more plants into my home and it makes me so happy and reduces my stress levels. In addition, some plants hold extra benefits such as air purification which is helpful for those of us who have allergies (*raise hand up*). One plant in particular that I really enjoy, and is super easy for all of us who don't have a great green thumb (*raise hand up again*), is a snake plant. They're incredibly easy to keep alive and seem to thrive in any type of light (from my experience) and they sprout out several little seedlings so you add even more plant life to your home or re-pot it and give as a gift to a neighbor or co-worker.
Overall, I think my best piece of advice I can give to achieve a stress free lifestyle is do what makes you happy. All of the above are things that make me incredibly happy and relaxed however if you have other ways that help you or help you decompress keep on at them and if there are things in your life that don't make you happy, cut them out. Life's too short to be stressed out and miserable, life's meant to be enjoyed and lived and with that I send you all my positive vibes❤
Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are