Contributed by Beth Rush
When the end of summer rolls around, people spend more time indoors. School stress starts again and work begins to feel a little overwhelming without the promise of getting outside for a fun activity every day. People search for ways to relieve stress and may turn to ideas that aren't the healthiest or safest for them. These five tips to reduce stress are natural methods to help decrease the amount of stress in your life and remind you that you can triumph over anything.
Going for a walk sounds easy, but it might be challenging for someone who is chronically stressed to get up and go when you feel like you’re ditching all your responsibilities at home. Still, walking can be good for your mental and physical health. It might not be the intense exercise you're used to, but it could be just the thing to convince your brain to rest.
Spending just 20 minutes in nature can immensely lower your stress levels. Walking outside — fully immersed in nature and away from your responsibilities and electronic devices at home — can be healing to a person who feels chained to their obligations. Make time for a walk outside daily and you'll be surprised at how many benefits you see.
Just five minutes of meditation can change your day.
You don't have to subscribe to any particular beliefs or rules to have an effective meditation session.
All you need to do is sit somewhere quiet and allow yourself to feel fully present. Let distressing thoughts fly right past you as you seek to be in tune with your body and mind.
Meditating can relax you and open your mind to new solutions and a different way of looking at problems. Follow all the tips to reduce stress via meditation and you'll find your own routine.
Sometimes, people turn to detrimental substances to cope with stress. Alcohol might seem like a way to de-stress and unwind after a long day, but after a while, it adds to your anxiety and removes any positive effects you feel. Some people may try to chase the feeling of less stress they've felt before with alcohol, which could turn into an issue.
One substitute you might consider is tea.
It can work wonders on your body and different blends can support various benefits.
Blends like chamomile and lavender can calm you down and relieve some of your stress. Many people drink chamomile tea before bed to help them get a restful night of sleep. Tea has several health benefits, too and it can give you a caffeine boost when you need it or relaxation when you desire it.
If you have a hectic schedule, you may think you don't have time to work out. Still, even a ten-minute workout is better than nothing and you may enjoy the benefits exercise give you beyond the mental health boons.
There's a reason that working out is one of the greatest ways to relieve stress. When you move your body, you can easily alleviate stress in your life. Workouts can help you feel better — largely thanks to the endorphins physical activity releases.
Consider lifting weights or doing cardio for as long as you can manage. Then, as your body grows accustomed to the activity, work on increasing your stamina so you can handle more challenging workouts. Over time, you may find exercise to be an irreplaceable part of your day.
It might be one of the oldest ways to relieve stress, but it works incredibly to get your feelings out.
When you have to articulate your feelings on paper, it helps you confront them and get them out of your head.
Journaling can help you understand your feelings, help you know more about yourself and improve your mental health.
Buy a journal that makes you want to write in it, not one that will sit on the shelf for ages. If you're unsure what to write about, try guided journaling prompts. They can help you start formulating thoughts on how you're feeling or what you've been thinking lately.
If you find yourself looking up tips to reduce stress, you need some time to yourself.
You may find it more productive to do something active to get your mind off things or you could want to spend time resetting and getting your emotions back together.
You don't have to go through it alone — you can follow tested and proven ways to relieve stress that have worked for others.
Remember to rely on friends and family when you need extra support. They'll be more than happy to have your back as you've had theirs in the past.
by Beth Rush • Managing Editor at Body+Mind