Stress is a normal part of our lives. In fact, part of the pleasure of relaxing is feeling the absence of that stress. But what can you do when you’re stressed and it’s the middle of your day? Here are 11 quick ways to help take some of that stress off.
1. Acknowledge It
It might seem strange, but just acknowledging that you are dealing with stress can change it from something hovering over or near you to something definite in front of you. Acknowledging that you’re stressed is an admission that you can’t control everything around you, that you’re human, and that sometimes you just need to pause.
Physical movement is almost always good, even when you’re not feeling particularly stressed. Here are three stretches you can do from your workspace:
- Twist your torso left and right for 30 seconds, then repeat
- Clasp your hands together and push upwards, palms facing the sky
- Stretch in any position you prefer and hold it for 10 seconds, then repeat
3. Drink Tea
Just the warmth and aroma of tea can often provide comfort. There are also lots of teas on the market with calming ingredients to help you feel just a bit better with each sip.
4. Essential Oils
In the same neighborhood with tea you’ll find essential oils, particularly lavender, rose, vetiver, and sandalwood, that can help you feel more relaxed. We can forget how powerfully scents can affect our mood until we get a whiff of some of these aromas.
5. Stress Ball or Tactile Item
A stress ball can help transfer some of that stress out of your body and a tactile item, like a particular object that is special to you, can also help displace some of the stress that you’re feeling.
Just as with stretching, moving helps loosen up your body from stress that can tighten it up. Weather may influence whether you can be outside during certain times of the year, but even if you’re making a circuit indoors, even a short walk can help ease tension.
We’ve talked about the power of mindfulness meditation before. Both it and breathing can provide a space of calm to shut out the stress for some time.
8. Write It Out
Just as it’s sometimes a helpful strategy to write a letter to someone you are upset at, but then never send it, it’s also helpful to write out what’s bothering you, while also listing out things that you are grateful for. The acknowledgement of reality, while also reminding yourself of what isn’t stressful, can be helpful.
9. Talk It Out
What are friends for if they aren’t around to hear what’s stressing you out? Phone a friend and ask if it’s okay to share some stress. They’ll almost always have something helpful to say after you’ve shared.
10. Hug It Out
If that friend is physically nearby, ask for a hug. As humans we take a lot of comfort from physical touch and sometimes a hug is all we need as help for a stressful situation.
11. Take a Bath
While this option isn’t necessarily available in the middle of the day, as these other options might be, it’s one you can utilize towards the end of it, to help melt away that stress so you can enjoy the rest of your evening.
This content originally appeared in our monthly Open Calendar Club newsletter.