Five Ways To De-Stress

5 ways to de-stress
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To say that the past few months have been tough would be a understatement.  This past March, all of our lives changed, drastically, leaving us wondering how to adapt to our new way of living, and questioning what's to come in the future.  Being confined to our homes, losing jobs, not being able to hug family members, and being worried to walk into stores, not only has filled us with uncertainty, but it has also left many of us stressed and filled with anxiety.

I don't know about you, but the more stressed I get, the more I feel anxious and depressed.  The past few months have felt like an emotional rollercoaster, but thankfully I've found several ways of keeping my stress levels at a minimum.   When they do start to rise, I have five go-to ways to calm myself down and de-stress, which I'm sharing below.  Although they don't alleviate my stress completely, I'm always left with a happier state of mind.

1. Sweat It Out: Working out has become a constant in my life, as it helps keep me sane! I started working out regularly after having the twins to get back in shape, but I now make it a priority each day to keep my mood lifted. After a good workout, I am just overall happier, and find that I'm able to handle the day's stressors calmly, and don't lose it on my wild, misbehaved kids!

On the days I'm not able to workout, and I'm feeling down, I make myself go for a walk.  It's amazing what even ten minutes of moving and fresh air can do for the soul.  (Check out my at-home workout post here).

2. Meditate: I have to admit, I've only been meditating for a few months, and don't meditate regularly.  However, when my stress is building, and I feel like I need to escape, I go to my bedroom and meditate.  I'm not good at the practice, but I've found that trying for even ten minutes leaves me calm and in a much better place.  I like to use Melissa Wood Heath's guided meditations, and I use the Insight Timer app.

3. Read/Watch Something Mindless: There is nothing that soothes my mind faster than picking up a good book, or turning on a lighthearted show.  Although this distraction is short term, it's nice to get lost in a good book, or watch a show that makes you laugh.  I'm currently reading the Outlander novels, and I can get lost in the storyline for hours.  When I need a good laugh, my go-to show is the New Girl (I'm watching it for the first time), or I can never pass up a Sex and the City or Friends rerun!

Note: Make sure the show is lighthearted or it will not help with stress.  I had to stop watching 13 Reasons Why (Netflix) because it was leaving me with anxiety and trouble sleeping!

4. Talk to a friend:  Although seeking out a professional is always best when you're feeling stressed, overwhelmed and full of anxiety, talking to a family member or close friend can also be very helpful.  Whenever I'm feeing like an emotional rollercoaster, I call my best friend, and just let it all out.  I usually come to realize what's setting off my emotions by talking about it, and always hang up feeling so much better.

5. Do something you love: I know we all have a lot on our plates between working from home, taking care of our kids, and keeping our houses tidy. With everything on our to-do lists, we often put ourselves last.  Not having ME time, not only raises my stress level, but I become unpleasant, and have a harder time handling hard situations. If you set aside a few hours a week to do something you love, it will leave you feeling happier, and in turn, you'll be able to handle the tough stuff with more grace.  Whether its getting a manicure (or giving yourself one), taking a yoga class, reading, sewing, or whatever hobby you love, schedule it into your calendar.  You deserve it!

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What's your favorite way to de-stress?  

XO Rachael