Nobody else is feeling any stress or anxiety right now, right? 🥴 Yikes! Between Covid, the election, and everything else life brings us on a regular basis, this can feel a little overwhelming! Stress is no joke. Trust me. I know! I have gotten so stressed/depressed/anxious in my life at times that I would be physically ill for weeks, and I wouldn’t be able to handle everyday activities, let alone function properly in a traditional job setting. I really do get it. I’ve been there. But not anymore. Sure, I still get upset sometimes, feel out of whack, and find myself heading in an unhealthy direction, but the difference is that now I recognize it and know how to help stop it. I also know what brings me joy and refuels my tanks (check out the last post for more on our tanks).
I can hear some of you right now going, oh, she’s going to tell us to get on a prescription medicine, or start using marijuana or CBD… I don’t actually use any of these options for myself, but if they work for you, great! If not, great! That’s one way I’ve eliminated a lot of unnecessary stresses in my life. I really try not to pass judgment on anyone else for anything they do. They make their own choices and will have to deal with their own consequences… just like all of my consequences come from what choices I make, and how I choose to react to my life. Try it. You do you. Let everyone else do what’s right for them. It’s such a simple, yet underused concept, especially in times like these.
So what do I do when I need to destress and refuel?
Seriously, don’t overthink it. Just open your door and go outside. Breath in some fresh air, get some sunshine, and watch nature happening around you. It’s incredibly healing, it’s free, and it’s just outside your door no matter where you live. Just do it. Even for 5 minutes!
Exercise doesn’t have to include a gym, equipment, a workout buddy, a personal trainer, a subscription, or fancy athletic gear. When you open the door to breathe in that fresh air, take it a few steps (see what I did there?) further, and walk around the block. Feeling good? Awesome. Walk further! Going for a simple walk outside is incredible for our bodies, minds, and spirits. Check out the 99Walks app for more inspiration and encouragement on this!
I know you knew this was coming. It’s what I’m super passionate about these days… get rid of clutter in your home, on your calendar, your to-do list, in your car… surround yourself with only the things you absolutely love and actually use! It is so amazingly freeing to have a space that calms you lights you up. Imagine walking into your tidied room full of all the fantastic stuff you love (and that’s it)! Try it. Do the timer trick… set a timer for 20 minutes and declutter the space that gives you the most stress/anxiety in your daily routine. Whatever that is for you. Do it.
Yes. That’s it. Be nice! Do something thoughtful for someone else. Make someone a packed lunch (hello, farmers)! Send a card. Perhaps try gifting someone something you’re decluttering. I’ve had a lot of fun with that recently. If I see something that I don’t need or use any longer but it reminds me of someone, I give it to them. I did sell and donate a lot of boxes of stuff in the beginning, but now I am down to smaller spaces and fewer items. It makes it easier to find a meaningful way to regift my things to someone who will appreciate them.
This means something different to everyone, but I’ll share my favorite ways to relax. My husband takes over baby duty for a bit so I get some uninterrupted alone time. I draw a bath, sometimes with Epsom salts and essential oils, sometimes with bubbles… whatever feels right at that moment. I light candles and turn a salt lamp on. I sip on a glass of wine (or hot tea, but it’s usually a nice, dry red). And then the rest depends on my state of mind.
If I am feeling really overwhelmed and need a brain break, I’ll dive into a novel I can get lost in – usually crime fiction, psychological thrillers, and the occasional flowery romance for me. Other times I’ll pop in my AirPods and watch a show or movie I can also get lost in – Hallmark Christmas movies are winning this category at the moment. And sometimes I feel instantly inspired with my alone time, and I will watch a training or read a blog, catch up on emails, or even write a blog post. I’m currently sipping on my $3 Aldi Malbec, sharing my thoughts with you as they come to me, while soaking away the day in my kid’s orange-scented bubble bath! It doesn’t have to be fancy. Whatever works!
Then after I’m done (my bath times range from 20 minutes to over an hour… I just soak until I feel renewed – I don’t set a time restraint on this), I will get dressed in comfy pjs, throw on a robe and slippers, and usually I continue with a book or movie in bed. Sometimes I’ll indulge myself in a yummy foot lotion, or luxurious body butter, and sometimes I get my hubby to help with this part! He gives an excellent foot rub and back massage. I am very lucky that this can be part of my relaxing routine!
Do what works for you.
I wanted to share some of my favorite ways to destress and unwind to hopefully inspire you. But here’s the thing. You need to do what’s best for you! Maybe your distressing and relaxing go-tos look nothing like this, and that is fine! But make sure you do them. Put your sanity (and the sanity of all of those around you) first. Unapologetically. Be kind to yourself. Take the time to make sure you’re getting what you need. And just try your best to relax. Yes, even today.