WHO YA GONNA CALL? STRESS BUSTERS!
- 1. I really love this thought and have used it many times myself! Yell! That’s right, scream at the top of your lungs – as loud as you can. While this may not be feasible in your home, it works great when you’re in your car with the windows rolled up. Let out a guttural yelp from deep down inside. It’s liberating!
- 2. Sing. As we said in the previous chapter, music can be extremely beneficial when getting rid of stress. Think how much better you can feel when you belt out “Copacabana” at the top of your lungs! Who cares if you can’t carry a tune? You’re doing this for you!
- 3. Take up a new hobby like knitting or crocheting. Don’t worry about being good at it. It’s the process that’s beneficial. Sitting still while performing repetitive movements is calming and stabilizing for many people. It can be time to collect your thoughts.
- 4. Start a garden. Even apartment-dwellers can do this. Inside in pots, pots on the patio, pots, a small spot in your yard. There is a little work to setting it up.
Tending plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers and watching them grow, bloom, or yield food is rewarding. Avid gardeners say working a garden is the best way to control stress and worry. An added benefit is the creation of a more beautiful, restful environment.
- 5. Play with a dog or cat. Experts say pet owners have longer lives and fewer stress symptoms that non-pet owners. Playing with your pet provide good vibrations – for you and for the pet! It’s a form of social interaction with no pressure to meet anyone’s expectations!
- 6. Look at the stars and the moon. It can be a very humbling experience to lay on a blanket with your hands behind your head and gaze up into the night sky. It’s more than humbling; it’s downright beautiful and relaxing!
Just the other night, my grandson and I got a blanket out and lay in the yard looking at the moon going behind the clouds and gazing at the stars. He’s only three, so it’s a fascinating experience for him, but looking at the sky through his eyes made it even more fascinating for me.
I could feel all my worries melting away as we chatted about the astronauts that get to see the stars close up and how big the universe is while we remain so small. When you look at the vastness of the sky, you realize that our problems are small compared to that. I also get great comfort from seeing that one bright star in the sky that is always above my house.
When my best friend’s mother died, we got out of the car after coming from her visitation and my friend’s five-year old and I stopped to star gaze. She pointed out one particular star and said “That’s my grandma. She’s our guardian angel now.” Every time I see that star, I know Cheryl’s there and she’ll help get me through anything!
- 7. Treat yourself to some comfort food. But be careful or over-eating could become your big stressor. Enjoy in moderation and make yourself feel better.
I love mashed potatoes and gravy and macaroni and cheese. Those are my comfort foods. But I make sure that I don’t overdo it. I give myself just enough to bring on that calming feeling.
- 8. Swing. Remember the feeling of sitting inside that little piece of leather on the playground as you sway back and forth and feel the wind whipping through you hair? Do that! If you don’t have a swing in your yard, go to a playground and remember to pump your legs back and forth to see how high you can go. It’s liberating!
- 9. Take a candle lit bubble bath. Even you guys out there can benefit from a warm bath bathed in the soft glow of candlelight. Lay your head back, feel the bubbles and the warm water, and let your stress go right down the drain when you pull the plug!
Phew! There you have twenty-seven ways to relax and de-stress! You can come up with your own ways as well! The key, really, is to find something that makes you feel better when you are overwhelmed and practice that method faithfully. You’ll be a healthier person overall.