Disclosure: Some posts on this blog are sponsored, meaning that I received goods, services, or monetary payment for my writing. My opinions however, are not 'purchased' and are always 100% my own. Posts contain affiliate links that I earn a commission on. This disclosure is done in accordance with the FTC 10 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Monday, February 24, 2014

De-Stress naturally... and have fun doing it!

Stress. We all have it, we all hate it. And how can we not have it? We live in a world that is full of fast-paced ideas, technology, entertainment, and demands. Even if you choose not to keep up with the latest and greatest, it can come back to get you later if you suddenly find yourself forced into using it and have to learn it all in a night! (As I found out when I upgraded my super-old +Nokia to a smart-phone, and had no idea what a smart-phone even was.)

Is it any wonder then that everywhere you look, someone is claiming to have a product that will relieve your stress? Products range anywhere from $1 paperbacks with the 'secrets for less stress', to aromatherapy kits that are upwards of $60. Personally, I'd rather go for the cheapest route there is, which usually ends up being the most natural. Besides, if you have to go to great lengths or spend a lot of money to de-stress, I think it defeats the purpose!

So here are a few simple things that anyone can do to have a little less stress and a little more happiness:

Make a stress-relieving meal

stress relieving foodsIf you search for 'foods that relieve stress' on the internet, you're going to find yourself swamped with site after site that claims to have the best list of foods. The funny thing is, if you look through all of those lists, they all have completely different ideas of what the 'best' stress-relieving foods are. After browsing through page after page, I realized that almost every list had one important type of food in them: Magnesium-rich foods. Why? Because Magnesium can help you get better sleep, a boost of energy, and clear your head - all of which goes a long way towards relieving stress. Luckily, magnesium comes in all sorts of foods, so even if you don't like your green-veggies (such as broccoli or spinach), there are other options such as bananas or oysters. A great way to start the day is with a magnesium-rich breakfast: Sliced bananas in a cup of oatmeal with a glass of soy milk will get you to a little over a third of the daily recommended amount of magnesium.

Get a little touchy-feely

what relieves stressFeeling down? Hugs actually help! So does a simple massage, holding hands, or any other activity that involves skin-to-skin. Why is that? It's because the feel of another's skin can cause your nerve endings to react. They send messages to the brain that can slow the release of cortisol, which will in turn lower your heart rate and reduce blood-pressure. No humans around to snuggle with? Your pet companions can provide the same stress-relief. As a bonus, they won't interrupt the bonding time by asking questions like, "What's for dinner?" or "Did you pay the bills yet?".

Turn it all off

There is no denying the fact that our technology eats up a lot of our attention. If you've gotten to the point that you can't go to bed at night without wondering what is going on in your +Twitter feed, this section is for you! Find a quiet place and just relax. Bring a hot beverage, light a candle with a stress-relieving scent (if you have one), and just reflect on your day, on your life, on anything and everything except your to-do list and never-ending obligations. Day-dream about what you'd do if you won the lotto, about the perfect outfit, about the cat you had in high school. Sit and be peaceful for twenty whole minutes, and don't let your worries creep through. (This is easier said than done, but when accomplished, oh-so-rewarding.) For some people, peaceful white noise sounds may make this experience even more relaxing. By the end of your twenty minutes, you should feel about the same level of tranquility as you would at a spa.

Take a break and play

stress relieving games
Yes, these are my crazy-awesome parents.
Okay, so adults don't usually get to play in the true sense of the word (when's the last time you saw a grown man climb a tree?), but that doesn't mean that we can't have our fun. A short break can be just what you need to recharge before finishing your to-do list. I was recently sent on a mission by +Smiley360 to try out the free-to-play game site, Dailybreak.com.

I was a bit worried at first since I tend to play, and then play some more, and then play some more... but I got a pleasant surprise when I started playing on this site. They limit the number of challenges you can complete in a time-period, and when you've finished them, you can't play more until you've let a few hours pass. This keeps us adults on track for completing our daily obligations and still allows us to have some guilty-pleasure time all to ourselves!

The games on the site aren't the usual 'on-and-on-forever-see-how-high-you-can-score' type of games either. They work your mind, make you smarter, and help keep you sharp - all of which has been shown to deter diseases like Alzheimer's. You can use the coins you win to buy things in auctions or purchase raffle tickets for certain drawings, and there are several automatic entry drawings that you get just for completing challenge games. You can create your own account here to get your own short break for the day.

If all else fails... get some exercise!

If your body is really just too worked up to relax, use that energy in a good way and burn off some of the cortisol that is keeping you pumped up. In return, you'll get a rush of endorphins and other feel-good hormones that will tell your body to relax and feel safe. To get the full benefits of stress-relief from exercise, it's best to routinely go through a work-out. Even a few minutes a day can help. No time to fit exercise in? Try fifteen minutes in the morning before your shower and fifteen minutes in the evening. Anything from brisk walking to lifting hand-weights can help out. No weights at home? That's okay, lift a can of food instead... some weigh right around a pound - the perfect weight for someone who is just beginning to do lifting!

Got a stress-relief tip of your own you'd like to share? Let me know about it in the comments! I love to hear feedback from others about what works for them!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post and, as always, my opinions are purely my own.

5 comments:

  1. It's always great to have plenty of stress relieving ideas up your sleeve, in case you need to pull them out! =)

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  2. Great ideas! I always have to remind myself to find ways to relieve stress.

    ReplyDelete