By Sarah Hunt, AZFB Communications Intern
Let’s face it, we have all experienced stress as a result of one thing or another this year. Most of our stress has come from the disruption of normal life brought on by this pandemic. But instead of looking at all the things that are going wrong in our lives, what if we started looking at all the things that were going right? Gratitude, among other practices, is one of several proven and enjoyable ways to relieve stress. Here are my top eight ways to relieve stress:
- Aromatherapy: Essential oils, candles, lotions, potpourri… they sure smell good but what do they actually do to help you? For starters, it can help you sleep better, give you relief from depression and anxiety, and bring better quality to one’s life for those with lifelong conditions. Learn more about the positive effects of aromatherapy from the Mayo Clinic by clicking this link.
- Soak in the Tub: By sitting and relaxing for a while in a warm bath with natural additives, you can reap several benefits, including stress relief, softer and more moisturized skin, improved circulation, focus, and mood, among many more. Read more about what you can add to your bath and what each item’s benefits are here.
- Yoga: This is a great way to relieve physical stress and tension that has been built up in your shoulders and body from your work day. Massages can be expensive and we don’t always have time for them. This is a way you can get your exercise in as well as stretch out your muscles to help you feel renewed and energized. My favorite at home yoga videos are made by the YouTube channel Yoga With Adriene. Try them out!
- Practicing Gratitude: Studies have proven that writing down or sharing what you are grateful for has many benefits. Here is an article on the science behind gratitude, where you can find how and why practicing gratitude can help you.
- Journaling: Recording your thoughts and the events of your day can relieve stress, boost your memory, improve your writing skills, and much more. Learn about the benefits of journaling here.
- Get enough sleep: This can prevent you from gaining weight, improve one’s immune system, and put you in a better mood, among many more benefits. Read all about it here.
- Drinking Cold Water: Doing this can slow your heart rate and normalize your body’s temperature. It is well known by therapists as a good way to reduce anxiety. Plus, staying hydrated is important for many of your body’s daily functions you need to carry out your day. “Drinking enough water each day is crucial for many reasons: to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, prevent infections, deliver nutrients to cells, and keep organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health states.
- Coloring: Just by coloring in the lines of a coloring page, you can improve focus, sleep, vision and motor skills, and reduce anxiety and stress. Click here for the details.