By Calasandra Spray (TheLorian)
Stress. As humans we think about it, dream about it, let it infect every portion of our lives. According to CompareCamp, 55% of Americans are stressed during the day. Workplace stress, relationship stress, family stress, financial stress, health stress, school stress, each one creeps into our lives and wrecks havoc there. The cost of all this stress: lethargy, headaches, unsettled sleep, depression, anxiety.
In the chaos of life it’s important to practice self care to unwind and destress. Don’t wait until you feel burnt out, until you find it hard to wake up in the morning and even harder to fall asleep at night to be conscious of how your mind, body, and soul need some care to function properly. Showing yourself some love and care is an important task, and here’s some helpful tips to do it. Mind you, don’t try to tackle them all at once and make it a chore.
- Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the thought process of being aware of the things you do in day to day life. Slow down, or come to a complete pause for a moment a few times a day to really appreciate what’s happening, the feeling of hot tea warming you from the inside out, the smell of rain as it hits the pavement, the way streetlights glow like fireflies when they’re in the distance.
- Detox from technology. I know it can seem impossible when technology connects us to so many people and things. The pull of information, friends, entertainment, all at our fingertips on a screen the size of our hand is intoxicating. Sometimes we forget there’s a world away from the internet. Setting aside just a small amount of time everyday to get away from it and enjoy reality can bring peace to our racing minds. Work on a puzzle, learn a new skill, paint a picture, or read a book, anything that puts you physically in time and space.
- Quiet your mind. Whether you find quietness is meditation or journaling, reducing the excess noise inside your head is a good practice for reducing stress. Quieting your mind all the time is unrealistic, but taking a few minutes each day to clear your head of clutter is a good daily practice.
- Adjust your morning routine. If you’re like me you start your day off almost immediately. Alarm goes off fifteen minutes before you have to leave and your day just keeps going from there. Making a little extra time in the morning to practice self care can get you off on the right foot. After all, your morning sets the tone for your whole day, so why not start it with a cup of hot tea, stretching, journaling, or a little pleasure reading.
- Get some fresh air. Couch potato, desk ornament, or workaholic, whoever you are it can be days before you’ve really stepped outside. Especially with classes and jobs moved online with the pandemic, getting outside is an important way to take care of yourself. Get away from your to-do lists and step outside for ten minutes so you can come back feeling refreshed and in turn be more productive.
- Take care of your body. Stretch, brush your teeth, eat vegetables, lotion your skin, get enough sleep, all of these things can help your body feel better. When your body feels better your mind will feel more ready to take on the days tasks as well.
- Clean your space. I know, cleaning, eww. Having a clean space can change your mindset though. I know I’m much more ready to put in a day’s work when my room looks nice, smells clean, and doesn’t have clutter everywhere. Decluttering your physical space can help you to focus on tasks and decluttering your mental space.
- Give yourself permission to relax. This one might be the most important of them all. To do lists piling up, stress bubbling, and life’s non stop flow can make it hard to justify relaxing. The thing is, you don’t need to justify it. Taking some time for yourself will make you more prepared to tackle life’s obstacles, but more importantly giving yourself permission to relax will let your mind, body, and soul truly rest during your downtime. Don’t read a novel for class during your pleasure reading time, don’t write an essay in the bath, don’t check your social media at the dinner table. Make sure there are separate spaces in your life for those things and let the moments in between be for you.
CompareCamp.com. 2020. 61 Stress Statistics: 2019/2020 Facts, Causes & Effects | Comparecamp.Com. [online] Available at: