Happy Tuesday everyone. Stress is a part of life. Letting it build up over time isn’t good. It can make you physically sick. There are times when I feel stressed out. 2020 has been a lot. The first week of June was a lot. I’ve found myself stressed a bit in the last couple of weeks. In the past, I would let it build up and become a wreck. Now I actively find ways to de-stress. Today, I will share with you ten stress management activities They are things that most people can do. Let’s start with the first one.
The first way that I eliminate my stress is by hitting the gym. I used to go to a gym that charged $65 a year. For a while it was good, but their hours weren’t the best. They close at 9 pm Monday- Thursday and have limited hours on Friday and Saturday. They are closed on Sundays. For someone that tries to work out at least three times a week, that wasn’t going to work. In 2019, I started to research different gym options. I went with Planet Fitness. Their membership costs $10 a month which isn’t bad at all. They have much better hours and it’s a bigger gym. They have a lot more weights and machines than my previous one. It’s nothing for me to visit Planet Fitness after work or on the weekend. With my previous gym, I was limited.
This is something that I started doing last year. Meditation has helped me to relax a lot during this time. At times stress and minor anxiety used to have my mind on overdrive. It seems like I couldn’t shut it off and calm down. Meditation has helped. I try to meditate at least five times per week. I don’t do anything special. I just find a video on YouTube like the one below and sit there and listen to it for 5-10 minutes. I know some folks may not believe that meditation can relax you, but I say try it. What do you have to lose? Not a damn thing. Some people like to meditate during the morning while others like to do it in the evening. Figure out what time works for you and try it. After you meditate, I bet you’ll feel better. Try using the video below.
If I’m not going to the gym, I usually do a combination of running and walking. This is one of my favorite stress management activities. I usually do that in my neighborhood or go to one of the several parks or places that Atlanta has such as Piedmont Park, The Beltline or Grant Park. Almost any time of the year, you will see other people out there running or walking.
I’ve done yoga either two or three times. It’s something that I need to find the time and do more of. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it. Studies have shown that yoga provides several benefits. It is said to make you happier. It helps you focus. It releases tension in your limbs and it helps you deeper. That’s just four things that yoga can do. There are tons more. Sometimes you can find a free class. If you can, I’d suggest you check it out.
Listen to music
The next way that I’ve learned how to de-stress is by listening to music. For me, it has to be a particular type of music. If I play some Jeezy or Young Dolph it might get me too hype. That’s not what I’m trying to do. I’m looking for relaxation, so in most cases hip hop can’t do it. If I’m listening to music to relax and de-stress, it’s probably going to be some R&B or Soft Rock from the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. I can’t go wrong with Motown. Some of the other artists that I listen to for relaxation are Hall & Oates, Chaka Khan and Sade.
Like mediation, essential oils is something that I got into last year. There are a lot of different types of oils out there. My two favorite are Frankincense and Lavender Oil. I dab a little bit in the room that I’m from time to time and they help me to relax. I’m going to do some more research and get try out some more in the next few weeks. I’m also going to get a diffuser similar to the one below that will help disperse the oil in the room that I’m in.
Going out with friends
Going out with friends is another one of my favorite stress management activities. I don’t do this as often as I’d like to since I’m still paying off my debt. Also, friends are getting married, having kids and working different work shifts than me. I do try to get out at least twice a month with them. I make sure that I have a budget. Sometimes I even eat before I go out to make sure that I don’t go over that budget. Spending time with your friends can help you forget about the stresses of the world. They also can just make you feel better.
I haven’t had a massage from a professional in about 7-8 years. It’s been past time. This form of self-care is something that I want to start doing at least once a quarter. Massages help you to relax. They also can help with anxiety and they can make you sleep better.
Reading is the next thing that’s on the list. For the past few years, I’ve read numerous books on a vast array of topics. Books help me get refocused and motivated. They also help to keep my mind fresh. I feel like I’m kind of old school because I like reading physical books a lot more than I like reading books online. Below are a few of my favorite books.
Pedicure & Manicure
I know a lot of people who get pedicures and manicures. You may or may not believe it, but they can help you de-stress. I’ve yet to have a pedicure or a manicure. I’ll eventually get a Pedi, but I’m good on a manicure. Pedicures and manicures are also said to keep your skin healthy and to increase in blood circulation.
The final thing that helps me de-stress is to unplug from time to time. I don’t watch much TV, so I’m good on that part. Sometimes I turn the laptop and phone off and just relax for a little while. I also leave my phone in the car when I’m at the gym. I’m there to work out, not for a photoshoot. I’ll be the first to say that I don’t unplug as much as I should. I have to get better with it though. Unplugging from time to time helps me to get back focused.
Everyone needs to take time to practice some stress management activities. Our bodies will thank us for it. I know we all get caught up in the day to day lifestyle but it’s not always the healthiest. We should implement some of these ideas when we can. I know that I’ll be doing a couple of them sooner than later. I want to make sure that I am my best self at all times. Taking time actively learn how to de-stress is one way that I can do that.