This article was written by Emily Her
Whether we’re stuck inside because of a global pandemic or not, stress is an unavoidable part of our lives. Lots of us already know that we have little control over stressors from external sources and do our best to minimize the effects of stressors caused by ourselves. However, it’s most important that we learn to control our responses. Don’t let your stress become overwhelming in your everyday life by making sure you know what stress-relieving tools you can use!
Your social media and Instagram feeds have definitely been flooded by photos of everyone you know baking endless banana bread, and you’ve likely joined in, too. “A physical activity like baking, which grounds us in the direct experience of the body and our senses, is a natural antidote to anxiety” said Lisa Kring, a licensed clinical social worker who also teaches meditation in Los Angeles. It’s two wins in one -- you get a scrumptious dessert after dinner tonight and relieve some of that pent-up stress.
Meditation comes in many different forms, each one offering its own benefits and appeal. Whether you’re repeating a mantra in your head or practicing mindfulness, simply taking a few moments to mediate can relieve short-term stress and help with long-term stress management. Being focused on the here and now means that your mind can’t wander away to worry.
- Take on aromatherapy
Depending on the aromas you work with, there are real benefits for stress relief when you’re able to take in new scents. You can feel energized, more relaxed, and present in the current now. Studies have even begun to show that certain smells can decrease stress hormones in your body because they alter brain wave activity. You can practice aromatherapy in many different forms, including candles, diffusers, body care products, or perfumes.
- Create art
Throughout the crazy rush of the day, we often forget to give ourselves time to exercise our creativity. If you have a 9-5 corporate job, you’re too busy when you come home to sit down and create some art. However, this is the perfect opportunity to jump back in! If you don’t know where to start, you can consider an adult coloring book. Coloring is very therapeutic for the mind, and studies have shown that anxiety levels decline when people color complex patterns.
- Eating a balanced diet
It’s common knowledge that eating a poor diet can lead to increased tension and stress throughout your days. Emotional eating binges lead to bad choices of high-fat, high-sugar foods that can only give a temporary release of your underlying stress. You can instead stock up your pantry with healthy alternatives so when your cravings do kick in, you know you’re feeding yourself well. Oatmeal cups are a convenient, hearty snack that gives you complete nutrition -- we’re huge fans of them!