It’s National Stress Awareness Day, a good 24 hours to remind ourselves that we’re way too stressed out and we need to relax. All of us get stressed out sometimes. It’s a common side effect for continuously kicking ass and taking names, but stress takes a toll on our minds and our bodies and we need to learn to manage it. What you absolutely shouldn’t do is sit there in frustration tears and let the stress take over. So here are ten tips if you’re feeling insanely overwhelmed and need to de-stress:
1. Take a walk, really, it’s that simple
You don’t have to dedicate an hour of your day to the gym – the thought of that sounds stressful to me now – but simply walking or jogging on the treadmill for ten minutes is enough to clear your head and boost endorphins. Seriously, according to research, even FIVE minutes of exercise can reduce your stress levels.
2. Look away from the blinding light of your laptop and phone
As much as I love the Internet, sometimes it’s just not very good for my mental health. According to Pew Research, social media can create stress, particularly in women. So shut that business down if your feeling overwhelmed. We don’t often think about it, but we CAN just close our laptops and walk away.
3. Hug someone or hold their hand
Really. A 2009 study found that not only does 5 minutes of hugging or 10 minutes of hand holding lower heart rates and generally reduce stress, the thought of that awesome bear hug will help relax us throughout the day.
4. Put on Pandora
Or Spotify, or the dozens of other free online personalized radios we listen to when we’re sick of our iTunes. Research has shown that music (particularly slower music) is physically soothing to your body, especially your nervous system.
5. Watch a cat do something ridiculous on YouTube