In a time like 2021, we need to find ways to alleviate our stress immediately. Here are some simple steps you can take when you find yourself experiencing symptoms of stress or burnout.
Acknowledge how you feel
Experts say that denying our feelings actually makes us feel worse and, in some cases, can make us physically sick.
If you just fought with your spouse, sit down and cry it out. If your boss reprimanded you, acknowledge that it hurt and you need a moment. Even the simple act of stopping whatever you’re doing and validating how you feel can go a long way in immediately freeing you from the toll that stress brings.
Do some breathing exercises
Here’s the most basic breathing exercise you can do when you feel stressed:
- Close your mouth and inhale deeply for four seconds.
- Hold the breath for seven seconds.
- Exhale with your mouth slightly open for eight seconds.
- Repeat the steps four times.
Taking time out of your day to breathe when you’re overwhelmed can help center your mind and provide you with the balance to finish the rest of your day.
Schedule a massage
A massage therapy session can help you relax, re-energize, and rejuvenate. It can help relieve any pain or discomfort you might be experiencing and restore your overall sense of well-being. Massage experts are doing everything they can to ensure clients’ health and safety during COVID-19, so you don’t have to be anxious about being infected.
Find ways to laugh or smile
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have to finish, allow yourself a few minutes to take your mind off things. Watch a funny YouTube video or two, do a dance break in your office alone. Remove yourself from the situation that’s causing you stress for at least five minutes. You can also do the Pomodoro technique to give yourself mandatory breaks in between intense tasks.
Chew some gum
A study found of 101 adults found that chewing gum can help people have lower stress responses. Make sure you always have some chewing gum handy on your work desk and chew as vigorously as possible since it’s the way to find some relief from stress quickly.
Get your hands on oil diffusers or essential oils
While essential oils or oil diffusers can’t cure diseases or mental illnesses, they can certainly help make people feel better. Adding a few drops of essential oils to your warm bath can help relieve stress, and cool and minty scents might be able to help you relax even for a little.
Get some fresh air
If you find your chest tightening and your stress is causing you to have some difficulty breathing, leaving your house for a bit to gain some fresh air can do you a world of good. Especially if your home is on the dimmer side and you don’t have many windows, you might need a breath of fresh air and the warmth from the sun to help you blow off some steam.
Write it down
Related to acknowledging our difficult emotions and not invalidating our pain is writing it down. There’s a reason journaling is taught to us as students: Writing our feelings down can help us get to the core of what we’re stressed about and ultimately address it.
There are plenty of healthy drinks you can make to quickly eliminate symptoms of anxiety and stress. Whip yourself up some matcha or apple cider vinegar to warm your body and to help your mind focus on something else, even for a few minutes.
Quickly clean your surroundings
If you’re the type to get immediately distracted and bothered by visual clutter, doing a quick dust-up or re-organization can go a long way in helping you calm your mind. Put everything back in its place, sweep the floor a little, wipe down your counters and tabletops, do the dishes. Cleaning a little can help you gain the feeling of being in control over something, even as everything else falls apart.
Nothing Beats Long-Term Solutions
Take note that these are all short-term solutions. At the end of the day, if you feel like you need professional help, nothing beats long-term work like therapy and counseling in helping you eliminate symptoms of stress beyond mere band-aid solutions. You deserve more than just surface-level relief; your mind and spirit also need to be cared for, especially if you have neglected your mental health for so long. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you feel like you need it; your future self will thank you for your courage to ask for help.