Bills are piling up, the laundry needs to get done, work is breathing down your neck, your friends feel neglected, your family needs you, and everything is beginning to fall apart. Life is stressful, and it’s not uncommon for all of us to feel overwhelmed as a result. Stress too often is a trigger for many things, so it’s important to keep it in check. Instead of getting buried in your responsibilities and buckling under the pressure of life, practice some self-care. It doesn’t have to be anything big – but by taking some time for yourself, you can stay re-energized in order to handle the stress of life a little better.
You can’t always change how stressful your days are, but you can change your outlook on the stress. Whether it’s starting an actual journal or just telling yourself something you are grateful for every night, gratitude journals are even used by social workers, which is one of the most stressful career choices you can choose.. When everything else seems to be difficult, a simple positive observation can mean a world of difference in your outlook. Grab a notebook, decorate it with some stickers and doodles, and write down something you’re grateful for every day.
It’s difficult for us to realize exactly how much technology affects our everyday lives. Laptops, smartphones, Netflix, tablets, etc., are all normal aspects of our lives; however, they add to our stress. Technology has been integrated into our education, into nearly every job, and into our everyday lives. When things are overwhelming, it’s best to take away a few distractions. You can’t exactly unplug from family or kids, but you can unplug from technology. Take a few hours away from one more thing that needs your attention. Go on a walk, bake something, or go on a drive and focus on yourself.
Sometimes the way to destress is to tackle the problem head on. In order to make that task easier on yourself, take care of yourself by getting organized and making your life easier. We all know how great it feels to work in a clean office with organized files and a schedule without surprises. Spend a day cleaning your work environment, buy an organizer, and make a plan to tackle your stresses. Scheduling can be therapeutic for many when they are feeling overwhelmed by a chaotic schedule – and you won’t know if it’s stress reducing for you until you give it a try.
When your life is overwhelming, it might be time for a change of scenery. You don’t have to plan a big, international jaunt across the globe. Even planning a day trip can do wonders for your mental health. You’ll be removing yourself from your everyday stressful environment and also distracting yourself with some trip planning. Trip planning is important for your overall happiness as well – a 2014 study found that people get more happiness from anticipating travel than they do from anticipating purchases or possessions. So whether it’s planning a big trip a year in advance, or planning a weekend jaunt the next town over, immerse yourself in it in order to destress yourself.
If you can’t change your scenery by taking a trip, you can still change things up within your environment. Rejuvenate your space by rearranging your home or work space. The feeling you get from refreshing your environment will help you to destress. Take care of yourself by making your surroundings a place you feel happy in; one that energizes you instead of drains you. Rearrange your living room, buy new curtains for your kitchen, create art to hang in your office, or add twinkle lights to your bedroom. This will give you a sense of rejuvenation, accomplishment, and a much needed distraction from your stress.
Self-care isn’t always about eating more salads and drinking a glass of wine in the tub after a hard day, it’s also about finding what calms you and taking time to do it. Stress is something that is next to impossible to avoid, so the key is to take care of yourself in order to cope. By focusing on positive thoughts with a gratitude journal, unplugging from technological distractions, getting yourself organized, planning a trip to get away, and changing up your environment, you are taking care of yourself while taking steps to destress.
Guest Blog: Chelsy Ranard