Stress and tension are part of our lives and we deal with it everyday. I think now more than ever, there’s a strong need to take better care of our mental side. I speak for myself here but my jobs are both stressful even when I’m doing tasks I love. I work primarily by deadlines and I feel high stress at times to meet them + fulfill daily/weekly/monthly goals.
Because we’re all so busy with work, family, and social, it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed and just plain wiped out! Recently, I made some drastic changes to my lifestyle that has really helped me release tension and feel better. Today, I’m sharing what I did. Now before I get to my list, let me qualify myself…I’m not a lifestyle coach nor versed or educated in that field. I’m only sharing what I’ve done as an example. You may like some of my tips and some may not apply and I can’t guarantee that you’ll feel better if you try my ideas. I’m recommending using this list as an example only. You’ll need to tweak it to fit your lifestyle.
15 Tips I Use to Release Tension
- Redesign a room. I work and craft in a very small space in our apartment. There’s hardly room to turn around so organizing all my stuff is essential. I did a few things to make the room better: (a) I de-cluttered: sold some art supplies and donated the rest, (b) gave away clothes that I wasn’t wearing, (c) cleared off my desk so that only keeping the bare essential items; and (d) changed the color scheme to neutrals, rose gold, pinks with a touch of seafoam. I thrive on neutral colors.
Because I spend a lot of time here, it was important that it’s a pretty living space and an easy place for me to be in. Even if all you do is rearrange some of the furniture in a room, you’d be surprised how it’ll make you feel. We shouldn’t have rooms in our homes that we dread going into.
- Get exercise. Getting up and moving around is important. I don’t go out much at all but even a short walk does so much good. Taking care of the physical and emotional is vital.
- Play games. I grew up playing games (board and video) with my mother and brother so I like to play after my day is over. It relaxes me and it’s fun after a long day of phone calls, emails, deadlines and interruptions.
- Write down my feelings. GUIG is a lifesaver. Writing is very viable way to release tension. Sometimes I don’t post everything I write, it’s just that I need a way to get things off my chest. Ladies, we need to a safe way to let go of our emotions especially those negative ones.
- Take up a hobby. I love to play with paper, pulling out some watercolor paper, paints and brushes and playing with designs for cards calms my nerves. I also love to stitch on paper and felt. My other love is creating digital wall art. Is there something you like/love to do? Maybe it could be a hobby.
- Eat well. It’s a fact that eating the wrong kinds of things causes many problems, not just with weight gain but can cause chronic fatigue, irritability, depression and even anger. Changing my diet is key to keeping my emotions more stable.
- Get plenty of sleep. I used to go to bed at 2 AM but no more! Midnight is my absolutely cut off. Burning the midnight oil too many days will cause the immune system to get weak.
- Take breaks. I can’t work 16 hours a day straight without a break. I have a recliner in my craftroom and I go sit there to get away from the PC. Sometimes, I’ll take an afternoon nap and go back to work in the evening.
- Adopt a pet. It’s a fact that having a pet releases not only tension but adds so much joy and pleasure to our lives. Pets are family. Unfortunately for us, we can’t have one but I grew up with kitties and I know how awesome it is to have a little fur ball running around!
- Spend quality time with family and friends. Social distancing makes this hard, but at least texting, talking on the phone or over social media is still important to stay in touch so that the isolation doesn’t turn into depression. UPDATE: In Oregon, the mandates have been lifted but I still practice isolation and social distancing. It’s just my decision but I do reach out to friends. Isolation is just bad.
- Keep that Prayer life intact. It’s so vital to have an active prayer life and Bible study time. I usually read the daily verses on my app and GUIG and study it every night. At the end of my day, I talk to The Lord. I go over the day’s happenings with Him and then bring up any prayer requests just before bedtime. I really like this cause it feels like I’m talking to a friend over a cup of tea.
- Treat yourself. I like to make a small purchases to celebrate accomplishing a milestone or I’ll treat myself to my favorite dessert (don’t do that too often LOL!). It gives me something to look forward to.
- Smile often. Laugh often. Even the Bible mentions a merry heart does the body good (paraphrasing Proverbs 17:22). It’s important to remain in a happy state and I really try hard to do this no matter what’s going on.
- Be thankful. Think of all the blessings we have! Surely we have many things to be grateful for and when I focus on how good God has been to me, I don’t see the problems so much and I’m more calm.
- Remind yourself who you are. We are wonderfully and beautifully made by God and He has given each of us a measure of faith. When I focus on that He made me and loves me and is working with me everyday, it surely takes away the pressures I put on myself.
Whatever points above that resonates with you, tweak them to make them work for your lifestyle. Only you know how much stress and pressures you feel so you have to assess your life and find ways to de-stress.
If it’s job stress, it may require delegating some of work tasks to a team member who either has more time or more experience.
If you can’t check off everything on the daily to-do list, extend those tasks to the next day and don’t beat yourself up about it. Celebrate what you did accomplish that day, give yourself a pat on the back!
I believe in doing my best everyday, but things change so if I can’t get it all done in a day or even a week, I don’t sweat it. The most important thing for me is to decrease undue pressure. And, I recommend you take a look at your daily schedule and figure out if there are things that you can make changes to in order to limit the amount of unnecessary stress in your life.
Can’t say it enough that mental health is as important as the physical. Don’t neglect your emotional state, ever.