Life can be so stressful. I know I’ve had many times where I just want to pull my hair out because things feel like they’re spiraling out of control. I’ve had many times where I felt so confused and so overwhelmed that I just wanted to curl up in a ball and sleep for days on end, and forget that I had any kind of priorities or deadlines.
It’s at those times in life that I have to stop, take a deep breath, and remind myself that everything’s going to be okay. It’s at those times that I have to put my deadlines on hold and focus on getting myself back together as the number one priority.
This blog is about organization–and while organizing your closet or your backpack is important, taking time to declutter your thoughts is even more important. That’s what this post is going to focus on–taking the time to relax and de-stress when your world feels like it’s closing in.
1. Listen to music
This is always my number one tip for just about anything. I couldn’t survive without music. Especially when I’m stressed. If I find myself getting too overwhelmed, I immediately put in my earbuds and turn the volume up. And often, I turn on relaxing music, like choral arrangements or classical music. This goes a long way in helping me to wind down. In fact, it would probably be impossible for me to relax without music.
2. Light a candle
I don’t know why, but this tip always works when I’m stressed. When I light a candle, my environment suddenly becomes a relaxing, soothing haven that helps me to come back into focus.
3. Go for a walk
Walking is a proven method to help regulate moods. If I’m ever feeling grumpy or uptight, I usually go for a walk to help me burn off some of that tension. Often I find that I come back from the walk in a much better frame of mind.
Yes, stretch. Stretching, first of all, helps get your mind off of what’s making you stressed/angry/worried. It doesn’t have to be complicated yoga stretches. It could be as simple as touching your toes. But taking those five minutes to just stretch and focus on something else helps restart your mind and put things back into focus.
5. Take a hot shower/bath
If you’re stressed, chances are you’re also really tense. A hot shower or bath will help to relax your muscles. It will also help to clear your mind and give your brain time to reset and rethink about the situation that is making you stressed or tense in the first place.
Grab a journal. Open up an empty document on your laptop. Use the Notes app on your phone. Doesn’t matter where–just start writing about what is bothering you. Even better, psychology says that writing something down on a piece of paper, then crumpling it up and throwing it away tells your brain that the problem is solved. So, for example, if you’re angry about a situation with a friend, write about what’s making you mad. Then crumple that paper up and throw it away. The physical act of throwing it away will make your brain release those negative feelings. Weird? Yes. But it works.
7. Read a book
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of time to just sit down and read a book. However, sometimes I just have to clear a space in my calendar to take time and escape into someone else’s world through the pages of a good book. When I put down the book, I find that the situation I was so stressed about wasn’t actually that bad. Reading a book helps distract your mind and engage your thoughts somewhere other than on the problem at hand.
(The book I’m reading right now- Just Jane by William Lavender.)
8. Get a good night’s rest
If you’re tired, everything is going to look overwhelming and terrible. Your life will seem like the worse mess you’ve ever encountered. And you will have no idea how to put it back together.
So put down the phone. (I know. I struggle with that too) Take some melatonin or drink some tea to help relax your mind, then go lay down and try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
It doesn’t have to be hard.
Some people will tell you that you have to spend lots of time and money to find the perfect way to de-stress and relax. However, it doesn’t need to be complicated, and it definitely doesn’t have to cost you anything. We all get stressed, and these are some free and easy ways to de-clutter your mind when it all just gets to be too much.
So tell me–what are your favorite ways for relaxing and uncluttering your mind? I would love to hear your input!
One important way that I forgot to mention is reading or memorizing a Bible verse. It doesn’t have to be a whole chapter- it can even just be a phrase of Scripture that you can commit to memory and recite when you’re stressed. I know that doing this helps to get my mind off of my problems and onto something greater than myself– becoming more like Christ. This is another important step in calming down and focusing on what’s really important!
♦ Xo ~ Kristel ♦