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6 Ways to De-Stress When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

July 3, 2017

stressed, overwhelmed, stress, health

Do you ever feel so stressed out by your daily life that you can’t seem to unwind, even when you have a day off? That’s not exactly a recipe for happiness, which is more problematic than it sounds. The American Psychological Association notes stress can cause negativity in your life by making whatever troubles you’re experiencing even worse.


Though a stress-free life is impossible, there are always ways to help reduce it. The next time you have a day to yourself, try one of these six ways to de-stress.

1. Spend your day outside

For those whose work week means sitting at a desk or getting things done in an office, heading outside on a free day is a great idea. According to Harvard Health Publications, spending time in the light often lifts your mood. The story went on to highlight research suggesting exercising outside can increase mental health and boost your self-esteem. If you’re feeling stressed and need to calm your mind, detach from your work world on your next day off by going to the park or setting out on a bike ride. And you can score the benefits even during the week by heading out for a walk during your lunch break.

2. Get lost in a bookstore and in a good book

According to the University of Minnesota, a 2009 study from the University of Sussex found stress levels may decrease by as much as 68% just from reading. There’s also something to be said about taking the time to peruse a bookstore without knowing what you’re actually looking for. If you haven’t read in a while, taking a trip to find a good book and getting lost in a new story could help you unwind.

3. Surround yourself with great company

Spending time with good friends is always a great option if you need to reduce stress. Mayo Clinic says surrounding yourself with a network of people who make you feel secure gives you a sense of belonging that can help decrease stress levels. Cleveland Clinic also mentions research suggests having good friends not only helps reduce stress and calm you down, but that maintaining this socialization increases longevity and quality of life.

4. Get creative

According to a 2008 study published in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy, creating art may help ease stress. The author thinks this may be the result of the combination of enthusiastic emotion and feeling satisfied by making something new. If you want to try using art as a form of stress relief, start a project on your next day off that will allow you to create something. Whether it’s building a shelf or redecorating a room, choose something you want to make to get your creative juices flowing.

5. Bring a recipe to life

Another way to be creative without any paint or fancy tools is by whipping something up in the kitchen. According to The Wall Street Journal, cooking is a technique that’s used by therapists to help people who have anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. Cooking helps people focus on what they’re creating rather than whatever else is going on in their minds. Not only is it personally rewarding, but it also brings positive thoughts if you know that whatever you’re making in the kitchen will make someone else happy. Psychology Today also mentions the idea that you have the freedom to vary from the recipe can be just as rewarding as the food itself.

6. Try a new workout class

Physical activity can benefit your mind just as much as your body. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says exercise is a great way to maintain mental health and reduce stress. When you exercise, it boosts your energy, reduces fatigue, and helps improve concentration. If you don’t already have a regular routine or if you’re having trouble finding something you can stick to, then try a new workout class. Today’s options are pretty much endless. Even if you don’t end up liking the one you try, you still burned some calories, and there’s nothing stopping you from choosing a different one next time.

Article courtesy of Sarah Kaye Santos for The Cheat Sheet.

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