What Is Stress?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, stress can be defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable. Reading this definition of stress on the Mental Health Foundation website gets to the point on the topic at hand.
People deal with stress in a variety of ways. It can be anything like dealing with financial troubles, rocky relationships, working too much, losing a job, worrying about the well-being of someone else because of struggles they are facing, and anything else that feels like it can be too much to handle.
However, not all stress can come from something negative. It can also be due to something positive you have going on in your everyday life. It can be anything like planning a wedding, trying to find a new home you want to live in, trying to find a nice outfit to buy and/or wear for a special event, trying to finish Christmas shopping, etc.
Stress can come in many forms in which we can feel overwhelmed and unable to handle the tasks we must complete. It can be hard and you feel a lot of pressure as to how you can handle it and how to keep the situations under control.
My Personal Input on Stress
I personally have been dealing with a lot of stress lately and I feel like I can relate to all of you out there. I mentioned that stress can derive from something positive. Well, some of my stress is due to planning a wedding for my fiance and myself, and we’re also house hunting, but it’s been a bit difficult because as soon as we find something we like, it already has a contract on it not long after being listed. But one of the many things that are helping me stay positive is that there is always a bright side and knowing that God is in control assures me that no matter what, everything will eventually be okay.
The world is also in the middle of a pandemic right now. Aside from the sources of my own stress that I mentioned I was dealing with, another thing that I have been dealing with that is very stressful is the Coronavirus Pandemic. In fact, the whole world is dealing with it and to all of you reading this, I know that this pandemic has been stressful for all of you as well.
When coming into the new year and new decade, I never in a million years would think that we would be living as if we were in an apocalypse. And living in a world that feels like an apocalypse is beyond stressful and I feel like I have been dealing with more stress than I ever thought I would in my whole life.
This pandemic will have to end eventually, but pandemic or no pandemic, there will always be some form of stress that we constantly have to deal with, whether if it’s physical or emotional. Hopefully, the 11 ways I’m listing here on this post on how to handle stress will be beneficial enough to not only help you handle stress but to be able to manage it as well.
1. Get Some Sun and Air
This is crucial. I have mentioned in a previous post about the importance of getting some sun and fresh air. As I stated in that post, sunlight is a great source of vitamin D. Also, when you’re feeling stressed, receiving some sunlight can help reduce that feeling and provide you with a sense of clarity and that can make one feel all sorts of positive vibes.
It’s also a way for you to clear your head and your mind. When you do that, you are taking good care of yourself because you are eliminating any stress and tension that you are feeling not only emotionally, but physically as well.
Fresh air is also helpful too. It’s refreshing (no pun intended). When getting some fresh air, you are feeling it hit your body and it can make you feel like you’re recharging.
Now the sun doesn’t have to be completely out for you to go outside and get some fresh air. It can be a bit cloudy as long as it doesn’t look like a forecast of rain is coming in. Not to mention if it is a little breezy, not cold but like a cool or warm breeze, that’s also something to be outside to experience as well because feeling a rush of wind or a soft breeze can give you that kick of rejuvenation you need when you feel worn out and stressed.
2. Be Social
Being social is important when you’re feeling stressed. I recommend being social with your best friend(s) or a relative you’re close to because when you feel stressed, you can confide in them about the amount of stress you are feeling so they can help you if it is some advice, moral support, or a shoulder you feel like you need to cry on.
Confiding in someone and being socially active can help you out a lot if you are feeling stress. Doing so can prevent you from keeping those negative emotions bottled up inside, and if you keep that negativity bottled up inside while dealing with so much stress, it can probably make you explode and result in feeling something that’s a lot more than stressed. And keeping anything bottled up for too long and not letting it out is also not very healthy. So being social can also help you to stay sane and not affect your physical and mental well-being in a way that it shouldn’t.
So with being social in mind, you can do this by having a nice lunch or dinner, go and get some ice cream, or just visit one another and talk about it on the back porch while having some coffee, tea, or any type of drink of your choice (not meaning alcohol). I say this because if you can talk while you go and get something to eat or having a nice cup of coffee or even a milkshake, having something good to eat and drink can also give you a nice form of comfort while being social with your company.
Although there is a pandemic going on where we have to social distance, if any of you are worried about being near someone when you need them, an option you can try as an alternative to visiting them can be to give them a phone call. You can text that person, or you can call and face-time with each other. Either way, whatever you are comfortable with, as long as you socialize with someone – either in person or via phone – it can do wonders by eliminating overwhelming feelings you are enduring.
Exercise is also great for when you feel stressed out. When exercising, you get your heart-rate up and pumping, like an adrenaline rush. As you exercise, you feel uplifted like a ton of bricks has just been lifted off of your shoulders.
Exercising is perfect for experiencing positive vibes during stressful times and it can make you exhausted physically along with mentally. Going to a gym is obviously a good place to go if you want to get some exercise, but since a pandemic is on the rise, there are alternatives to take to get some exercise.
For example, go for a walk outside around your neighborhood or around your own yard. If you have anything in your house like a treadmill or an elliptical of some sort, get on it and work out. You can also go outdoors and go for a hike at a park, or if you have a bicycle, ride through or neighborhood or your favorite trails and/or paths. Also, rollerblading is good exercise too. If you have a pair of rollerblades, put them on and skate on some flat-leveled ground.
Depending on what you like to do in the form of exercise, whatever your favorite thing is to do that will definitely give you some exercise, such as jogging, walking, riding a bike, do it because it will get your heart pumping and get you energized. It will also help you clear your mind to where you can think clearly without stress overwhelming your mind and your body.
4. Listen To Some Chill Music
When stress feels consuming, play your favorite songs to calm down your mind. The best type of chill music to play during stressful moments can be anything that relays a positive message; basically, anything that’s not sad or has some good beats to it.
For instance, when I feel those stressful moments, I play some music from my favorite bands. My top favorite bands are Flordia Georgia Line and The Goo Goo Dolls. I will listen to some songs like Sun Daze and Confession by Flordia Georgia Line along with others, and from The Goo Goo Dolls, I will play songs like Iris, Slide, Let Love In, and so much more.
So at the moment when you feel stress weighing on your shoulders, play some of your favorite songs and the bands you love to listen to so the lyrics and the beats of the music can provide you with the relief you need to feel in order to relax and decrease the stress.
5. Read a Book
Reading can do wonders during stressful times. From the perspective of a writer, I say that reading a book from your favorite genre can provide a lot of help for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Opening a book to read in a quiet space can help you to stay calm and focused on the pages you’re reading.
When you’re reading a book, it opens up your mind and allows you to use your imagination, like watching a movie in your head. For instance, if you’re reading a popular book that’s part of a best-selling series, you would probably imagine yourself in the world of the book that was created by its author.
There have been times I have read a book (and comic books, too) that was so good I think it should be turned into a movie. Have any of you book worms out there felt that way after reading a good book? I know I have. In fact, there have been times when I would read my favorite books as a kid, I would picture which famous actor/actress would be good at portraying a character in the books I would read.
Basically, the point I’m trying to make is that when you read a book, you’re provided with a means of escape from what’s going on around you and having your mind be entertained by the book you are reading. Reading a good book is a great way to escape reality for a bit to be entertained by a good story. It’s very therapeutic during a stress-filled time. Also, when you get done reading that good book, you’ll feel better by being less worried and anxious about what you’re going through.
So with that being said, if you want to escape your stressful reality for a little bit and fill your mind with something positive, fun, and entertaining, pick up a book you want to read (or your favorite book to read again), and just entertain yourself with something you enjoy reading. Either way, doing this can help you in many ways.
6. Watch Some Funny Videos
Laughter always delivers positive vibes. So, if you want to have some laughs to reduce your stress, watch some funny videos. You can find all sorts of funny videos on Youtube and I believe you can also find them on TikTok and any other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
These funny videos can be anything like hilarious pet videos, someone pulling a prank on another person, people trying to do a stunt but hilariously fail, a favorite scene from a comedy movie, or even a funny video you or someone you know personally created.
Some videos I like to watch when I want to laugh my butt off are of Cashew the Frenchie. Cashew the Frenchie is a Youtube channel where this girl will make some hilarious videos with her French Bulldog, Cashew. Cashew will do some funny things, usually, his human mom will have conversations with him, and some result in funny arguments over anything involving food or him wanting to do something like chew on his sister’s bone (Cashew has a sister named Mel B and she’s a French Bulldog too).
Whatever you want to watch in the terms of a funny video you like to watch, do that. Because when you watch some funny clips – if it is one you have seen before or some you’re browsing because you want to find something funny that you haven’t seen yet – you will feel like a lot of weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
You will also feel less tense and more like you have loosened up a lot after watching some funny videos. So, if you want to minimize some stress and not feel so uptight, do what I have recommended here at number 6.
7. Watch A Movie With Popcorn and/or Snacks
Does anyone love to just chill by watching a movie with some popcorn or some type of snacks to munch on? If so, then I highly recommend putting on a movie and have some popcorn and/or snacks while you’re at it.
Watching a good movie is always relaxing, especially if you are dealing with stress. You can put in your favorite movie or watch one that you haven’t seen but have been meaning to watch. And, instead of just sitting on the vouch or in a recliner, you can munch on your favorite food as well.
When you watch a movie, eating popcorn or your favorite snack or even your favorite candy can do wonders if you feel stressed out. You begin to feel more comfortable with what is going on and you can ease up some and not be so tense.
Also, you don’t have to watch a movie and eat alone. You can have someone join you like your significant other, your best friend(s), or even some relatives you love to hang out with. And while all of you are watching a movie, you all can have some enjoyment with each other’s company and be a shoulder for one another to lean on just in case they might be feeling some form of stress as well.
8. Animal Therapy
If any of you love animals, I suggest getting some animal therapy to reduce the stress. Animals are unique creatures that have a way to make us feel better and to be grateful for their existence. So if you have a pet dog or a cat, show them some love because they experience emotions too. In fact, they can probably pick up on your emotions so showing them some love and attention to show them that you are alright can do wonders for them, too.
Now if you don’t have any pets, you can watch some puppy or cat videos on Youtube. I mentioned earlier in this post that I like to watch some videos of Cashew the Frenchie on Youtube, but I also like to watch other videos, so when I want some animal therapy, I’ll look at puppy videos with puppies and dogs interacting with other dogs and cats, and even with their owners. I will also look up cat videos as well because cats can do some cute and funny things as well.
So if you have a pet, give them some love because they need all the attention we can give them and they really can make you feel better. Now if you don’t have a pet, I highly recommend watching some cute puppy and cat videos. Believe me when I tell you that one and/or both of these options here at number 8 will work wonders for feeling stressed.
ALSO: In a recent post, I have talked about animal therapy and how it can have a positive impact called 10 Things to do to Stay Hopeful During A Pandemic
9. Get Some Art Therapy
Last but not least on this list is art therapy. This is another form of therapy that can help reduce stress and help you handle the pressure it can have. You can get some art therapy in a variety of ways.
One way to do it is to color in a coloring book. I know some of you may think that coloring books are for kids but there are coloring books for adults as well. You can get them at your local arts and crafts store or even a convenience store.
Another option is to do a sketch or paint something random on a poster or a canvas board. Doing a sketch with colored pencils or painting is very relaxing, and you don’t have to be a skilled professional artist to get some art therapy.
However you want to do a project involving arts and crafts in the form of art therapy, do it to your heart’s content because it is very relaxing and can soothe over and amount of stress you are being pressured with.
ALSO: In my post, 10 Things to do to Stay Hopeful During A Pandemic, I have talked about Art Therapy and how it can be used to help remain hopeful. I also have another post describing the benefits of art therapy and how it can be impactful
So in conclusion, I want to say that stress is definitely a negative feeling when we have it. It can wear you down physically and emotionally to where it can feel unbearable.
So to keep your own state of mind and personal well-being in check, make sure that you take care of yourself because stress can have various ways to impact you with negative results. I also hope that my list of things to do to handle stress will help all of you out as well, and take some time for yourselves and just let the stress melt away.
Also, feel free to check out this post fellow blogger, Melissa Inferrera, has on her blog, Music Mind and Soul
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