August 1, 2012

9 de-stressors you can put into action today

Is stress bogging you down? Aside from weighing on your sanity, stress can also weigh on your sobriety. Recent research shows high stress equals a greater likelihood of relapse. But there are simple tips that everyone can implement in their life to help quell the stress.

Here are some top de-stressors to help you breathe, and not strain so much about everyday life.

  1. Get active. Mayo Clinic says virtually any form of exercise and physical activity can act as a stress reliever. Physical activity increases your feel-good endorphins and refocuses your mind on your body's movements, improving your mood and helping the day's irritations fade away. This doesn’t mean you have to be hard-core and head to the gym. Even taking a simply walk or cleaning the house will help.
  2. Don’t go the ATM so much. According to Shape magazine, money worries are a top source of stress for everyone these days, and feeling out of control of that money can make things worse. Limit your cash withdrawals to once a week and it’s a quick, easy way to monitor your spending and rein it in.
  3. Express yourself!  It’s helpful to get what’s bother you off of your chest. Everyday Health suggests talking to people you trust, like friends, family, or co-workers, about what's on your mind. Even if you're not looking for specific advice, it usually feels good just to get your feelings out into the open.
  4. Get manageable with de-cluttering. If you make it your goal to organize and de-clutter a whole house, apartment or even room, it can be overwhelming. You’re setting yourself up for an unreachable goal. Good Housekeeping says choose a small space to organize, such as a junk drawer or dining room table, and you’ll slowly feel better about the space.
  5. Find your personal relaxation technique. It’s always good to relax, and you have to find what works for you. Common relaxation techniques include meditation, mindfulness, tai chi and yoga.
  6. Learn to say no. Being constantly agreeable and trying to do everything will only lead to serious stress. Be clear about your boundaries, and stop trying to please everyone all the time.
  7. Try to get pumped about decaf. Reader’s Digest suggests weaning yourself from caffeine slowly, or you might get a withdrawal headache. An easy way to do it is to subtract a little regular coffee and add some decaf to your morning cup. Over the next couple of weeks, gradually increase the proportion of decaf to regular until you’re drinking all decaf.
  8. Train the alarm clock. Having an unusually stressful day? Go to bed an hour early and in the morning you will feel more rested and may even beat that testy alarm clock. You may even get used to heading to bed early. Always waking up to the blare of the alarm clock is stress in itself.
  9. Know when to put the smart phone down. Yes. You have to stay in touch and get that email from work, but it does not have to be constant. Shape magazine says you can manage your technology stress by setting a regular time to check the phone (say, right after dinner), so you're not constantly disrupting home life to keep tabs on work.
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/

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