Stress Relief Ideas: Pressing Pause on a Never Ending Cycle
Sure, it’s easy for someone to tell you to relax. “Just relax!” they say. “Don’t worry about it!” They say it as if it’s so simple, don’t they? Maybe it is simple… for them. Maybe it is easy to control… for them. But what about people like you and me? What about the people who have trouble dealing with their stress, their nerves, their worries?
When you’re the one dealing with stress, and everyone deals with stress in their own way, it can feel as if you have no power over the way you’re feeling and the way your body is reacting. It can feel like a fight you’re not meant to win. And it can be discouraging and exhausting.
We’ll start small. Well, maybe to you it doesn’t feel so small. Let’s say you’re just nervous for a date, a doctor’s appointment or the first day of school. Your heart is pounding, your mouth’s gone dry, your hands are sweating and clammy. You tell yourself to calm down. Just calm down. There is nothing to be afraid of but still, your body acts as if you are preparing to go into a war zone. You feel helpless. It only makes you feel more nervous the next time it happens. Soon you are nervous about being nervous, and it’s a never ending cycle. You feel as if you are caught in a whirlpool, going around and around again, just trying to keep your head above water.
What if you’re dealing with something bigger? There is something much more stressful going on in your life. You feel behind in your work, you’re having financial issues, you or a close family member has just been diagnosed with an unexpected ailment. These things happen and sometimes they completely blindside you. Or sometimes you find yourself in a situation, and you’re not even sure how you got there in the first place. Maybe all this stress accumulates in the form of panic attacks. And maybe you’re just trying to learn to live with them. Learn to prevent future attacks.
No, this article isn’t going to cure your panic attacks. This article isn’t going to erase all your stress or worries, and it’s probably nothing you haven’t heard before. But I hope this article can at least help you find ways to ease those stress and worries, to help you put yourself at ease. You have to find the right things for you. You have to find the things that work for you. But if you don’t know where to start, these are things that help me whenever I’m feeling especially anxious. Hopefully it will give you an idea of what might work for you!
Lotion and other smell good stuff
If you want a stress relieving lotion, find yourself some calming scented ones such as Lavender, Jasmine, Rosemary or Eucalyptus Oil.
If you’re going out and you don’t want the smell to be too overpowering, just dab a little on your wrists. That way, if you begin to feel nervous, you can smell the lotion and feel its calming effects.
I like Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus and Spearmint body lotion. You can find that here.
Hot Bath & Shower
Sometimes a hot bath or shower is just what we need. It releases tension in the muscles and helps us to sleep better, which may aid those suffering from insomnia. Light a candle, turn on some relaxing music and soak for a while. Use some of the scents I mentioned earlier and incorporate them into your bath with body wash or bath bomb or oil.
There are many medicinal and herbal teas that can help you to curb your anxiety. Think Chamomile with Lavender, Tazo Calm herbal infusion Tea, Peppermint… You can find all these in your local grocery store.
Even just any tea of your choice, or some kind of hot beverage, can do the trick. Hot chocolate with marshmallows. Apple cider. Mulled wine. But I would cut back on the coffee because the caffeine may increase your anxiety and heart rate.
Keeping a Diary/Journal/Scrapbook
Keeping some kind of diary, journal or scrapbook can be very therapeutic. Sometimes you just need to let out how you are feeling, just let it pour out of you, so that it is no longer bottled up inside. Whether it is a nagging problem you feel you can’t open up about to anyone or good news you want to shout out to everyone, it’s just a nice feeling to write it down. You don’t have to be a good writer. Just write whatever comes to your mind. Get it off your chest. Sometimes it quiets your mind and people who suffer from anxiety know that’s a welcome break.
It’s a great way to take your mind off things. Creating some kind of ‘About Me’ page or ‘My Favourite Things’ page with cut out pictures from magazines or old photographs can be a nice distraction.
You can also track your progress this way. You may realise how bad you were feeling last year but this year, you’ve been having less panic attacks. You’ve been going out more. You’ve been laughing more. It is a nice way to look over how far you’ve come. And I promise, you will come a long way.
Music can really make a big difference when you can’t seem to get your mind to stop racing. Try some relaxing ocean waves, a soothing spa soundtrack or a movie soundtrack. Try an artist like Enya, Lisa Gerrard or Miriam Stockley.
Imagine yourself somewhere else. Maybe you are on a beach with white sand and swaying palm trees. Sometimes if you let the music transport you to another place, you begin to feel more at ease.