Hello lovelies, we’ve made it to the end of another week! This summer seems to be moving so quickly; it’s almost August! Sometimes it’s really mind-blowing how fast the time goes by; in about a month, I’ll be starting another year of college and in just a little over a week, I’ll have been blogging for two months straight!
Even though this summer has consisted of a lot of chilled-out days, I’ve found it quite stressful as well. I’ve had to deal with some problems such as financial aid for school, public transportation (I don’t own a car), job-hunting, and apartment/house hunting.
In the midst of all these stressful events, I decided that it was a priority to find ways to calm myself down when I felt like I was having a bad day.
I think there should be more awareness of mental health and reminders that we all need to take care of ourselves. So here’s some of my thoughts and what I do when I feel a bit down!
When I’m stressed out, I usually just ride it out. I bottle it up inside and try to distract myself with other activities, but I’ve learned how unhealthy that is. Stress affects our body and mind in several ways and it’s counter-productive. If we try to work through stress without dealing with it, we might get even more stressed out.
So how does stress take a toll on us?
1. Stress can upset your digestive system and throw your eating habits off balance (example: choosing to work instead of eating/taking care of yourself; all-nighters).
2. When you’re under stress, your body uses more more energy, which will in turn lead you to becoming more tired because you run out of that energy faster than usual.
3. Stress affects your sleep and immune system; when it comes to short-term effects, stress can actually help you fight off sicknesses, but in the long run, it’ll weaken your immune system and you’ll become susceptible to illnesses.
4. Your body will release adrenaline when you’re stressed, which will tighten up your muscles, increase your breathing rate, raise your blood pressure, and increase the chance of events such as a heart attack because your respiratory and cardiovascular systems are working too hard to keep up with you.
Super bad, right? And that’s not even everything that stress does to us.
This is why we need to take care of ourselves; stress takes such a negative toll on our bodies. In a world where we’re constantly on the go and we measure our worth by how busy we are and how much we can get done in a day, we don’t leave much time for ourselves to unwind and relax. Here are some ways to stress less and feel a little better about ourselves because we are just as important as everyone else and everything else that needs to get done.
What are my favorite ways to relieve stress?
1. Doing things on my own
If I feel really stressed out, doing things by myself helps so much. My favorite memories of this summer so far are the times where I took the bus after work to Barnes & Noble to look at books and magazines, bought myself a green tea frappuccino, or browsed through an Ulta by myself.
I find it so relaxing when I don’t have to keep up a conversation with anyone and I can take my time doing what I want. And it’s such a stress reliever; doing things by yourself might not be everyone’s favorite way of relaxing, but it is for me.
2. Tea time
One of the things mentioned above is trying tea. I have definitely found this to be extremely relaxing for me; I love a good cup of tea before bed because the warmth just seems to relax my muscles and my mind. I would highly recommend trying it out if you find it hard to relax at night.
3. Color it in.
One of my new favorite hobbies as of late is coloring. I bought an adult coloring book from Barnes & Noble because I had heard that coloring can reduce stress. The book I bought has beautiful intricate illustrations of animals and I really like using it because it forces you to concentrate on the drawing. I think I’m going to do a post solely on this next week, so be on the lookout for that!
4. Work it out.
Working out has become a stress reliever for me recently. Since you have to pay to use the gym at my university during the summer, I finally caved and bought the membership/pass because I felt like I needed to exercise and get rid of my stress. I’ve definitely been enjoying my workouts and as an added bonus, I get to burn some calories and tone my body too!
5. Bring on the heat.
Last summer, I discovered the magic of hot tubs. I used to despise the idea of a hot tub or jacuzzi because I don’t like hot things in general. But the first time I ever stepped into one, I swear it was life-changing.
At first, I felt like my body was burning and I wanted to jump out, but once I submerged my back and shoulders into the water, I felt my muscles completely relax and it was amazing. I try not to use hot tubs too often though because I find I only feel the maximum effect every once in a while.
6. Watch a movie.
I usually don’t watch movies, but it’s something I’ve been trying to do lately. Like books, I feel like movies can take you to another world for a couple hours and it’s nice to escape sometimes.
7. Sing along to everything.
I get anxiety when I drive, so I tend to play music in the car and sing along to it. Singing in general helps me with stress, so I love singing when I need to relax.
8. “Stressed spelled backwards is desserts.”
Whoever realized that is a genius. Yes, having your favorite foods is okay when you’re stressed. My favorite dessert hands down would have to be ice cream. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth to be honest but ice cream is something I could eat all the time.
So that’s how I relieve stress and hopefully this post is helpful. It’s normal to get stressed out from time to time, but what’s important is to deal with it and not leave it on the back burner because what you’re really doing then is putting yourself on the back burner. We have to take care of ourselves first before we can take care of anyone or anything else. Let me know in the comments below what you do if you’re feeling stressed; I would love to read them.
Thank you so much to everyone who’s stopped by my blog in general; it means a lot to me. I’ll see you lovelies next week. ♥