Life is hard. No one would argue with that. It can be very stressful at times – even overwhelming – but with the right self-care, it is possible to replace anxiety and stress with relaxation. You might not be able to change what is stressing you out, but you can control how you react and respond to stress. Here’s a guide on how to deal with anxiety and have some practical ways to relieve stress.
Leave the room.
Getting up and removing yourself from the stressful situation can be a huge help. A brief change of scenery can help put some distance between you and your overwhelming feelings. If you’re in class, take a quick walk to the bathroom. Buried in homework? Take 60 seconds to walk to the kitchen for a glass of water.
Pick something small: your desk, your closet, or your to-do list are all great choices. Spend 20 minutes focused on tidying up—it will help you feel in control of something and give you a sense of accomplishment.
Watch something funny.
Putting on a funny show or video will help take your mind off of everything going on for a little bit. And laughter really can be the best medicine! It’s known to reduce mental stress and bring on feelings of relaxation.
Take time to exercise and rest.
I’m sure you’ve heard many times that exercise and rest are key to your health. It’s true! Being active helps reduces stress. Taking care of yourself is important in helping you manage both stress and anxiety. Try a 20-minute power walk each morning or take 20-minute power naps to boost creativity and elevate your mood. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and try to clear your thoughts for just a minute or two. You’ll be surprised how much it helps address stressful moments.
Write it out.
When your feelings start to bubble up and get overwhelming, putting them on paper can help you untangle them. Try a stream of consciousness exercise: 10 minutes of writing down all your thoughts without hesitating. Or make a list of things stressing you out—seeing them reduced to bullet points can help you think more clearly.
Make time for things you enjoy.
When we make time for ourselves it’s a great mental and emotional reset. Practice a hobby that you already love – knitting, cooking, reading a good book. Set aside some just me-time, like going on an ice cream outing by yourself. And don’t forget to schedule an occasional night out with friends or family. Quality time together can help relieve stress and remind you that you’re not alone.
Talk it out.
Sometimes when we’re stressed, everything little problem seems like a big deal. Talking to a friend, parent, teacher, coach, or someone else you trust can help you get out of your own head and see things from a different point of view. Horizon Health Care’s behavioral health team is here for you when you need a listening ear or a shoulder of support.