5 Tools for Stress Relief

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There’s no pretending that we aren’t living in a stressful time right now. I want to share with you some of my favorite tools for stress relief that have been keeping me sane.

5 Tools for Stress Relief - Stress Relief Tips for Managing during Social Distancing

Right now seems to be a period of stress for many, many people. Even with my own normal routine barely changed, I’ve noticed that I have an underlying feeling of unrest that I’m sure is stemming from current events in the world, and even some reasons specific to my own situation.

Regardless of the cause, we all experience times of stress in our lives. And I’ve learned that when I let that stress build up, it ends up causing more problems- usually with my physical health.

Because of that, I have noticed that there are some things I can do to help relax my mind, which also allows my body to be able to rejuvenate. So here are some of the things that have been working best to ease my stress. And I’d love to hear things that have worked for you too, so please be sure to leave them in the comments to share with others!

Some of these may work well for you, and others may not. The key is to find the things that do work for you, and to build your own stress relief toolbox that you can go to when life gets hard.

Tips for Stress Relief

1. Yoga videos on YouTube.

I love a good live yoga class, but that is pretty much out of the question right now. But there are tons of yoga videos on YouTube. My favorite by far is Yoga with Adriene. Most of the time, it’s hard for me to use a yoga video instead of a live class. But I really like Adriene’s videos and I’m still able to release the tension like I would in a live class. And added bonus, I can choose the length. She’s got classes anywhere from 3 to 60 minutes so you can find something that works in your schedule.

2. Adjusting my planning routine.

This is something I will say over and over again. If your planner is stressing you out, or not working in a way that makes your life function better- change your planning system. This might mean getting a new planner, changing what information you keep in your planner, or even just changing the way you set up and/or decorate your planner.

Think about what you need your planner to keep track of. What features do you use and which are just in the way. If you are not sure where to go next feel free to reach out in the comments or on social media. There’s a beautiful planner community that would love to help you find a system that works for your needs.

I’ve been using an Erin Condren LifePlanner for over a year now. That was the result after many, MANY other planners that didn’t work for me. And while I still love my ECLP, with all the changes going on I realized I wasn’t wanting to plan in the same way anymore. I love my LifePlanner for a weekly overview. I need to be able to see ahead and mentally prepare for things going on later in the week. But it wasn’t working for my to do list. I needed more space to just write anything that came to mind. The stress of the situation was making it nearly impossible for me to process what I needed to do.

To adapt to this new need, I added in a very basic version of a bullet journal. No monthly spread, no weekly spread. In fact, no calendar at all. I still have my LifePlanner for that. What I do have in it are monthly to do lists, weekly to do lists, and daily to do list. And this has been the perfect system for my life during this season.

So if your planner isn’t working, or you find yourself just not wanting to use it. That’s okay. The important thing is to find a system that lets you get all those thoughts out of your head and onto paper. It might even just be a regular journal. It might be the notes in your phone. But it’s downright therapeutic when you find something that works for you.

3. Going for a walk (almost) everyday.

Now hear me out… this isn’t just a repeat of “exercise” by adding walking to the yoga. There is something different that I get out of each one. Because I walk with my Dad, I’m getting the benefit of his company and being able to spend time with him. Also, walking tends to be more aerobic for me. So while I use yoga to release the tension, I use walking more as a way to “spend” the energy that builds up from being inside most of the day. Also, I love the fresh air and sunshine. You know, Vitamin D and all that good stuff.

4. Learning

For me this means studying scriptures and inspiring messages. It helps me to stay grounded and remember what’s important and know that God is in control and hope is not lost. I encourage you to find something that inspires you and motivates you to stay strong and positive.

5. Sleep.

I’m just going to say this (because I know you’ve heard it all a thousand times): I have seen a direct correlation between getting enough sleep and how well I am able to function (both physically and mentally) during the day. Sleep matters.

Bonus: Working towards goals.

Yeah, things are confusing and uncertain and just unsettling. But I don’t want to feel like I slept through this time. And notice that I didn’t say “Setting Goals.” Because setting goals isn’t enough. Making progress on my goals, even if they have to be adapted, is something that is really important in giving me a sense of purpose during this time.

I get it. Everything just feels different right now. Just that alone is enough to cause stress and tension. But there are simple things you can do to find stress relief. Do things to take care of yourself. Feed your mind. Have some fun.

I hope some of these ideas were helpful to you. And please add your ideas in the comments. I’d love to hear what is working for you too.

5 Tools for Stress Relief - Stress Relief Tips for Managing during Social Distancing

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