Things That Help Me To De-Stress

De-stressing after a long day at work or when you're feeling particularly tense is so important. We all have times where we feel snowed under or there's just too much on our plate, and we end up frustrated and feeling like pulling our hair out. I'll be the first to admit that this happens to me all too often. I have such a bad habit of making a mountain out of a molehill and getting myself in a tizzy, but I have a few things that I can do to help me calm down. These things also work when I'm anxious or restless!

Going for a walk - this seems like such a small thing, but seriously, going for a walk really helps to soothe my frustrations. I'm so lucky that I live a 5 minute walk away from a really beautiful park, so I can take in the scenery and the sunshine, and feel a heck of a lot better.

Listening to music - I know that this is an obvious one, but it has actually been scientifically proven! Listening to music you love floods your brain with crazy happy neurochemicals like dopamine, so whether it's cranking up my fave CD in the car after work or playing something mellow while at home, listening to music makes a big difference to my mood. An album that works like no other for me is The Very Best Of Fleetwood Mac - it's impossible to listen to this without feeling a million times better!

Listening to podcasts - this is on the same wavelength as the music thing, but I'm really into podcasts at the minute, and I find that listening to someone talk really settles my nerves. I'm currently listening to the Banging Book Club archives, but if anyone has any suggestions of what I should listen to, please let me know!

Doing yoga - I've been into yoga for around two years now, and while I'm not a pro or anything, I find that a session can help me to relax, as well as feel good about my body. I mainly do yoga as a form of exercise to lose weight and tone my body, but if I'm feeling stressed, getting on the mat for some gentle stretches (nothing that will make me feel sweaty and gross) can boost my mood like nothing else. 
Cross-stitching - a little known fact about me is that I love to cross-stitch and have done since I was in secondary school. It's the perfect craft for allowing me to be creative whilst teaching me to be patient and de-tangling all the thoughts in my head. I also find it a little bit addictive - I've been creating a magical creatures calendar for months and I've only just managed to finish the March block, but I can't stop thinking about moving on to April!

Writing - whether it's tip-tapping on my laptop or scrawling in a notebook, writing definitely helps to make me less anxious. It's so therapeutic to sit down and get all the fluff out of my head on to (digital) paper, whether it makes it on to my blog or not. I'm determined to get back into creative writing - I used to be so into it, particularly in the third year of my degree. I had so many ideas for writing projects, but they never came into being! I've had the bare bones of a story in my head for so long now, and I'm really eager to make something of it - this may be something I start on the next time my mood is particularly erratic.

Drawing or using watercolours - watercolour pencils are something that's totally new to me, but I absolutely love using them. I keep most of my 'artwork' stuff private because I feel a lot more confident about my writing and baking, but it's something that I really love to do to calm my mind. I also love to draw, both on paper and digitally with my graphics tablet, but again, it's something that I tend to keep to myself. Maybe one day I'll show all of my arty bits and bobs on here!

Baking - I feel like this will come as no surprise, but baking is pretty much my one true love and it's one of my favourite things to do to help me unwind. It's particularly great at releasing my tensions if I bake something that I know I'm good at, like cookies or brownies, but I also find that being creative with flavours or trying something new can really improve my mood too.

Having a chat and a cry - a problem shared is a problem halved, as the saying goes, so actually speaking my issues out loud with someone that I trust is probably the best thing that I can do for my brain. 9 times out of 10, it's my boyfriend that gets to hear about all the going on in my head, which usually results in me having a cry and I swear, I always feel loads better afterwards. Just releasing all of the emotions and letting them tidal wave out of my mind is kind of difficult to do, but I know that it really lifts my mood in the end.

So as I said, I think that being able to de-stress and let go of any tension is so important, and these are the things that I've found work really well for me. They've really helped me mentally, as well as physically, so I'd definitely recommend trying some out if you're looking for new ways to unwind. I'd love to know how you calm yourself down when you're stressed, anxious or frustrated!


10 comments

  1. It's lovely that you can walk on over to a park and de-stress.
    Also, a chat and a good ol' cry definitely does the trick for me!

    Steph

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    1. It's so great to have nearby! It has a massive duck pond and everything! Sometimes, a good chat and a cry is the only thing that'll work for me, even when I'm trying to be a tough cookie x

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  2. Okay so your cross-stitching is AMAZING! I have always wanted to try it, must get into it :) Also im in love with baking too, it's just im on a diet at the mo so im trying not to do it- I feel like all of these things are really calming- I need them in my life as when I'm stressed I just tend to sit and watch TV (mainly reality TV) and that really doesn't help!

    M x

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    1. Ahh thank you so much! I'm definitely not a pro and it takes me WAAAY longer than it should, but I bloody love it. You'll have to give it a go - get a couple of little kits! Watching reality TV can be great. It's a bit of escapism and gives you the chance to get out of your own head! x

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  3. I love doing almost all of these things whenever I find myself feeling stressed or overwhelmed! Particularly, writing, venting/crying, and listening to podcasts. One of my favorite favorite ways to destress is also watching old episodes of TV shows that I love, like "Arrested Development", "The Office", or "Friday Night Lights". Those shows give me life! So, I enjoy going back to them to feel refreshed and revitalized and maybe to even indulge in a bit of escapism. Great post boo!

    www.theindiebyline.com

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    1. "Venting" is the word I was looking for! I haven't actually heard of "Friday Night Lights" but I'm definitely going to have to have a look into. Watching old episodes sounds like a great idea though, especially if you've got a favourite one that you can just get lost in x

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  4. Great post! It's so hard for me to get out of bed when I'm stressed, but forcing myself to get up and distract myself always really helps. These are great ideas, thanks!

    Bryn
    Diaryofabryncess.com

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    1. I know exactly how you feel, but finding some little distractions can always help, even if you do them from the comfort of your bed! x

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  5. HELL TO THE YEAH for Fleetwood Mac! What an excellent choice! Also, if you ever need to de-stress you HAVE to listen to Jules and Sarah the Podcast. I utterly ADORE them and they really helped me through a bad break-up last year. They're gorgeous.
    Michelle @ The Unfinished Bookshelf

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    1. Fleetwood Mac are just great, aren't they?! They're so chilled, yet the songs are so catchy! Ooooh, I'm definitely going to have to check out that podcast. Thank you for the recommendation! x

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