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10 Ways to De-Stress

Did you know we actually need stress? There’s good stress—eustress—and there’s bad stress—distress. You need to be put under stress to get stuff done; without stress, we wouldn’t be motivated. With enough stress, we have ambition and desire without anxiety or procrastination. Distress is when there’s too much pressure to do something and it causes anxiety. With our busy lives, it’s easy to get stressed out. November 1st is National Stress Awareness Day—this calls for a de-stress day! Here’s 10 ways to reduce stress.

1. First things first, create a checklist. Knowing what you need to accomplish for the rest of the week helps with managing your precious time. I like to start out with “Create a checklist” and then cross it off right way. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Too bad it isn’t that easy.

2. Get in the right mindset with a solo dance party! Play your fav tunes, grab your microphone (hairbrush), and shake it in the mirror. Proven to boost your mood and energy.

3. Toward the end of the day, it’s easy to forget to eat. Depending on your appetite, eat a meal or a snack. Take your time. Don’t eat sugary or salty foods as those are things we tend to reach for when we are stressed, making things worse.

4. Exercise is a great way to free your mind and boost your energy. Take a walk around the block or bike in a park. Stay inside and try out yoga poses, focusing on your breathing and stretching. Breathe in the air and use this time to pump blood throughout your whole body, including the brain.

5. Another way to take a break is coloring. Sometimes all you need is a brain break—no, social media doesn’t count. Bonus points if you can draw something funny.

6. You’re a step ahead if you made yourself laugh from inappropriate drawings. Mayo Clinic says, “A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.” Look up funny videos on YouTube or listen to your favorite comedian.  

7. Wash away the worries with a steamy shower. Soak in the fresh scents and wipe your mind clean before bed.

8. Sometimes after a long day, a shower seems like a chore. Spruce up your evening with a bubble bath and a much-needed pamper routine.

9. Have somewhere to be? Leave 10 minutes early and take the long way. Blast music and belt your voice. Let out those nervous jitters, that built-up anger, or your tucked-away feelings.

10.  If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed and it’s hard to be optimistic, try calling up a friend or family member. Talk to someone you turn to for advice, someone who makes you laugh, or maybe someone who simply listens to your complaints. Let out whatever weight is on your shoulders.

Think about how much you’ve accomplished this day, week, or month. Now think about how you’ll make it through the next days, weeks, and months. I can’t stress enough how important it is to take time for yourself! Caring for yourself is just as important as taking care of your daily duties. Rejuvenate your whole self, body, and brain – thoroughly. Not only do you need this rebooting time, you deserve it.

Gretchen is a junior at Winona State University majoring in Health Ed and Phy Ed with minors in Adaptive PE and Adventure Ed! She enjoys all things outdoors, she's a peanut butter fanatic, and Proverbs 31:26 is her favorite Bible verse. Gretchen is an RA in the resident halls and a Small Group Leader for a campus ministry, and she enjoys all the Lord equips her to do!
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