Stress and tension are part of our lives and we deal with it everyday. I think now more than ever, there’s a strong need to take better care of our mental side. I speak for myself here but my jobs are both stressful even when I’m doing tasks I love. I work primarily by deadlines and I feel high stress at times to meet them + fulfill daily/weekly/monthly goals.
Because we’re all so busy with work, family, and social, it’s really easy to feel overwhelmed and just plain wiped out! Recently, I made some drastic changes to my lifestyle that has really helped me release tension and feel better. Today, I’m sharing what I did. Now before I get to my list, let me qualify myself…I’m not a lifestyle coach nor versed or educated in that field. I’m only sharing what I’ve done as an example. You may like some of my tips and some may not apply and I can’t guarantee that you’ll feel better if you try my ideas. I’m recommending using this list as an example only. You’ll need to tweak it to fit your lifestyle.
15 Tips to Release Tension
- Redesigned my office space. I’ve mentioned this previous posts that I work in a very small space. There’s hardly room to turn around so organizing my stuff is essential. The first thing I had to do was de-clutter. I sold some of my art supplies and donated the rest, also gave away clothes and accessories that I wasn’t wearing. I then cleared off my supplies from my desk so that when I come in to work, I don’t have a bunch of piles waiting for me.
a. Changed my color scheme. I love neutrals (cream, white, white marble, light pastels, rose gold, pale pink, green, and blues, etc.) and so I wanted everything white. It is a clean color and makes me feel happy. So I bought a white fur rug and pillow. I LOVE THEM! Makes me feel like I live in a palace. I also hung up 2 sets of white curtains on both corners of the room to give the illusion of space. I bought white tablecloths that have a vintage pattern for my desks and downsized my computer desk. My computer is white so I wanted the stand it sits on to be white too. I love white marble so my computer/lamp stands, giant mouse pad, can that houses my knitting needles, iPad cover and my flowers all have that design.b. I think it’s important to surround yourself with your favorite color. So even with outfits that hang on my door as I plan them out beforehand are light colors. Even when I crochet and knit, I pick the color yarns I love. With only the essentials around me in my office, it’s easier to cool and I’m not tripping over things.
- Exercise. Cannot stress this enough. Walking for me is vital and it’s my safe place. I get a change of scenery and I use it as my prayer time. I’m alone with The Lord and my thoughts and this time refreshes me to start my day. I also do upper body exercises which helps tone my arms. Overall, I have more energy.
- Gaming. I grew up playing games with my mother and brother so I like to play on my iPad after my day is over. It relaxes me and it’s fun after a long day of phone calls, emails, deadlines and interruptions.
- Journaling. For me, having a journal is a lifesaver. I write in mine almost everyday. Writing is very viable way to release tension as you can write about how you feel, how your day went. Ladies, we need to a safe way to let go of our emotions especially the negative ones.
- Take a bath. When was the last time you soaked in the bathtub? I’m embarrassed to answer this for myself! I’ve been a shower girl for the most part, why? Cause it’s faster. But, I do know how relaxing it is to put my favorite milk bath in the tub and go soak in it. I’m too much in a rush and that adds tension. I remember my mom taking a bath every single night.
- Eat well. It’s a fact that eating the wrong kinds of things causes many problems, not just with weight gain but can help cause chronic fatigue, irritability, depression, and even anger. When I changed my diet to less sugar and carbs, I saw an almost immediate change in my mind and body.
- Make sure to get plenty of sleep. This is a work in progress for me cause I am a night owl. But, I try to force myself to turn in no later than midnight (ok, 1 AM!). Again this is a work in progress for me. Still, our bodies need downtime, burning the midnight oil too many days will cause our immune systems to get weak and then Mr. Cold will come for a visit.
- Go outside. Sometimes in the middle of a day I go out and look at flowers. I love them and on a bright cloudy day I break out my camera or use my phone to take some pics. Don’t overlook nature. God created these beautiful scenes for us to enjoy.
- Get a pet. It’s a fact that having a pet releases not only tension but adds so much joy and pleasure to our lives. Pets are family.
- Spend quality time with family and friends. I love to go out to breakfast or lunch with hubby. We get a chance to talk while enjoying a great meal and time together. Time moves so fast and I’m realizing how important it is to seize the moments we have.
- Spending quality time with The Lord. As a Christian, I know how important it is to have an active prayer life and bible study time. I usually read the daily verse on my app and study it every night around 8 PM.
- Treat yourself to an outing or with a present. I like to make a small purchase sometimes to celebrate an achievement or I’ll treat myself to my favorite dessert (don’t do that too often LOL!), but basically it gives me something to look forward to. Even a three-day weekend away will work wonders!
- Smile often. Laugh often. Even the Bible mentions a merry heart does the body good (paraphrasing Proverbs 17:22). It’s important to remain in a happy state and I really try hard to do this no matter what’s going on.
- Be thankful. Think of all the blessings we have! Surely we have many things to be grateful for and when I focus on how good God has been to me, I don’t see the problems so much and I’m more calm.
- Remind yourself who you are. We are made wonderfully and beautifully by God and He has given each of us a measure of faith. When I focus on that He made me and loves me and is working with me everyday, it surely takes away the pressures I put on myself.
Whichever points I made that resonates with you, try to tweak them for yourself. Only you know how much stress and pressures you feel so you have to assess your life and find ways to de-stress. Sometimes, it may take outsourcing work to someone who has more time or more experience. Sometimes, the to-do list gets extended to the next day. If that’s the case, then so be it.
I believe in doing my best everyday but I know things change so if I can’t check everything off my list, I don’t sweat it. The most important thing for me is not to put undue pressure on myself. And, I highly recommend you don’t either. Adding a mixture of work and play will help reduce excess tensions. Thanks for reading!