What Is Stress?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, stress is defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope due to unmanageable pressures. Reading this definition of stress on the Mental Health Foundation website gets to the point on the topic at hand.
People deal with stress in various ways like dealing with financial troubles, rocky relationships, working too much, losing a job, worrying about someone else’s well-being because of struggles they are facing, and anything else that feels like it can be too much to handle.
However, not all stress can come from something negative. It can also be due to something positive in your everyday life. It can be anything like planning a wedding, trying to find a new home you want to live in, trying to find a nice outfit to buy and/or wear for a special event, trying to finish Christmas shopping, etc.
Stress can come in many forms in which we can feel overwhelmed and unable to handle the tasks we must complete. It can be challenging, and you feel a lot of pressure to manage it and keep the situation under control.
My Personal Input on Stress
I have dealt with stress a lot, and I feel like I can relate to all of you out there. Still, one of the many things that are helping me stay positive is that there is always a bright side and knowing that God is in control assures me that everything will eventually be okay no matter what.
When coming into the new year and new decade, I never in a million years would think that we would be living as if we were in an apocalypse. And living in a world that feels like an apocalypse is beyond stressful, and I feel like I have been dealing with more stress than I ever thought I would in my whole life ever since the Coronavirus Pandemic started.
This pandemic will have to end eventually, but pandemic or no pandemic, there will always be some form of stress that we constantly have to deal with, whether it’s physical or emotional. Hopefully, the 11 ways I’m listing here on this post on how to handle stress will be beneficial enough to help you handle stress and manage it as well.
1. Get Some Sun and Air
Getting some sun and fresh air is crucial. I have mentioned the importance of getting some sun and fresh air in a previous post. As I stated in that post, sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D. Also, when you’re feeling stressed, receiving some sunlight can help reduce that feeling and provide you with a sense of clarity that can make you feel all sorts of positive vibes.
It’s also a way for you to clear your head and mind. When you do that, you are taking good care of yourself because you are eliminating any stress and tension that you are feeling emotionally and physically.
Fresh air is also helpful too. It’s refreshing (no pun intended). When getting some fresh air, you feel it hit your body, and it can make you feel like you’re recharging.
Now the sun doesn’t have to be entirely out for you to go outside and get some fresh air. It can be a bit cloudy as long as it doesn’t look like a forecast of rain is coming in. Not to mention if it is a little breezy, not cold but like a cool or warm breeze, that’s also something to be outside to experience as well because feeling a rush of wind or a soft breeze can give you that kick of rejuvenation you need when you feel worn out and stressed.
2. Be Social
Being social is essential when you’re feeling stressed. I recommend being social with your best friend(s) or a relative you’re close to because when you feel stressed, you can confide in them about the amount of stress you are feeling so they can help you if it is some advice, moral support, or a shoulder you feel like you need to cry on.
Confiding in someone and being socially active can help you out if you feel stressed. Doing so can prevent you from keeping those negative emotions bottled up inside. If you keep that negativity bottled up inside while dealing with so much stress, it can probably make you explode and result in feeling something that’s a lot more than stressed. And keeping anything bottled up for too long and not letting it out is also not very healthy. So being social can also help you stay sane and not affect your physical and mental well-being in a way that it shouldn’t.
So with being social in mind, you can do this by having a nice lunch or dinner, going and getting some ice cream, or just visiting one another and talking about it on the back porch while having some coffee, tea, or any drink of your choice (not meaning alcohol). I say this because if you can talk while you go and get something to eat or have a nice cup of coffee or even a milkshake, having something good to eat and drink can also give you an excellent form of comfort while being social with your company.
Although there is a pandemic going on where we have to social distance, if any of you are worried about being near someone when you need them, an option you can try as an alternative to visiting them can be to give them a phone call. You can text that person or call and face-time with each other. Either way, whatever you are comfortable with, as long as you socialize with someone – either in person or via phone – it can do wonders by eliminating the overwhelming feelings you are enduring.
Exercise is also great for when you feel stressed out. When exercising, you get your heart rate up and pumping, like an adrenaline rush. As you exercise, you feel uplifted like a ton of bricks has just been lifted off of your shoulders.
Exercising is perfect for experiencing positive vibes during stressful times, and it can make you exhausted physically and mentally. Going to a gym is obviously a good place to go if you want to get some exercise, but since a pandemic is on the rise, there are alternatives to take to get some exercise.
For example, go for a walk outside your neighborhood or your own yard. If you have anything in your house like a treadmill or an elliptical of some sort, get on it and work out. You can also go outdoors and go for a hike at a park, or if you have a bicycle, ride through or neighborhood or your favorite trails and/or paths. Also, rollerblading is good exercise too. If you have a pair of rollerblades, put them on and skate on some flat-leveled ground.
Depending on what you like to do in the form of exercise, whatever your favorite thing is to do will give you some activity, such as jogging, walking, riding a bike, do it because it will get your heart pumping and get your heart pumping you energized. It will also help you clear your mind to think clearly without stress overwhelming your mind and body.
4. Listen To Some Chill Music
When stress feels consuming, play your favorite songs to calm your mind. The best type of chill music to play during stressful moments can be anything that relays a positive message; basically, anything that’s not sad or has some good beats to it.
For instance, I play some music from my favorite bands when I feel those stressful moments. My top favorite bands are Flordia Georgia Line and The Goo Goo Dolls. I will listen to some songs like Sun Daze and Confession by Flordia Georgia Line and others, and from The Goo Goo Dolls, I will play songs like Iris, Slide, Let Love In, and so much more.
So at the moment when you feel stress weighing on your shoulders, play some of your favorite songs and the bands you love to listen to so the lyrics and the beats of the music can provide you with the relief you need to feel relaxed and decrease the stress.
5. Read a Book
Reading can do wonders during stressful times. From the perspective of a writer, I say that reading a book from your favorite genre can provide a lot of help for you if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Opening a book to read in a quiet space can help you stay calm and focused on the pages you’re reading.
When you’re reading a book, it opens up your mind and allows you to use your imagination, like watching a movie in your head. For instance, if you’re reading a popular book that’s part of a best-selling series, you would probably imagine yourself in the world of the book that its author created.
There have been times I have read a book (and comic books, too) that was so good I think they should turn it into a movie. Have any of you book worms out there felt that way after reading a good book? I know I have. There have been times when I would read my favorite books as a kid, and I would picture which famous actor/actress would be good at portraying a character in the books I would read.
When you read a book, you’re provided with a means of escape from what’s going on around you and having your mind be entertained by the book you are reading. Reading a good book is a great way to escape reality to be entertained by a good story. It’s very therapeutic during a stress-filled time. Also, when you get done reading that good book, you’ll feel better by being less worried and anxious about what you’re going through.
So, if you want to escape your stressful reality for a little bit and fill your mind with something positive, fun, and entertaining, pick up a book you want to read (or your favorite book to read again), and entertain yourself with something you enjoy reading. Either way, doing this can help you in many ways.
6. Watch Some Funny Videos
Laughter always delivers positive vibes. So, if you want to have some laughs to reduce your stress, watch some funny videos. You can find all sorts of funny videos on Youtube, and I believe you can also find them on TikTok and any other social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
These funny videos can be anything like hilarious pet videos, someone pulling a prank on another person, people trying to do a stunt but hilariously fail, a favorite scene from a comedy movie, or even a funny video you or someone you know personally created.
Some videos I like to watch when I want to laugh my butt off are of Cashew the Frenchie. Cashew the Frenchie is a Youtube channel where this girl will make some hilarious videos with her French Bulldog, Cashew. Cashew will do some funny things. Usually, his human mom will have conversations with him. Some result in funny arguments over anything involving food or wanting to do something like chew on his sister’s bone (Cashew has a sister named Mel B, and she’s a French Bulldog too).
Whatever you want to watch in terms of a funny video you like to watch, do that. Because when you watch some funny clips – if it is one you have seen before or some you’re browsing because you want to find something funny that you haven’t seen yet – you will feel like a lot of weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
You will also feel less tense and more like you have loosened up a lot after watching some funny videos. So, if you want to minimize some stress and not feel so uptight, do what I have recommended here at number 6.
7. Watch A Movie With Popcorn and/or Snacks
Does anyone love to chill by watching a movie with some popcorn or snacks to munch on? If so, I highly recommend putting on a movie and having some popcorn and/or snacks while you’re at it.
Watching a good movie is always relaxing, especially if you are dealing with stress. You can put in your favorite movie or watch the one you haven’t seen but have been meaning to watch. And, instead of just sitting on the couch or in a recliner, you can munch on your favorite food as well.
Watching a movie, eating popcorn, your favorite snack, or even your favorite candy can do wonders if you feel stressed out. You begin to feel more comfortable with what is going on, and you can ease up some and not be so tense.
Also, you don’t have to watch a movie and eat alone. You can have someone join you, like your significant other, your best friend(s), or even some relatives you love to hang out with. And while all of you are watching a movie, you all can have some enjoyment with each other’s company and be a shoulder for one another to lean on just in case they might be feeling some form of stress as well.
8. Animal Therapy
I suggest getting some animal therapy to reduce stress if you love animals. Animals are unique creatures that have a way of making us feel better and be grateful for their existence. So if you have a pet dog or a cat, show them some love because they experience emotions. They can probably pick up on your feelings, so showing them some love and attention to show them that you are alright can do wonders for them, too.
Now, if you don’t have any pets, you can watch some puppy or cat videos on Youtube. I mentioned earlier in this post that I like to watch some videos of Cashew the Frenchie on Youtube. Still, I also like to watch other videos, so I’ll watch videos with puppies and dogs interacting with other dogs and cats and even with their owners when I want some animal therapy. I will also look up cat videos because cats can do some cute and funny things.
So if you have a pet, give them some love because they need all the attention we can give them, and they really can make you feel better. Now, if you don’t have a pet, I highly recommend watching some cute puppy and cat videos. Believe me when I tell you that one and/or both of these options at number 8 will work wonders for feeling stressed.
ALSO: In a recent post, I have talked about animal therapy and how it can have a positive impact called 10 Things to do to Stay Hopeful During A Pandemic
9. Get Some Art Therapy
Last but not least on this list is art therapy. This is another form of therapy that can help reduce stress and help you handle the pressure it can have. You can get some art therapy in a variety of ways.
One way to do it is to color in a coloring book. I know some of you may think that coloring books are for kids, but there are coloring books for adults. You can get them at your local arts and crafts store or even a convenience store.
Another option is to sketch or paint something random on a poster or a canvas board. Drawing with colored pencils or painting is very relaxing, and you don’t have to be a skilled professional artist to get some art therapy.
However, you want to do a project involving arts and crafts in the form of art therapy, do it to your heart’s content because it is very relaxing and can soothe over and amount of stress you are being pressured with.
ALSO: In my post, 10 Things to do to Stay Hopeful During A Pandemic, I have talked about Art Therapy and how it can be used to help remain hopeful. I also have another post describing the benefits of art therapy and its impact.
So in conclusion, I want to say that stress is a negative feeling when we have it. It can wear you down physically and emotionally to where it can feel unbearable.
So to keep your state of mind and personal well-being in check, make sure that you take care of yourself because stress can have various ways to impact you with negative results. I also hope that my list of things to do to handle stress will help all of you out as well, and take some time for yourselves and just let the stress melt away.
Also, feel free to check out this post fellow blogger, Melissa Inferrera, has on her blog, Music Mind and Soul