Guide to Destressing
Stress is a natural part of life. Utilize these tips to manage your stress levels, even in the face of an emergency.
Every homeowner knows how overwhelming home emergencies can be. Whether it’s a burst pipe, broken window, or electrical failure, home emergencies can send you into a frenzy that disrupts your entire week. Prolonged periods of stress can be detrimental to health. The American Institute of Stress reported that there is an increase in heart incidences after stressful events. There are many more ways in which stress can negatively impact health, like weakening the immune system and making it difficult to control emotions. In an attempt to make your life a little bit easier, here is some advice to destress after a home emergency or just a stressful day in general.
One of the best ways to slow down after a hectic day is to meditate. To start, find a calming space in your home and make it comfortable. Adding pillows, ambient lighting, an essential oil diffuser, and more can transform the space into your own little slice of paradise. If you like structure or are newer to meditation, there are many different guided meditations available, here's one example. Another option is to set a time limit and spend 20 minutes or so reflecting and taking time for yourself. Meditation is a great tool for clearing your mind and entering a more positive headspace. Alternatively, starting every morning with a 5-minute meditation full of positive affirmations can change your outlook. The main goal here is to slow down and learn to appreciate all that life has to offer, even if it is turbulent and stressful.
- Get Outside
Increasing your intake of sunlight can actually decrease stress and improve your mood. Sun exposure can increase the production of Vitamin D as well as serotonin—the hormone that makes you feel happy. According to an article by Eliza Castile on Bustle.com, a study by Brigham Young University found that the lack of sunlight can be associated with feeling down or depressed. Especially during winter months with fewer hours of sunlight, it is important to get out of the house. So, if you're having an overwhelming day, going outside for a few minutes can boost your energy. There are countless options for ways to spend your time outdoors. You can lounge in a hammock, read a book, or soak up the sun. Regardless of how you choose to spend your time outside, it can be a helpful tool for destressing throughout the week.
The most common suggestion for relieving stress is to exercise. Since exercise releases endorphins, the hormones that naturally relieve pain, it can heal the body both mentally and physically. Fitting exercise into your daily routine is one of the most effective ways to manage stress. There are so many different forms of exercise—it should not be too difficult to find one that works for you. For instance, there is yoga, pilates, weightlifting, kickboxing, water aerobics, and more. Even if you don’t wish to attend one of those classes, you can still go to your local fitness center or fit in a quick walk or run. If you're a person who despises the gym, try one of these at-home dance workouts. Beginning to work out and alter your lifestyle can be a difficult adjustment, but any gym rat will tell you that their day feels incomplete without exercise. The moral of the story is that everyone can find a form of exercise that suits them and helps them relieve stress.
Although technology and social media are relatively new, the negative effects are already prevalent. Of course, social media can be useful for connection and finding a sense of belonging. However, because social media generally only shows the positive, filtered aspects of a person’s life, many people use it to compare themselves to others. This leads to poor self-esteem, jealousy, and the anxiety of missing out. According to the National Library of Medicine, “...the prolonged use of social media platforms such as Facebook may be related to negative signs and symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress”. Unplugging for a while every day helps to decrease the adverse impact of social media. In addition, it has been shown that using your devices before bed leads to poor sleep, which in turn increases stress levels. The blue lights emitted from screens delay the body’s production of melatonin, which is the hormone responsible for feeling tired or sleepy. Especially before bedtime, the Sleep Foundation recommends reading a book or another relaxing, screen-free activity. Overall, less screen time is better for your physical and mental well-being.
Having a backup plan assists with decreasing stress from emergencies or unexpected events. Having an emergency folder that contains all of the contingency plans in one place is a great way to stay prepared. For example, the folder can include the contact information of who to call if the A/C stops working or instructions for finding the water main and shutting it off. Oftentimes when an emergency happens, your brain can become overwhelmed and struggle to sort through the chaos to find the answer. That's why it's helpful to already have the answer or at least some suggestions written down in a secure location. Along with planning, preparation can make your life easier down the road and provide peace of mind.
Stress is a natural part of life, but it still needs to be managed so that it does not become too much to handle. These are just a few of many resources available on the internet or in person to relieve stress. You can even talk to a professional to get their expert help on maintaining stress levels. Follow these tips to stay calm in the face of stress.