Monday, December 2, 2013

Handling Stress & Anxiety

I wanted to write a post that's a little different from the usual DIY/craft tutorial. 
Stress and anxiety is something we all face and it can be paralyzing for some people. It ebbs and flows for everyone and it should come as a comfort that you're not in it alone. Since the holidays are coming up and the end of the semester, for those of us in school (which is never easy), I thought now would be the perfect time to share some ways I like to deal with stress and anxiety.


10 Simple Ways to Deal with Stress & Anxiety:

1. Drink Warm Lemon Water

Life feels easier when you start your day off right. It's like building a house with a strong foundation. I like to begin energized and one way to help with that is by drinking a mug of warm water with lemon. 

-Aids in digestion
-Balances pH levels
-Helps flush toxins
-Highly beneficial for the skin

If you want to read more about it check out this link . It goes into detail about how it aids in your well-being.
I use a kettle to boil water then add a slice of lemon and wait for it to cool down to lukewarm. 

2. Get Your Vitamins

Get the vitamins your body needs, whether that means taking a vitamin supplement in tablet form or making sure the foods you eat have the necessary vitamins or both. 
Do your research and make sure you're getting what your body needs. A good place to start is here. It's an honest an informational article. 
When your body is well balanced, your mind will be too.

3. Go to Sleep

Sleep becomes an issue when dealing with stress. You lie awake worrying or if you're in college like me, you pull all nighters.
Sleep is essential to humans being able to function properly. Staying up all night cramming for an exam or finishing a project is unhealthy and the results probably won't be your best. I'll admit, I've pulled my fair share of all nighters and am always absolutely miserable the next day. I end up crashing for 12 or more hours and take more time sleeping than I would have in the first place. 
Make sleep a priority, even if it's only for a few hours. The link below is a "sleep calculator" it tells you the best times to fall asleep depending on what time you need to wake up in the morning. It measures by sleep cycles and will help you wake up feeling rested. Even if it's only for 3 hours.

4. Do Some Yoga

Yoga is as much an exercise for your body as it is for your mind. Try the sequence I linked below. It is really easy and you don't have to have any previous yoga experience to be able to do these poses. 10-15 minutes is all it takes to turn your day around and ease that stress.

5. Utilize Lavender

Lavender is amazing! You can use it for all kinds of things but what I use it for is relaxation. It comes in a variety of forms; essential oil (for a bath), candles, lotions. Find what works best for you.
I use the "stress relief" lotion from Aveeno every night before bed and it does wonders for me. It's loaded with all kinds of good stuff.

6. Drink Some Calming Tea

The health benefits of tea could fill a novel. Find a tea specifically for stress and anxiety.

-Passionflower tea
-Valerian Root tea
-Chamomile tea
-Peppermint tea

I recently found an organic tea shop in Cave Creek and picked up some "Holy Basil" tea. It targets stress, anxiety, depression, and even cramps and headaches. It's exactly what I need right now.
For a list of more calming teas check out this link. Then head to the grocery store and pick some up.

7. Listen to Music

Music soothes the soul. If you need a pick-me-up to get going try an upbeat, positive song. I've been loving Brave by Sara Bareilles. 

Brave by Sara Bareilles

If it's time to get down to business and get some work done go with classical. It's soft and helps with concentration. Create a Classical Pandora station or find a video on YouTube.  
I tend to be drawn toward the cello.
Here's four hours of Vivaldi Concertos, if you're interested.

Vivaldi- Complete Cello Concertos (Ofra Harnoy)

8. Show Gratitude

The Science of Happiness- An Experiment in Gratitude

There are now scientific studies proving that if you show genuine gratitude toward someone it helps to improve your own mood. The video is about 7 minutes long but it's worth it.

Write a letter to someone you love.
Call an old friend.
Or even just smile at a stranger.

Not only are you brightening their day, but yours as well. Trust me, it works!

9. Treat Yourself

You deserve it!

Buy yourself some flowers.
Get a coffee.
Take a bubble bath.
Buy that sweater you've had your eye on.

Only you can affect the way you feel.

10. Take A Step Back

Life gets crazy, things speed up, time flies by. Take a step back and look around. Turn off the technology, take a break from what you're doing and just breathe.
Step outside. Even if it's for 5 minutes out your front door.
Just take the time to appreciate what you have and bring things back into perspective. 


Those are 10 fairly easy things that have gotten me through some anxious times and are currently getting me through. I hope they can help you, too. I encourage you to try different tips and tricks to figure out what works best for you. Listen to your body and mind. It will let you know what works.
Most importantly, HANG IN THERE! The stress and anxiety is only temporary.

(Since Jen and I have our Winter break coming up very soon we'll hopefully get some new DIY's going up here! It's been too long.)

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