By Zach Van Hart, for SparkPeople
Stress happens. No matter how organized you are, how good your systems are, or how friendly your work and living environments are, stress can find a way to poke its ugly head in from time to time. What can you do? Turn to a convenient Stress Buster – a small, simple activity that clears your head and calms you down. When you feel a stress attack coming on, it’s the perfect time to turn to one of these busters and kick that stress out the door.
Here are 7 of our favorite Stress Busters, but feel free to develop your own:
1. Take a walk
Want a break from the office? Does your house feel like an insane asylum? Slip out the door and let your feet take you somewhere. Not only will walking give you the opportunity to clear your head and take a break from that hectic situation, but it’s great aerobic exercise, too.
2. Call a friend
We all have someone whose voice alone perks us up. Give them a buzz, even for a few minutes. Whether with a joke or a funny story, or just by listening, they will likely put a smile on your face and calm you down. Besides, what are friends for?
3. Write in a journal
Expressing our feelings could be the best way to deal with stress. Keeping a journal is a way to capture those feelings at any moment. You don’t have to worry about what others think or say, just let your pen do the work. By the time you’re done, those feelings will be on their way out of your system.
4. Play a board game
Remember these? Maybe there are a dozen stashed in your closet, waiting to be dusted off. Monopoly probably should be saved until you have a few hours to spare, but quick kids’ games like Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Connect Four, or even Twister are always good for a smile.
5. Work up a sweat
Have some pent up frustrations? There’s no better way to get rid of them than by exercising. Pop in a workout tape, hop on your bike or grab your jump rope. You’ll be too busy working up a sweat to worry about what’s stressing you out. Picture the stress leaving your body through your pores.
6. Plan something fun
Is there a trip you want to take but never had time to get it together? Or a dinner you’ve always wanted to make? Now’s the time. Not only will you take your mind off things, but you’ll be spending time eagerly anticipating a great getaway or meal later. It’s a win-win situation.
7. Take a hot bath
A hot bath will initially give your body a kick, which in turn will give your mind a kick too – and then it’ll slow both down. Add bubbles and a few candles and you have the ultimate soothing atmosphere. A rubber ducky is optional.