How Do You Alleviate Stress?
Real Simple readers take us to their “happy place.”
I have a unique stress-buster. After a tough day, I usually pour a glass of wine and grab my six-year-old’s box of crayons and a coloring book. You really can’t color and stay agitated at the same time. I also keep a coloring book and crayons in my desk at the office―for “emergencies.”
Barrington, Rhode Island
I replaced my office chair with an exercise ball. How can you feel stressed if you are trying to balance on a ball?
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I immediately think of our soldiers fighting for our country, and I think of their families and how they cannot be with them. Whatever I was anxious about seems minor in comparison.
I stopped collecting “projects.” I was always adding fabulous ideas to my to-do list, as if my life weren’t already full. I always felt the pressure to do those things on top of my real responsibilities. Now that I’ve gotten rid of them and have redirected all that creative energy to the things I really want to accomplish, I’m more satisfied.
Salt Lake City, Utah
When things are getting crazy, I take a day. I call it my It’s a Wonderful Life Day. I inform anyone concerned that this is my time. I get in my car with a new place in mind. I might go to a restaurant or a small town that I have never been to before to walk around. Or I may just stay at home and knit. At the end of my It’s a Wonderful Life Day, I feel renewed.
I put things in perspective. I ask myself, “Can I control the situation?” and “What difference will this make in the long run?” I think about how this anxiety-inducing event will look to me in a year, or in a decade, and if it will define who I am at the end of my life. This approach helps me place the right amount of importance on the stressful situation at hand.
Hot bath, hot milk, phone call to Mom.
Amy C. Spaulding
Durham, North Carolina
I have a pair of multicolored toe socks that I have named my Happy Socks. Whenever I’m down, I put them on with my flip-flops and go for a long walk in the park with a huge cup of chamomile tea.