It’s alright to admit that you’re stressed. You’re not alone, we are all incredibly overworked and trying to live our best lives.
However, how you handle stress in the present is what matters most for your long-term mental health. You have to begin to form healthy habits now in your day-to-day routine. Remember, though, that not every coping mechanism you adopt is good for long-term use.
If you feel like unnecessary responsibilities and tasks are keeping your spirits down, it’s time to change how you approach de-stressing your life.
There are so many phenomenal tips and tricks to eliminating toxic stress, which will leave you feeling more open and present.
Since everyone finds peace in different ways, to kickstart your new and improved mindset, NYgal asked 19 superstar women to share their tools on clearing their minds and saying ‘goodbye’ to stress for good.
I need ‘me- quiet time’. If I’m feeling overwhelmed I like to write things down in my daily planner to help visualize deadlines and keep things in perspective. I also like to update my personal budget excel sheet to manage how much money I’m making versus spending each week. De-stressing for me also usually includes a margarita and episode of Criminal Minds.
Mostly hang out with my dog and bringing him to the park when I’m able. I’m happy watching him run around, and being in nature together makes me feel like I’m in a little getaway from the city life. And of course, binge-watching TV when I can.
If I need to manage stress and prevent it from recurring, I try to engage in activities that I enjoy and that attract me to begin them immediately rather than put them off. Risk accompanied with pressure causes stress. The way I see it is that if you love what you do, even under tremendous pressure, stress will play a minimal role in your life because preparation alleviates risk.
Normally I shut down and go to sleep or lay in bed watching Netflix or eat, but I also go on my phone and the biggest thing I do is clean and declutter things.
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I keep myself mentally sane by doing things that make me happy and not allowing myself to fall into a routine. I always feel content after seeing family and friends, cooking a new meal or exploring a new place.
It depends on what I need to de-stress from! If I’ve had a crazy work day, there is nothing more I want than to run home, throw on comfy clothes, and relax on my bed reading a book, chat with my roommates, or curl up and watch a movie.
However, if I’m working from home and start stressing, I jump on the subway and take a walk through a neighborhood I haven’t explored yet. Be in the sunshine, grab tea or ice cream depending on the temperature, and remember how lucky I am to be young and carefree.
I start by asking myself, “what activities are stressful to me” and then define what makes those activities stressful. If tax season is stressing me out, it’s because I find the activity arbitrary and obscure and a joyless waste of time. And of course, I put it off until the last possible moment, BECAUSE of the fact that it’s an unenjoyable task.
Once I define what is stressing me out, I get it out of the way first, and if it’s unnecessary and not pleasurable, I just don’t do it. The only stress that will arrive from a perfectly doable, enjoyable activity is the lack of time allotted.
I make myself forget about it by doing something else, like going to the gym. I do something that takes great concentration where my mind does not wander. Or watch a new movie. Sometimes I read but that doesn’t always help because my mind goes all over the place between pages or chapters.
Going out and spending time with friends is HUGE. Doing anything social gets me out of my head. If I’m by myself, I like to watch TV or a movie, so I’m focusing more on what I’m watching than what I’m thinking.
I’m also a big advocate for fitness and exercise. Practicing yoga or taking part in a fitness class makes me feel a lot better. Then there’s performing…that’s number 1 in my book.
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Breathe deeply. I’m honestly not very good at de-stressing! Yoga and dance definitely help, but that’s not why I do them- just a happy side effect.
Walk away, basically. If I can’t deal with whatever is going on at that moment, I give myself distance from the problem and the separation gives me a new perspective.
If I’m stressed to go to a certain bar because of its atmosphere… I just go to a different bar.
I’ve been fortunate that, for the most part, my body doesn’t have extreme reactions to stress. Usually, it’s more of a logical thing where my brain says, "Yikes, girl, you have a lot to do!" than a situation where my sympathetic nervous system gets really involved leading to a panic. I’m lucky in that way.
And when I’m in a situation like that, honestly, the only thing that makes me feel better is just diving right into my responsibilities. I won’t feel better until I can tick some item off of that list of things to do. But every time I do, it feels like a weight lifting.
In other situations with more general stress, the answer is distracting myself. I happen to be a woman of many hobbies, so in these situations, I have to choose one that sort of overwhelms the noises in my head. And honestly, a video is the best way to drown that out. I go on YouTube, Netflix, whatever, and watch something, preferably a show that makes me feel good.
I have learned to stop being afraid to ask for help when I need it. By seeking the help of others, I’ve found that learning about or working on the process of accomplishing the task rather than the task itself makes it easier for me.
Write. Journal. Let it all out without censoring.
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I try to avoid an overall stressful lifestyle. Do things you love, do them right away and if you don’t love it, but you have to do it, do it- just don’t delay. Make that process as easy as possible for yourself. Stress is malignant when not addressed through formal lifestyle change, it will always be there unless you love what you do and make a point of doing it.
The best thing I can do is walk away from the problem. Physically leaving the space that I’m in helps because I can mentally reorientate myself. Going for a walk, dancing, or singing or any form of exercise is really good too.
Breaking things doesn’t normally help, so whatever I can do for like 5-10 minutes to get my blood pumping and happy again works.
Self-love is the most important thing to remember as a woman. It is easy to get burnt out so easily when you are stressed out and not making time for yourself. I love to make a little time throughout the week for myself to keep from getting sick and or upset easily.
I have had anxiety in the past especially when I am extremely overwhelmed and busy. I have to take calming breaths and I like to do yoga, spinning, and Zumba to get my endorphins going whenever I have a busy week ahead or some free time.
The theatre is also helpful to me as a tool to destress and connect with other people in a new way. I also like to shop which helps me to relax and feel at ease. Even reading a book helps me escape the crazy everyday things I may have going on.
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