10 Ways to Relieve Stress in 2017

10 Ways to Relieve Stress in 2017

We need positivity in questionable times.
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We all were happy to say goodbye to 2016, a year of great loss and negativity for many people. However, 2017 is left ambiguous. With the inauguration just occurring, there is an uneasy feeling that surrounds 2017 as we all wonder what this year will be like. That is why amid all of these unknowns it is important to allow yourself some time for comfort, and de-stress. So if all of this uncertainty has got you down, here are a few ways to pick yourself back up.

1. Get involved in a charity or organization that is important to you.

While this may not seem as obviously comforting, giving time to a charity or organization that has impacted you or that means alot to you won't feel like work at all. If you truly enjoy the palce you are volunteering for or wholeheartedly agree with their message, than this could in fact bring some peace and happiness. Take the time to look up places in your area that are right for you, and give some time back to those that are meaningful.

2. Expand your mind through reading new literature.

Reading a book is a way of escaping the world you are living in and immersing yourself in a new place. Reading not only expands the mind (cliche but true) it also can be educational or simply comforting to explore a new outlook through literature. If you aren't that into reading, audiobooks might work for you as well.

3. Exercise in a way that works for you.

Don't try to join one of those fad exercises crazes that inevitably will just cause more stress in your life, and make you less likely to commit to actually taking the time to exercise. If you aren't into going to the gym try taking long walks each day or running on a treadmill in your own home. If you prefer classes sign up for yoga or cycling. Do what will make you stress free, as exercise releases endorphins that promote positivity.

4. Learn to cook a meal you have been wanting to try.

I am constantly thinking about how I need to make more of an effort to learn how to cook for myself. Many college students don't have cooking as one their talents, and this should change if we want to be health and money conscious in adulthood. By learning to cook and through trial and error successfully making something pretty delicious, you might find some relief. Cooking can be therapeutic especially when what you are making is appetizing to yourself as well.

5. Dance!

Just dance! Release your inhibitions about it, don't worry about looking foolish or embarrassing, and have fun releasing some tension from the stress of 2016.

6. Binge watch a TV series (And don't judge yourself for it).

This one is easy, in fact you probably are already doing it. Find a series you enjoy, and commit a weekend to watching as much of it as possible. It can be pretty satisfying, and gives you an excuse to hang out on the couch for a weekend.

7. Do something artistic.

This goes for those who are not so artistic too! Take one of those painting classes that have become so popular, DIY a project for your home or apartment, or simply color in an adult coloring book for a few hours. If art projects aren't your thing, fix something around the house or do something with your hands. The ability to create something of your own is an excellent way to gain a sense of pride and happiness, while also acting as a distraction from stress.

8. Buy yourself something you have been wanting.

Allow yourself one splurge this year for something you have been wanting, but were unsure you really needed. If you keep thinking about it chances are it is something that might bring a smile to your face when you use it or see it, so treat yourself.

9. Spend some quality time with family (or a pet).

Though families can sometimes be stressful they can also offer support in times when you need it. So don't be afraid to reach out to a family member or maybe simply a pet when you need a pick me up.

10. Go for a walk somewhere with a view.

A breathtaking view is something that can rarely be tarnished in a person's memory. Get some fresh air, go for a walk or a hike, and see that view.


Cover Image Credit: YOUTUBE.COM

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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