How To Destress In A World Of Stress

How To Destress In A World Of Stress

There isn't just one way.

The world is full of things, activities, and life. Sometimes it can all come together and be wonderful, and other times it is overwhelming. Those are the moments in which you need to take a second and ground yourself.

1. Breathe.

Meditation and yoga can help you focus on what is causing the stress and encourages you to work on solving the issues. It gives you a moment to relax and appreciate the here and now rather than worrying about the future. It encourages you to take care of yourself.

2. Read.

Pull a book off the shelf or swipe through your collection of books on Kindle. Open your mind and experience another world -- another life that isn't your own -- that becomes your own as you invest your time in it.

3. Draw/color.

Being creative is one escape for people. You don`t have to be "good" at it, you just have to enjoy it. You aren't drawing or coloring for someone else. You are doing it for you. Adult coloring books are really neat if you look at them, but if you have some children coloring books, don't underestimate the calming effect of princesses and ninja turtles.

4. Bike.

Sometimes the simple motion can be soothing -- the wind rushes by as you escape from your troubles, leaving them in the dust. The tick of the chain -- its repetitive sound -- helps you realize there is something stable in all of this craziness.

5. Walk.

Taking time to slow down and look around gives you the opportunity to wonder and to wander, both physically and mentally through the world. The crunch of gravel/snow/leaves/sand/grass is all different, and each step we take is new and leading to something else.

6. Run.

You have to focus on breathing -- your pace. Look at the ground ahead of you so you don't fall. It doesn't leave space for thinking about everything, maybe just one thing that is on your mind, and gives you time to process it away from the distractions of everything else.

7. Listen to music.

Your favorite album has been left untouched. You haven't heard that song in years. You heard something new on the radio and now want to figure out the name of the song. Do it. Find yourself among the words of countless artists, many who may feel and think the way you do. Let the instrumentals float through the air, and carry you when words can't.

8. Play music.

Be the source. Pick up your guitar, sit down at the piano, or use your voice. Do whatever makes you feel connected to the rhythm -- to the beat. Match it to yours or chase the tempo you want.

9. Lay out.

Sometimes you just need some sun -- the warm comforting glow of the yellow-orange globe in the sky encasing you, and making you feel safe. You can even combine relaxation methods here by getting out a book, breathing, or listening to music.

10. Take a day trip.

Have a day off and don't want to sit at home where your thoughts are all consuming? Then don't. Go out for the day, try a new restaurant, go to the beach, find some trails nearby, and adventure. Explore the city you live in and embrace it. Learn about the culture and be a part of it.

11. Clean.

Some people feel better when they are doing things. Cleaning may not be the number one choice for some, but when you can't stand the uncertainty of plans being made or work scheduling meetings, you can control how your kitchen looks and tidy up the living room.

12. Visit a friend/family.

Going to see someone you haven't in a while can relieve some tension. You get to distract yourself from your life with theirs. Learn about their struggles, and maybe helping them will help you in a way.

13. Look through old pictures.

See how life was -- maybe how it could be. Don't dwell, but make a change. See what made those moments so special, and try to switch things up in your life now. Maybe things weren't so great then, and you are looking back to see how far you've come. You can see how much you really have accomplished with all the struggles, and see that what you are going through now got you somewhere better in the past. It will get you somewhere even further now.

14. Workout.

Get moving. Working up a sweat while finishing three sets of five or reaching a new personal best is satisfying. It shows that you are capable of whatever you put your mind to. Goals are reached and new goals created.

15. Work.

For some, going to work and being able to finish tasks is fun. It is achievable. Sometimes, the short term goals or the daily accomplishments are rewarding, and help you face the long term ones.

16. Talk about it.

Go get coffee with someone and just discuss life. See if they have any idea as to how to get through your seemingly impossible tasks. Maybe they will tell you about theirs, and you'll see that you aren't the only one searching for answers to seemingly impossible questions.

17. Sleep.

As in, get a good rest (at least eight hours) and don't overdo it. Getting on a schedule gives you the ability to maintain control over that aspect of your life. It gives you a routine. These things are going to happen. There are results, and one of them is not being groggy or out of it when you are trying to function on less than four hours of sleep.

18. Drive.

Late at night or during the day, there is something soothing about the road rumbling beneath the tires and the feel of the steering wheel you grasp with your hands. You are in control of where you are going and looking out the window at, in awe of what exists and how it all came together so perfectly.

The most important thing to remember is that you need to do what works best for you. If you've already found something, great! If not, try some of these options. If none of these things work, try something else.There are so many choices: knitting, skateboarding, or rock climbing. Whatever it is, try it. Expect some of these methods to fail miserably -- not because you don't believe they'll work from the start, but because some of them just will. You won't know which ones that will be until you try. Don't give up your search to find something that allows you to see that you exist, you matter, and you are here to prove it.

Cover Image Credit: MountainTop Acupuncture & Rehabilitation

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Well, Here I Am Again Writing An Article At 2 AM Because My Anxiety Is Not Letting Me Sleep

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible.


Life is crazy and rough and sometimes sucks. My anxiety has been at its worst this semester, and if I'm being honest - it's driving me insane. I have lost sleep because of it. I have missed classes because of it. I have skipped out on being around friends because of it. The last one is the one that always confuses me, though. I'm at my happiest when I'm around people. I love it, but lately, there have been multiple days where I would rather curl up in a ball and cry.

I struggle to breathe. I struggle to keep up with life. I have all of these thoughts racing through my head. One after the other, trying to see which one will be victorious. However, all of them are victorious because they all have me wide awake. I haven't had a decent night of sleep in a while. At this point, I could probably say its been almost a year since I slept well.

It's yet another night. 2 a.m. and I'm wide awake, crippling with thoughts I want out of my head.

It's constant. It never really stops. I can hear it early in the morning, as I eat my lunch when I'm walking to class, and especially late at night. Right now, the thought screaming the loudest is "No one likes you. That's why you're here and not there." I know it's not true.

My anxious thoughts late at night are horrible. I hate them. They irritate me. They keep me up all hours of the night. I toss and turn for hours on end wishing for all of these anxious thoughts to end. I think about things from years ago. I think about things from yesterday. These things never seem to end.

My anxiety has been horrible lately. I haven't been able to get a proper night's sleep in months. I've averaged 3-4 hours a night. I hate it. My mind won't turn off. The racing thoughts never seem to end. I am sick of it. I want to get out of this, but I just can't. Why is this happening?

I have not been able to breathe properly in weeks. I have to physically stop, breathe in deeply, and practically yawn to catch my breath. Why? Why is this happening? I hate it. I'm so stressed from life. This needs to stop.

My body is weak. My mind is no longer concentrating. I want to run away from all of this, but I know that is not how I should handle it. This needs to end. My days can no longer be filled with hopes of a class being canceled or pretending like it is so I don't have to go.

Anxiety has overtaken my life, and I am sick of it. I am ready for it to leave. It won't though. It will continue to reside in my body. I hate it. I can't breathe. I want to cry, but I just can't. I'm sick of this. Anxiety can f*ck off because it has no business taking control of my life.

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