As you’re reading this right now, chances are you’re stressed about something. In some ways, that can be a positive. But the long-term wear on your psyche — and health — can be pretty taxing. What you really need is a vacation or a massage, but those things cost money — another thing to be stressed about. If you’re feeling like you’re at your breaking point, here are some free things you can do to zap your stress ASAP.
1. Get your “om” on. Yoga is a fantastic way to relieve stress. Even if you’re not one to totally embrace a meditative yogi lifestyle, taking the time to stretch and strengthen your body is an awesome form of self-care. Certain poses even promise to release stress instantly. (Photo via Getty)
2. Unplug. Running to check your phone every time you hear a notification might make you feel connected, but it could be stressing you out in huge ways you don’t even realize. Ignore the FOMO and consider setting stricter boundaries for your technology use, whether that means not checking email first thing in the morning or even taking a social media vacation. (Photo via Getty)
3. Force a laugh. Studies show that laughter is a huge stress-reliever: It enhances your intake of oxygen, raises endorphin levels and stimulates circulation that reduces the physical symptoms of stress. If you’re too broke to cover the two-drink minimum at a comedy club, find clips of your favorite comedian online — or even just a really great cat video. (Photo via Getty)
4. De-clutter. Tidying up and organizing all your stuff is one element of the chaos in your life that you can control. If your apartment is starting to look like a tornado hit it (and then came back to finish the job), take some time to straighten up and put things in their place. Then breathe a sigh of relief as you enjoy your newly de-cluttered, calming abode.
5. Get it all down on paper. If you journal your feelings rather than turning them over and over in your head, they’ll be easier to process. Or, if the sheer number of things you need to get done today are weighing you down, writing a to-do list can help you feel more actively organized. Pro tip: Start with one thing you’ve already done today, so you have the satisfaction of crossing something off the list right away. (Photo via Getty)
6. Cut back on caffeine. If you’re hooked on a two-latte-a-day habit, this tip will actually save you money. The caffeine in coffee and tea are stimulants that can aggravate and fuel stress, so consider quitting your Starbucks addiction cold-turkey — or at least switching to decaf. (Photo via Getty)
7. Go to bed earlier. Staying up to binge watch the newest season of House of Cards might seem like a good idea now, but chronic sleep deprivation is bad news if you’re stress-prone. Check out the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendations to find out how many hours of snooze time you should be logging based on your age and lifestyle. (Photo via Getty)
Feeling more relaxed already? Let us know which of these tips worked best for you by sharing with us on Twitter @BritandCo!