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Posted in Personal Growth
November 21, 2019

9 Ways How To Stay Calm When You're Feeling Stressed

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The holiday season is upon us and it’s no secret that it can be the most stressful time of year. Add in crappy weather and darker days and it’s a perfect combination to lead to grumpiness and stress. Let’s not forget about the shopping, wrapping, decorating, and 1000 Christmas parties that we’re supposed to go to within a 6 week period… all on top of our regular to do lists.

It’s insane.

But the good news is, there are things we can do to help make things more manageable. The below are suggestions to incorporate into your day (or night) on days that you’re feeling stressed or even just experiencing a nervous energy from everything on the go.

Crystals: These can be incorporated day or night. I love them because they’re so easy! A few of the best crystals out there for stress and anxiety are: Sodalite, Black Tourmaline, Amethyst & Rose Quartz

Check out my previous blog post on how to incorporate crystals into your daily life if you’re looking at buying an Amethyst (or whatever) and don’t really know what to do with it.

Essential Oils: EO’s are just as popular now as crystals but they may be a bit harder to access throughout the day depending on your situation (for example: many workplaces have a scent free policy nowadays, so having a diffuser on your desk might not be the best decision).

Personally I think essential oils are a great choice for stress and anxiety, specifically Lavender and any citrus scent, BUT quality is just as important as the scent you choose. There are A LOT of crappy manufacturer’s out there that are getting rich simply because Essential Oil’s are more popular now than ever before and users aren’t taking the time to educate themselves on their products.

If you have access to Essential Oils throughout the day, I would recommend a diffuser. Please keep in mind that you don’t need 20+ drops for it to work. Usually 2-4 drops is more than enough. I like my diffuser because it adds a nice calming glow to the room as well.

If you want to get fancy about it, I’ve seen EO diffusers for your car. Some clip on to the air vent, some go into the… part where the lighter use to be (I have no idea what that’s called! Lol), and some are powered by USB.

And PLEASE keep in mind that if you have pets, some oils are toxic! Check out this article for a listing on which oils to avoid around your fur babies.

What to do when you're stressed

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Breathing: I think we all know by now how important breathing and/or meditation is for our stress levels (Here’s a little article from UofM if you need a bit of a refresher 😉 ).
 
The problem is that we KNOW it’s good for us, but we rarely take the time to do it. In one of my most recent podcast episodes, I talked about how I used to have to add ‘breathe’ into my calendar as a meeting so I could be reminded to take a break from the go, go, go of my day and actually focus on breathing and de-stressing my body.
 
I know how hard it can be to have a million things to do and feel like you don’t have time for meditation (or deep breathing). But I PROMISE you, 5 minutes of deep belly breathing will make a HUGE difference. If you want to follow a guided meditation there are a bunch of great ones on Youtube. I used to listen to Fragrant Heart  and I found many of those meditations helpful.
 
I encourage you to take just a few minutes a day to incorporate meditation or deep breathing into your day. Whether it’s putting a reminder in your phone or making it a habit as soon as your alarm goes off, just before you go to bed, or sitting in your car in the parking lot before you head into the office. Do whatever you gotta do, but I promise you, this is by far the easiest change to implement into your day while seeing significant changes.
 
Reiki: If you’ve never had a Reiki session before…. Go. Right now.
 
Just kidding….kinda.
 
I made a Youtube video a few months back trying my best to explain what Reiki is and the benefits of it.
 
But essentially, it is an energy healing modality that is most famous for reducing stress and anxiety. 
 
Reiki heals us on all levels – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, –
 
It’s a super relaxing session, is done fully clothed, and can be completed either in person or via distance healing. It’s technically something you can do every day if you wanted to, but similar to a massage this is something that people book on an as needed or monthly basis. 
 
Although Reiki is really beneficial, it’s a bit more difficult to incorporate into your day to day compared to the above suggestions.
 
Music: Our body responds to what is around us, and that includes music. That’s why when you’re listening to your favourite song or artist that you’re suddenly pumped up and smiling, no matter what was going through your mind just a few minutes before.
 
If your favourite songs pump you up, you might want to consider something to level you out. I would suggest meditation music. Now this doesn’t have to be ‘meditation music’ per se, but something that calms you.

You can pull up your Calm Radio or Spotify apps. Or pull up YouTube and find some Instrumental, high Hz music, shamanic drumming, tibetan bowls, or angel bowls videos.

Find one (or many!) that work for you and play them when you start to feel yourself getting stressed or anxious.

As an added bonus, listening to any of the above that I mentioned also works on clearing your chakras too!
 
Have Fun: One of the best ways to de-stress is to take your mind off of whatever is going on, so keep busy with things that are enjoyable.
 
All work and no play made Jack a dull boy.
 
You don’t want to be a dull, stressed out boy. Do you?
 
At this exact moment, I’m trying to distract myself from the fact that my doggie is going in for surgery tomorrow. Can I stop worrying? Hell No! BUT I can keep my body as calm as possible by being conscious of my breathing and keeping my mind focused on positive thoughts and tasks.
 
Find a healthy distraction. Whether that’s going to a dance class, doing some yoga at home or even grabbing a colouring book. Yes, adults colour too and it works wonders on stress and anxiety. Don’t believe me? Check out this article.
 
Personally, I just added this colouring book my cart because I’m a sucker for both Disney and Thomas Kinkade, but this one is also calling my name so may find it’s way to my front door before I know it haha.
 
Sleep: In case you missed the memo, a lack of sleep affects our stress levels and when we’re running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to get as much done as we can throughout the day, it takes us much longer to wind down before bed, which in turn delays us from actually falling asleep.
 
The standard is 8 hours and I’d suggest to strive for that as often as possible, but I know that’s not always realistic.
 
I could always lecture you about setting boundaries and making a certain time a non-negotiable bed time… but shit happens and you don’t need me giving you attitude and adding to your stress 😉
 
Personally I like to sleep with a sleep mask. The darker the better. I find it helps me to block out anything else that’s going on (especially when my husband decides to put on Netflix and fall asleep 5 seconds later). Since Lavender is such a calming plant, you can check out this Lavender sleep mask to help reduce insomnia and stress.
Examples of Self Care
Diet: Diet is SO important. If you fill your body with shit you’re going to feel like shit. It’s that simple. Being crazy busy doesn’t always make it easy to eat healthy balanced meals, and when we’re stressed or anxious our energy is already zapped so forget about coming home and cooking a gourmet meal. 
 
But it’s about being aware of your food choices. Bring an apple with you on the way to work as part of your breakfast, or pack some almonds in your bag for when you get hungry later on. It will be much better than going to the vending machine for a snack.  
 
If you can, try to have protein with every meal. When we’re stressed we reach for whatever is easy, and in most cases that means carbs. Protein will help to keep you full and help you rethink if you actually need those carbs the next time you reach for them.
 
Decorate: Yes, I LOVE Christmas and have WAY too many Christmas decorations in my house. I used to think I was just a freak of nature, until I saw this article that claimed people who put up Christmas decorations are happier.
 
 
In a world full of stress and anxiety people like to associate to things that make them happy and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of childhood.
 
The good thing is that not only does putting up Christmas decorations make you happy (instead of stressed and anxious), it also fits in to my earlier suggestion about focusing on things that are enjoyable.
 
Go Outside: I cringe as I say this. I’m not an outdoorsy person at all ESPECIALLY in the Winter so I have to assume everyone else hates it as much as I do. In fact, when I come across someone who gets excited that I live close to so many ski resorts, I make gagging sounds and walk away from the conversation (I’m only half joking).
 
If you’ve read any of my previous posts than I’m sure you’ve read at least once how beneficial being outside in nature is for you. It’s grounding, it’s relaxing…and it’s also cold so bundle up. If you can get over the cold, I’d strongly suggest going for a walk outside. As much as I hate Winter, I’m not a complete Scrooge. I can admit how pretty it is to be walking outside and watching the snow fall and slowly accumulate on the evergreens.
 
Oh! Let’s make this fun for both of us! If you happen to go outside this Winter to reduce stress, take a picture and tag me in it on Instagram! (@TheIntuitiveWife). I think it would be fun to partake in your Winter Wonderland.
 
Although fair warning, If you live some place warm like California or something and you tag me in a photo of the beach, I may respond with the middle finger emoji. But I’d be doing it with love!!! Lol
 
 

Count to 10: Yes, this is technically something you do if you’re angry. But if you’re anything like me, when you’re stressed or anxious you’re way more likely to lose your cool. So if that’s the case, remember to count to 10 when you feel like steam is about to start coming out of your ears.

 

Deep breathing counteracts the fight or flight stress reaction that underlies anger. Deliberately taking a slow, deep breath not only brings a soothing sense of relaxation, but also helps us to focus our attention in the present moment.

 

Journaling: Journaling helps to relieve stress and anxiety because it helps you to sort through your thoughts and pinpoint what is actually an issue that needs to be addressed vs what is just a small uncontrollable factor that is keeping you up at

night. Issues can be dealt with, focusing on uncontrollable factors are what causes stress and anxiety. If you can’t do anything to change it, don’t waste your energy focusing on it.


This article from Very Well Mind also does a pretty great job of breaking down journaling if it’s something you’re looking at starting. 

 

There’s a few different options here when it comes to journaling. I have a Youtube video if journaling is somethingyou’ve been wanting to get started with but now quite sure how or where to start. I also have a free PDF with Journaling prompts to help eliminate the overwhelm with journaling. You can pick up your copy here.

 

There’s also a blog post that I wrote a few months back if Journaling (or writing) isn’t really your thing.

Well those are all my suggestions! Is there something that you do to keep yourself calm when you’re feeling stressed and anxious that isn’t on this list? Let me know in the comments!

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