Life can be pretty tough sometimes. With work, school, significant others, families, and any other responsibilities we might have, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with it all.

I think everyone is aware that stress is less than ideal for your body. It can cause all types of problems ranging from acne to anxiety. Stress can really take a toll on you so I decided to do some research on some of the best ways to relieve stress.

As someone who has a lot of problems with stress, I fight this battle daily. I’m a graduate student, a mom, a wife, and I do freelance work throughout the week to help provide for my family. It can definitely be a struggle to balance everything I need to do and then find time to take care of my mental health, but I’ve done quite a bit of research on ways to relieve stress and I think I’ve compiled a pretty awesome list. Here it is:

Watch a comedian

Okay. I listed this one first because laughter is by far the best way to relieve stress and what better way is there to get yourself laughing than listening to your favorite comedian. I know what you’re thinking. Not everyone has the money to just go out and buy tickets to see their favorite comedian when they start to feel stressed. Well, with the internet you don’t have to. Youtube is amazing. There are so many clips, videos, excerpts, etc. on Youtube that your favorite comedian is probably posting videos for their fans. Take advantage of that. This is not only helpful to them as a comedian trying to promote their work, but it’s also helpful to you as a person who is trying to take care of their mental health. So why not?

Color

Coloring is so fun. It’s also very relaxing. The cool thing is that you don’t have to color in your toddler’s mickey mouse coloring book any more. You can actually buy adult coloring books. There are a wide variety of these on the market. I’ve seen floral books, jungle books, Literary themed books, Adult Books (if you know what I mean), and so many more. All you really have to do is type in adult coloring books into your search engine and a plethora of links will pop up. I actually really love to color as I am kind of artsy but not too artsy that I can draw freehand. So, I spend some time coloring and it takes my mind right off of the stressful things that are causing me anxiety.

Take funny selfies

If after the most stressful of days you need to be silly, this is a great way to do it. Pull out your handy-dandy cell phone, camera, whatever device you have to take photos on, and make silly faces. You can put on funny make-up, fix your hair crazily, or just use silly filters. There is no right or wrong way to do this. And then, if you don’t like them, delete them. Or maybe you like them and you want to share them with the world so you post them. Who knows? Its up to you. The point is to just blow off some steam by letting yourself be silly. This will help you feel like a child again (or maybe a teenager with less responsibilities). We all need that in our lives and being silly really helps bring out that quality.

Blow bubbles

Blowing bubbles is pretty fun to do. It’s actually pretty stress relieving because it gets your focused on the bubbles and only the bubbles. You’ll forget about everything that is stressing you out!! You can do this several different ways, too. You can blow little bubbles with traditional bubble solution and tools or your can get creative/scientific and create your own solution and tools. I’ve seen people use hula hoops to create giant bubbles and step through them. This is super fun and relaxing!

Read your favorite book

This is quite possibly one of my favorite ways to relieve stress. Reading your favorite book is a great way to lower those horrible stress levels. Why, you ask. Because re-reading a book you’ve already read, whether it’s once or a million times, you are subjecting yourself to something that you like and that is familiar. Familiarity makes people calm which helps to alleviate all feelings of stress and anxiety. This will also work with watching your favorite movie or television show.

Dance

Dancing is another great way to relieve stress. In fact, you can relieve stress just by turning on your favorite song. When I’m stressed, I like to crank up the music super loud, clear a large area in the middle of the floor, and just let loose. I dance like no one is watching! This helps in two ways. 1. It’s fun and things that you enjoy don’t stress you out. 2. It’s exercise. Exercising is directly correlated with lowering stress levels by sending endorphins to the brain.

Well, that’s my list. If for some reason you find that these don’t work, there are a ton of ways to relieve stress on many medical sites. They are super easy to find with a simple google search. In fact, I’ve had to do that a few times when my stress turned into anxiety and I began to have anxiety/panic attacks. That is one of the worst feelings in the world, but there are ways that you can prevent it from happening. Taking care of your mental health is so important and it should never be put on the back burner. Make time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty asking someone to watch your kids while you spend an hour relaxing. It doesn’t make you a bad parent, it doesn’t make you a horrible person. To be the best version of yourself that you can be, sometimes you NEED a break. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you don’t.

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