In the past couple of weeks, saying I’m a little bit stressed out would definitely be an understatement. I’ve been rushing around like a headless chicken trying to buy and prepare the things I’ll need to take to university, organise my blog and my YouTube channel, socialise and catch up with friends, do my university prep work (PLS HELP), do some kind of university reading from my reading list (what are books??), prepare for my DSLA Driving Theory test, tidy my bedroom at home and pack for uni. It’s been incredibly hectic (and it still is!) but I thought I’d share twelve things I do to relax, unwind, and most importantly, de-stress.
1. Go to bed earlier; wake up earlier
Now this is something I definitely need to start doing more of. For a couple of days I was in bed by 10:30pm and got up at around 7am and my body felt so much better. I was up and ready for the day ahead and managed to get a lot done in the morning. It’s surprising what waking up earlier can actually do for you, not just mentally but also physically, so I would highly recommend calling it a night by 10:30pm (if not earlier!) in order for your body to get enough rest and to allow you to wake up earlier. I leave my curtains slightly open so that I can wake up naturally early with the sunlight (trying to train my body to wake up naturally early) – I just know that on days that I wake up earlier (and sleep earlier), I personally feel far less stressed and I have a much more positive outlook on the day ahead as well as a productive one!
2. Go outside and take a walk
Sometimes when you’ve been sitting at your desk (or, in my case, my bed) it’s nice to take a proper break and get away from the “work” mindset. Fresh air is my go-to when I need a breather and getting more oxygen into your body is a known fact to calm you down. Even if I’m outside only to walk around the block for five minutes, I instantly feel better, calmer and less stressed out.
3. Have a bubble bath
Bubble baths are a girl’s best friend (certainly one of mine!) and I don’t think they need any explanation. Grab a cuppa, light some candles and relax…
4. Treat yourself
I recently treated myself to Soap & Glory’s Oat, Sugar & Shea Breakfast Scrub – not only does it smell insane (no seriously, I can’t stop smelling it even when I’m just in bed) but it instantly uplifted my mood and made me excited to use it. Treating yourself to something as little as a chocolate bar improves your mood and makes you happy which in turn de-stresses you.
5. Get your body moving
Kind of self-explanatory: exercise releases endorphins → endorphins make you happy → mood-booster means you’re less stressed! I love getting active and getting my body moving. As a
n on-and-off runner, I get the urge to go running whenever I get frustrated, annoyed and stressed out about something I’m working on. Once my shoes are on and I’m out of the door I feel ten times better. You don’t have to be the fittest person in the world but getting your body moving will help you de-stress. I promise.
6. Watch a film, TV series or some YouTube videos
I’m one of those procrastinators guilty of turning to YouTube videos when I’m too overwhelmed and stressed out about my crazily long To-Do list. Whilst this is bad to do to procrastinate, it’s good to set aside time to do something you’ll enjoy as a nice break from work or whatever it is that is stressing you out. This could vary from a two-hour long film to a five-minute long clip on YouTube. Add this in to do between your work and you’ll feel less stressed.
7. Read a book
I love to read a good book just before I go to bed (I really need to try and start doing this daily) as it means I’m not seeing a screen just before I try and sleep (which is actually really bad for your health!) but I can also absorb myself in the storyline. Reading is so, so good for broadening the mind, increasing vocabulary and knowledge. There are so many benefits to reading (this is a good article) so get stuck into a good story and de-stress!
8. Journal or write
I love to journal – it helps me to relax and I enjoy being creative (not that I am particularly artsy). I have a scapbook-type journal where I go all out with my stickers, tissue paper and washi tape, but I also have a diary-type journal where I write down things that have been going on in my life. Writing is incredibly calming and just jotting down what is on your mind also psychologically helps with it. I also use my blog as a tool to mentally de-stress as writing blog posts calms my mind and I just love doing it. I hope to take a journal to uni where I can document stories and anecdotes about my experiences, ahhh exciting!
9. Call a friend/Talk to someone
If you’re feeling particularly stressed out or worried, it’s a good idea to take a step back and speak to somebody about this. This could be your mum, your siblings or your friends. It could even be someone on the internet if you’re not comfortable with telling people you know in person about your troubles (my inbox is always open!) It’s nice to talk it over with somebody else so you can get advice but also get a new perspective on the situation. Plus it’s nice to have a catch up with somebody anyway!
10. Listen to music
Throw on your favourite Spotify playlist or your favourite album and just dance and/or sing your heart out! You may look and feel silly but I promise you you’ll feel a lot better. If you’re not into jumping around the room while jamming to some tuuuunes (just me??) then just enjoy the music doing whatever you want!
11. Breathe and SMILE
Taking a few moments to pay attention to your breathing can really help with your relaxation. Furthermore, being mindful of your thoughts (i.e. being positive) and smiling can really help boost your mood and de-stress your mind and body. Try it now!
12. Prepare for your day the night before
This is definitely something I swear by. Every evening (okay, most evenings) I get my bullet journal out and I make a list of everything I want to do the following day. This includes my daily goals (drink 2 litres of water, 5 a day, etc.) to specific things such as doing Unit 2 of my Latin notes and also any events or meetings I might have. Doing this the night before means that I can look at my list in the morning and start tackling them. I feel a lot more organised and means that I’m not stressing out first thing by not knowing what to do or where to start.
I hope you all enjoyed my list and that it helps you if you ever find yourself stressed out or worried. If you have anything in particular you do to de-stress that I haven’t mentioned then please comment below as I’d love to hear about what others do!
If you haven’t joined the adventures already, here are the links:
Instagram & Twitter – @violahelen_
Snapchat – violahelen
Peace and love,