I’m a clinical psychologist with fifteen years of experience and seven kids. Needless to say, I have a massive amount of experience dealing with stress and reactions to stress!! All of my education, training, and real-life experience as a parent and spouse makes me the best person to guide others on better ways to better manage their stress.
Life tends to be at least somewhat stressful on a good day and it only seems to get more stressful with all the changes that life brings. Given all the changes this year has brought, many of us are experiencing stress we didn’t even know was possible!
Stress can be caused by a wide variety of factors–some we can control and some we cannot control. Being able to differentiate what we have control of and what we do not have control of allows us to handle our stress better because we know what we can change and what we are unable to change.
Then, we change what we can to reduce our stress and increase our coping skills for dealing with what we cannot change. Today, we get to focus on increasing those coping skills to better manage our stress, with a focus on creative ways to reduce stress!
Show Your Creativity
Color. Draw. Craft. Paint. Do whatever you enjoy where you can express yourself, your emotions, and be creative! For me, painting is always something I have found to be relaxing. I am definitely NOT an artist, but I enjoy it!
Increase Your Heart Rate
Getting your heart rate up by being physically active is a great way to decrease stress. But think outside the box! Take a dance class! Play tag with your kids! Ride a bike! Dance in the kitchen! Have sex with a consenting partner! Use your imagination to think of new and exciting ways to get your heart rate elevated!
Spend Time Those You Enjoy
Being able to spend time with someone you enjoy is one way to increase your happiness and decrease stress. Have a date with your partner! Have lunch with your best friend! Have a zoom meet-up or Netflix Party with friends you can’t see in person due to distance or health issues. Or just sit in their company and do NOTHING but enjoy the good weather!
Rest and Relax
Make sure you get enough rest. Allow yourself to have some down time. Take a weekend getaway. Sleep in a little on a morning you don’t have to work. Go to bed a little earlier one night. Take a nap. Delegate tasks to other family members to lighten your load.
Do What Makes You YOU
Allow yourself time to take care of yourself. Listen to that once more….Allow yourself time to take care of yourself. Do something you enjoy. Do that fun activity you’ve been putting off because you are too busy. Take a mental health day from work. Read. Write. Sing. Dance. Whatever makes you you and whatever brings your joy–DO IT!
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to allow yourself to what you enjoy. Everyone has to complete necessities in life. We have to eat, laundry has to be done, the kids have to complete homework, the grass needs to be mowed, and on and on and on.
However, even with all of these things we HAVE to do, make sure to let yourself do the things you want to do!
And to be the BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF…you need to take care of yourself. Give yourself as much forgiveness and help you give others.
Here are some other ideas for decreasing and better managing stress
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