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5 Ways to De-Stress that Won’t Cost You Anything

November 04, 2020

It’s the afternoon after the election and my shoulders still feel the tension. Beyond the effects of staying up super late (and some middle of the night check-ins) watching the returns that at times felt like a ping pong match of who was in the lead has me craving some time to unwind. If you’re like me, relief from the tension is necessary and I thought it would be helpful to share ways to de-stress that won’t cost you anything.

1.           Hydrate

Grab a tall glass and fill ‘er up! Dehydration can lead to higher cortisol levels, making it more challenging to deal with everyday stressors or the ever-growing to-do list. Also, dehydration leads to fatigue. Why? Because when your blood volume lowers, you aren’t getting as much blood to your brain and the heart has to pump harder.

2.           Take a 10-minute walk

Can you squeeze in a walk? Of course, you can! It’s a great method to clear our heads (and hearts) and naturally boost endorphins, which will reduce stress hormones. Whether you’re streaming our Post-Election playlist on Spotify or enjoying the sounds of the leaves crunching beneath your feet – this is a great stress reliever. Set your timer – 5 minutes out, 5 minutes back. That’s it.

3.           Unplug

Resist notifications, breaking news alerts, and the like to unplug for a bit. While you may not be able to commit for hours, even a few minutes will help. The stimulus of images, messaging, attention-grabbing subject lines, etc. can be overwhelming. What do instead of scrolling? Light that new fall scented candle and grab an extra cookie to enjoy with hot tea. Without the “white noise,” you can recharge and focus on yourself.

4.           Thankfulness

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s a great time to cultivate gratitude. It’s been said that gratitude is the heart’s memory – take a moment to reflect on the special people in your life and the kindness they’ve shown you. Committing to this practice will lead to a greater sense of well-being, increased satisfaction for life. Wondering where to start? Make a mental list of 3 or 4 things for which you are grateful. If you feeling compelled, consider journaling or write thank you notes, but just being mentally aware can elevate your emotional well-being.

5.           Give back

Understandably, uncertainties lead to anxiety. Not just the election, but in day-to-day life. Giving back will allow you to take control over what you can. This doesn’t mean reciprocating favors or evening the score - I’m talking about a selfless act for another person. Maybe it’s volunteering for a neighborhood beautification project this weekend, or finding a deserving family to purchase for this Holiday season. Mentoring or reading to a young child or buying a gift card for someone in need. Maybe it’s just holding the door or offering compassion to a visibly flustered employee when you’re checking out at the grocery store. This behavior is associated with increased activity in the brain area that functions as part of the reward system. You read that right! Giving back has health benefits!


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WRITTEN BY Kerri Miller
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