8 Rituals That Help Me Destress
We all have those days where we wake-up up on the wrong side of the bed and nothing seems to be able to get us to a happy place. We go through the day with negative energy and attract more negative energy, which isn’t good for anyone (especially our loved ones surrounding us). Other times, we wake up happy and a series of unfortunate events (see what I did there?) can flip our mood, make us feel stressed and anxious. For highly sensitive people like me this happens more often than not as we pick up on every facial expression, remark, tone, noise, emotion - the list goes on - and then (over)analyse it. Anyone else?
There is however a few tricks I use to find more balance and avoid playing emotional ping-pong with myself for 12 hours - it’s exhausting. These rituals and practices really work for me, but my advice is to test them out and see what works for you as we are all different.
Purposely listed here as the first one, because this is my main go-to practice. Admittedly, feeling anxious is my number one reason for woking out. It is also the hardest to do on days where getting out of bed is achievement enough, but once you do the feeling doesn’t quite compare to anything else. My advice here to really tune into your body and understand what it needs in terms of type of exercise. I go through phases where all I want to do is practice yoga, others where I want to lift weights and sometime, although more rarely, it’s all about cardio (not running, never running with me, but I have friends who only run). I’m currently in a spinning + weight lifting phase. Try it all and see what works best for you.
2. GO FOR A WALK
There’s very few thing a walk around the park or in another nature setting won’t fix. You’ll be able to breath in some fresh air, move your body and take time off from any screens / work. Keep doing the rounds until you feel okay to get back to your life again.
3. WRITE IT DOWN
Keeping a diary / journalling / writing has always played a huge part in my life (probably why this blog even exists in the first place), because it’s always helped process what I was stressing about. There is something about putting the problem down on paper that makes it look infinitely smaller and solvable. It’s the same reason why I love making lists upon lists upon lists, because when my mind gets messy and I get stressed writing it down and figuring out what has priority makes me feel a lot calmer.
4. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE
Avoid social media at all cost. We all know it can be an amazing tool, but when you are feeling stressed scrolling through a never-ending highlight reel of people’s lives - not the best! If you can, try turning your phone off completely so that you don’t have notifications coming in. What I’ve found hugely beneficial is turning my phone off completely one to two hours before going to bed and actually leaving it outside the room for the night.
5. DANCE IT OUT
Blast your favourite happy tunes and dance it off (or as T Swift would say, shake it off!) Be as ridiculous and silly as you can be, no one is watching and this is purely to make you feel free and good about yourself.
6. DO YOGA
This is quite similar to point one about workouts but slightly different, because regardless of weather you have time (or even want to) go for a workout, even 10 minutes of flowing will make you feel SO much better. Try to be really regular and make a short practice session part of your morning our evening routine. It’s an instant mood booster, will make you feel calmer and make you sleep so much better.
7. COOK A HEALTHY HOMEMADE MEAL
This sounds like a cliché, but putting good, hearty food into your body will make it feel loved and give back the gift of energy. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or long to cook, I would say that the only thing you should avoid (in addition to any dietary requirements you may have) is that it’s whole foods. Avoid processed foods, even if they are vegan, as they won’t make you feel at your best. Instead try a nice curry, stew, green bowl or is summer just a damn good and filling salad.
8. TURN ON A CANDLE AND READ
This one I like to do in the evenings when by mind has become quite foggy and stressy from the day, which I know will mean that I will sleep badly throughout the day. After a shower I get into bed, light a nice scented candle (favourites are from Earl of East) and read until my eyes keep shutting and I have to go to bed.