How Do You Reduce Stress?
Sometimes you don’t realize that your shoulders have crept up to your ears, or how tight your jaw is clenched until you make it a point to stop. Everything.
We all handle stress in different ways, so the staff at Project Adventure shared how they reduce stress to remind us that it’s important to take a moment out of each day for yourself.
Take a deep breath or two. Remove myself from the situation by taking a short walk.
Rock climbing, skiing, running (eww), hiking, biking, paddling and other such activities are tools I will often use as ‘active meditators’ to help chill out. Then there's the ‘everything but’ physical activity which often includes staying home, sleeping in with no alarm, eating lots of food, and catching up on all the stupid shows I never watch. And lastly, social time. I am thankful to have such a tightly woven social network, with friends that know me well enough to identify when I might need help relaxing. These days of reprise will often look similar to the category listed above, but with more mental activity. Usually, board games, lawn games, short and long talks will ease me into a broader peace of mind.
Walking, exercise, weeding, skiing, getting away for the weekend.
Yawn. Yawning is a proven relaxation technique, and it's contagious, the key is to stay in yawn for several minutes, at least two. The tricky part is the stigma around mouth wide open in public. Rock Balancing, I did some rock balancing AKA ‘rock art’ the other day and an hour and a half went by, and I had no idea.
I grin and bear it and hope tomorrow is better. Now that I think of it, talking with people that I love definitely helps.
My stress relievers are turning off radios, and TVs computers and tuning into the world surrounding me. Being aware of the sounds and rhythms of the world. Also, I love yoga and any physical activity for reducing stress.
My best stress reliever is my dog and an evening walk. As we all know, the love that is expressed by our pets when we walk in the door at the end of the day is never ending and without judgment. Coupling that warm welcome with a walk through the neighborhood separates my work life from my personal life.
The other aspect of this that is important is that we (my dog and I) often see our friends during the walk. These encounters are short, but import interactions that reinforce the separation between work and home and help to bring a personal connection to my day.
Being sure to have this separation between work and home is also important for me to keep my stress levels lower. While each aspect of life can have its stresses, being able to take a break from each part at different times throughout the day is essential and necessary to manage my stress levels. Part of this is being sure to disconnect from my work communications during my time and vice versa when I’m at work. Granted there are exceptions to this rule, but keeping these exceptions to a minimum and a manageable number is VERY important.
Finally, being sure to have time for personal recreation is very important. Being a recreation professional, I understand that one definition of the word recreation is 'to create a new' and that it is crucial for me to assure I have time for recreational activities so that I can start fresh when I return to work or other aspects of my life. The recreational activities do not necessarily need to be physical but need to be of sufficient intensity to require complete concentration or separation from other thoughts. This recreational time provides the opportunity for me to 'cleanse the mind' and create a new view on any upcoming tasks.
Most of what we do to relieve stress is to make a connection. We connect with loved ones through laughter, we connect with nature on a walk with our dog, or we connect with ourselves by unplugging from all devices. Whatever that connection might be, it’s a healthy release that allows our bodies to recover from the day.
As for me, I love markers and pens in every color, and I also like to challenge my brain to create new things. My stress reducer is to combine the two: write brightly colored haikus and maybe share them. What will you do today?