Stress or feeling overwhelmed can make you gravitate toward "quick fix" stress relievers that ultimately leave you feeling worse -- such as overeating, binge drinking, spending too much while shopping or making a bad call in a relationship. To rescue yourself from stress in a healthy way, have an arsenal of ready-to-go de-stressors on hand so you can get immediate relief and keep feeling good.
You know what songs speak to your soul. Compile your playlist ahead of time and have it ready to stream on your phone -- or in your car -- so you can return to a happy place fast. You don't need much time to take the edge off -- according to the American Psychological Association, even just 10 minutes a day all to yourself can help slow your body’s stress response.
Pick a Peaceful Pose
Learn a simple yoga stretch, and pause to put it into practice when stress levels are high. The American Academy of Family Physicians cites exercise as a good stress reliever and a healthy way to release stored-up tension and energy. Yoga has many positions for people of all fitness levels, so practice one that works for you.
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Bury Yourself in a Book
Buy yourself a fun fiction book even if you don't have time to read it right away. It's good to have your next relaxing read lined up so that all you have to do is crack it open when you need a stress-free escape.
Pick a park in your town you don't usually go to and take a stroll. It’s a simple way to get a change of scenery and take a break from the daily grind. Going to a place where people are relaxing and having fun can help you relax, too.
Chat It Up
Call an old friend to get caught up. Don’t worry if you haven’t spoken in a while -- it just means you’ll have more to talk about. Sharing what’s going on in your life -- and hearing what’s going on in someone else’s -- can put your stress into perspective and help you see the big picture.
Treat the Tension
Stress is your body’s natural response to threatening situations, but it can leave you with pent-up energy in the form of tension. Purchase an ergonomic pillow or a back massager to target trouble areas, such as your neck and shoulders.
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Pause for Pampering
Always have a new nail polish on hand. A bottle of nail polish is not a big splurge, so buy yourself the fun color you’ve been wanting to try. If you store it someplace visible, such as your dresser or vanity, it serves as a bright reminder that you should take a moment for yourself. It also gives you something fun to look forward to.
Stock Up on Suds
Keep your bathtub clean and stocked with aromatherapy bubbles or salts, so it’s easy to slip in for a soak if the stress is rising. If your bathroom has bright overhead lights, switch them off and use candles or a nightlight for a more relaxing atmosphere. Choose soothing scents such as lavender, eucalyptus, rose or vanilla to fill the air with calm luxury.