I’d like to think that the amount of exercise I do and the intense nature of those workouts is what keeps me generally stress-free on a regular basis. Sure, there are always off days, busy work weeks and stressful moments in life, but getting to burn off that negative energy first thing in the morning every day makes a world of difference for me personally. Music is a big help with this too – I can get as angry or crazy as I want in that hour I’m sweating and working my ass off. Even if I’ve already worked out in the morning, sometimes I take a 30 minute walk in the middle of the day to step away from the computer and start fresh.
LISTEN TO A PODCAST
This is something I usually do on a walk, so you’re killing two birds with one stone! What makes a podcast more effective to me than music in this case, is that it literally forces you to focus on something else entirely. Maybe it’s my ADHD, but I can’t fully listen to something and do any multitasking (thinking about other things, working at the computer, etc). A podcast makes me pay attention to what I’m listening to which empties my head of any other thoughts.
I really love cooking and trying out new recipes. In addition to being a fun activity and having it take your mind off of things that might be stressing you out, you also get a reward (you get to eat!) once you’re done! Cooking and baking are an incredibly satisfying hobby for me.
BINGE WATCH A SHOW ON NETFLIX/HULU/AMAZON
I try to only do this when I’m not feeling well or when the weather is bad (I love being outside!), but sometimes you just need to take the time to watch a few hours of your favorite (or a new) show. It’s such an easy way to unwind, and with all the streaming sites available these days there are endless genres of TV and movies available at your fingertips. Right now I’m really loving Parenthood – can’t believe it’s taken me so long to watch this show!
GRAB LUNCH OR A DRINK AFTER WORK WITH FRIENDS
This is probably my favorite way to destress, because it allows me to get out of the house, be social and catch up with friends. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m incredibly outgoing and love being around other people, so working from home can sometimes really get me down. I like to schedule a couple meals or drink dates with some girlfriends throughout the week so I don’t get burned out (or become a hermit – seriously).
Even if it’s a short weekend trip to Austin to see my folks (or a staycation in Dallas!), taking a step away from your regular life for a couple days can really change your outlook. Sometimes you just need a change of scenery or a few days away from the computer to reboot and recharge. While I’m so so happy with how my house is coming along, I’ll definitely be ready to shift my focus to travel once I can afford to do it again more regularly!
I’m such a cliche, but I truly have so much fun shopping and trying on clothes. Whether I hit up the mall or am trying on my online orders at home, it’s fun to see what’s new and find fresh pieces to spice up your wardrobe. It doesn’t have to be fancy stuff either – those $15 finds can be just as gratifying as an investment piece! Even if I’m not actually buying anything, I honestly enjoy combing through my favorite online stores to check out new arrivals and add them to THE SHOP for you guys – it’s one of my favorite parts of the blog these days! It’s literally an ongoing wish list of things I want.
Scrolling through Instagram, Facebook, texting and talking on the phone are all proven stressors. The latter can actually even raise your blood pressure! Turn your phone off for a few hours and put it out of your reach. You’ll be less distracted from things you need to get done and won’t get bothered by relentless buzzing.
While listening to music is certainly good for all of us, I find playing piano and singing to be a big stress reliever for me personally. I’ve loved to sing since I was little and taught myself how to play piano in high school, however I don’t do much of either these days since this blog took over my life! Fun fact: I was in the Texas All State Choir my senior year of high school! I’m such a nerd. Every time I go home to Austin, I love sitting at the piano for 30 minutes or so a day to plunk on those ivories. I get to tap into one of my favorite hobbies and am moved by the music at the same time. Over Labor Day Weekend I actually talked to my mom about how I wish I had a piano so I could do that in Dallas! Who knows, maybe I’ll get an upright piano to put in my hallway or something. I definitely want to start taking piano and voice lessons again so I don’t lose it all!
Get a mani/pedi, facial or a massage – any kind of spa treatment, really. When all else fails, this is my solution. While it’s certainly not the most cost-effective solution to stress, it definitely helps me relax and forget about my troubles. There’s something about being pampered that makes all your cares melt away, don’t you think?