Stress relievers are not just getaways on desert islands or vacations or family reunions anymore. Does the idea of a vacation make you laugh or cry? We used to say we needed a break, a vacation from our stressful lives. And we’d get on a plane or go on a cruise, or drive to the beach and eat out. But vacations and outings are not what they were before Covid 19.

Furthermore, vacations can’t help us cope with the stress of all the uncertainty we’re facing right now. What about schools openings? Are your children and teachers safe? If you are an essential worker who can’t take a break, you’re tired. Have you lost your job and can’t get unemployment? Are you worried about the economy and the country? How about worried about all of the above. You need some real stress management strategies.

The stress definition is: anything that causes physical, emotional, or psychological strain. Stress is your body’s response to anything that requires attention or action. What can we fix?

Stress relievers for relationships

Stress comes from a lot of different sources. Could be you have difficult relationships with Covid 19 restricting your activities. Not being able to get outside and have fun with safe friends can put addiction pressure on a marriage or family. Not getting along well with loved ones creates power struggles that can lead to abuse and domestic violence. But it could be just getting on each other’s nerves.

One form of stress relief is to know what you’re doing and when you’ll have a break. Schedule your day so that all tasks are covered to make sure there is some private time for you. Explore self care options. Boundaries are one important fix that you can take on slowly and carefully. Let others know what your limits are. You can say no. If you’re a codependent, you need extra help detaching.

Other strategies for stress management

Exercise is absolutely number one on the list. It boosts your endorphins and gets that extra energy out. It can also help stabilize your breathing. When you breathe deeply you provide more oxygen to nourish your brain.

Journal! Write it down and see if you get relief from expressing your feelings about whatever is happening that causes the anxiety. Perhaps you’ll see things from a different perspective once it’s in black and white in front of you.

Consider supplements Many supplements can have a calming effect. Look into Omega-3 fatty acids, Green tea, Valerian, and others that might make an excellent addition to your wellness routine.

Laugh because laughter is the best medicine. Laughter yoga is funny and fun, but many of us are addicted to animal videos on Youtube. Take a moment and find something to look at online, call someone who can help you see the humor in whatever is going on. Get home and watch something funny and let your mind relax. Lean into that feeling you get when something makes you laugh. When you feel happy write about it, so you can recreate the feeling.

Candles or essential oils. Many people swear by the power of scents. From lavender and rose to Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, and Sandalwood. Explore the scents that you like. Can’t hurt to have a soothing, nice-smelling candle around. We actually do light candles every day.

Animals Whether you have a pet of your own or you have access to other people’s pets, playing with an animal can be incredibly soothing. Animals are present in ways we struggle with, so it’s interesting to spend time with them when you’re stressed.

Hobbies Cooking is a great activity to kill time, get present, and make something delicious in the process. Don’t know how to cook. Start with easy recipes for beginners. Don’t like being in the kitchen? Crafting is big right now. We make our own candles and string beads. What do you like to do. Hobbies can become your why.

Stress relievers that cut down the highs

This isn’t an activity, but cut down on caffeine, sugar, pastries, and alcohol! Those intoxicants can add to feelings of stress and anxiety and put you on a rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows.

There are so many other activities we can suggest from being out in nature to coloring that also has a lovely soothing effect. We make a 12-Step coloring book for this exact reason. Coloring is creative and soothing.

Explore what feels good to you and try making a list for reference of your favorite activities that lend themselves to staying calm. I hope you like our ideas for stress-reducing activities.


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Lindsey Glass

Lindsey Glass is the co-founder of Reach Out Recovery. Her 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World Of Recovery, has helped to lift the stigma from addiction and recovery and is used in recovery programs nationwide to show what life is like on the other side of addiction. Lindsey's teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, was distributed to PBS stations nationwide by American Public Television in 2014-15. Lindsey has written dozens of popular articles on recovery. She is a recovery advocate and frequent keynote speaker. Lindsey is the author of 100 Tips for Growing Up, My 20 Years of Recovery, 2019. Before focusing on recovery, Lindsey was a TV and screenwriter. She has worked in publishing, web development, and marketing.

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