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Who doesn’t need a stress reliever, or six? We are quickly returning to a post-pandemic world and just navigating life re-entry is stressful. Not to mention, world events, the economy, and whatever else might be going on in your life kids, dogs, parents, etc. So, finding the right stress relievers for your needs is more important now than ever before. Why? because life is easier when you know you have things that will make you feel better throughout the day. Especially, f you’re in recovery, and not just from an addiction, you need some stress relief practices you can turn to when you feel anxious or overwhelmed. One tiny action can lift your mood. Here are some of my favorite stress relievers.

My #1 favorite stress reliever is exercise

Exercise will always lift your spirits. It gets your endorphins and your blood flowing, bringing in more oxygen that nourishes your brain. We can’t say enough about moving your body. It doesn’t matter how much or how little you do. Exercise gets you away from your workplace and gives you a break in your routine. Ride a bike, walk a mile. Do Tai Chi. Break a sweat immediately, or just do a little. If someone or something upsets me, I’m taking a walk outside so quickly you won’t even see my shadow. If I can do yoga or exercise, even better, but just getting those endorphins up is a cure-all for a lot. Need a great suggestion for yoga? Try this Youtube Channel.

#2 Breathing activities will calm your heart: Breathing is a great stress reliever

Like meditation, I believe this is something that works best when you’ve had some guided training and practice. You know how when people have an anxiety attack they often hyperventilate? Well, deep breathing, or healthy breathing, will help regulate your heart rate and calm you down. Use an app like Calm or Headspace. If you don’t want to search for an app, you can just breath in for 4 counts, hold your breath for 4 counts and breathe out for 5 counts. Just see how soothing that is. Want a cool app. Try Wim Hoff – the Dutch Ice Man’s breathing app.

#3 Another top stress reliever (for me) is cooking for loved ones 

This only works if you’re someone who feels comfortable in the kitchen. If that’s the case, cooking can be fabulous for stress relief. From giving yourself the assignment of finding a great recipe to purchasing the ingredients, to food prep and cooking, to the finale of serving your masterpiece, the whole process can engage you and give your mind a little relief at the same time. And you get to eat, which is always a favorite stress reliever. You can substitute anything you love. Music is a great stress reliever. Quick naps are a an

#4. Animals/Nature are stress relievers because they bring perspective

Animals, and I mean pets, are proven to relieve stress and bring happiness. If you’re in recovery, you need a pet to love and who will love you back no matter how miserable you are. I’m very lucky, and I live by an incredible hiking trail in California. Whenever something upsets me, I grab the dog, and we hike up that mountain. Nature gives me the perspective and the quiet I need to remove myself from the situation for a moment, and a long walk with the dog allows us to connect and have a spiritual moment. I know a dog trainer who told me there’s nothing a dog loves more than to take a nice, long walk with their human in nature. When I see my dog prance up the mountain and look back at me with a grin, I know I’m doing something good for both of us, and it gives me a lift in that way too.

#5. Sharing with friends, family, and sponsors is connection you need for stress relief and wellbeing

No matter what’s going on, if you have someone you can call to talk about it, that is always a great solution. Call someone safe who can give you practical advice. Things are always worse in our heads and often friends, family or colleagues can help us find an easy solution!

To be clear, I do not suggest that you don’t call your sponsor, or go to meetings. Those things are essential if you’re a person who needs recovery group support, but the goal here in recovery is to create a world we can live in comfortably. To me, living comfortably means having tools I can use at any moment, for any reason. These days, stress relief is a necessity!

#6. Another go-to stress reliever for me is writing

This comes under finding or recovering a passion. Or just recovering. Journaling, working on an article and practicing ways to express myself better are all stress relievers for me and can be for you, too. Writing is a way to get your thoughts on paper and talk to people without getting in trouble. You write them letters but never send them. It works every time. Just letting out how you feel will make you feel better You can improve your writing, or learn how to write on sites like myperfectpaper reviews. Go for it. Tell yourself how you feel so you can feel much better.

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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.