Why is it that life always reaches its most stressful points at the least convenient times? Is that some kind of rule or something? I always find myself at my most overwhelmed when I’m in the middle of an important work assignment, or in a crowded subway car, or some other situation when I can’t really do much about it. Long-term stress management is a great thing – though some research suggests certain kinds of stress can be good for you – but in the heat of the moment you can’t always hop over to therapy or yoga class to unwind.
But fret not! There are things you can do right this second to calm the heck down and concentrate on what’s in front of you. Sometimes it’s all about taking things in stride as best you can until you’ve got more time to regroup later. Depending on where you are and what you’re stressed about, try a few of these tips for quick relief.
- Take a walk around the block.
- Breathe in and out, slowly and heavily, for a full minute. Then add another minute if you’re so inclined.
- Make a SO PEPPY IT’S PAINFUL playlist and pop it in whenever you need to muster extra energy.
- Run around the block, even if you’re in office garb (just make sure nobody from the office sees you to give epic side eye.)
- Duck into a store you love and briskly walk around the perimeter – hey, maybe you’ll also find a cute new dress!
- Write down in a notebook exactly how you’re feeling for one minute, then close up that notebook and tuck it away.
- Listen to talk radio – is there anything more soothing and comfortably dull than midday radio newscasters?
- Have a 30-second private dance party in a conference room (or wherever else you can get a few seconds to yourself).
- Do 10 squats. Seriously!
- Jump up and down for ten seconds.
- Make some chamomile tea.
- Meditate for three minutes.
- Step into the corner store or flower shop and literally stop and smell the roses.
- Take a minute to revisit a favorite memory – and remind yourself that even more wonderful experiences await!
- Pick your next daydream travel destination and start imagining how divine it’ll be to finally arrive.
- Light a candle.
- Step outside into the fresh air and breathe deeply. (Even if it’s winter. Especially if it’s winter.)
- Take a 20-minute power nap.
- Put on comfy leggings. Everything’s easier when you’re wearing comfy leggings.
- Call your best friend for a quick five-minute chat. (Yes! Call instead of text!)
- If you’re angry at someone, write a long screed you never intend to send and tell them exactly how you really feel. (Do not send!)
- Lay down on the ground, Savasana style, and feel the earth (or tile floor) beneath you. Breathe.
- Order decaf when you pick up your afternoon coffee.
- Pet a dog. Any dog.
Original by Claire Hannum