Feeling frazzled lately? Overcome by emotion and anxiety, pulling your hair out with self-tape deadlines and demands from other people? I know I’d love nothing more than a giant EASY button like they have in TV commercials, so I can hit reset whenever things in my life become unmanageable.
We all know the traditional advice for stress relief — eat well, rest up, exercise, meditation, deep breathing, etc., but those habits can take awhile to implement, especially if your routine is off the rails lately. And we need results fast!
Here are 7 quick ways to relieve your stress and anxiety that you may not have thought about before, and best of all, each one takes no more than 5 minutes!
1) Cool Your Body Down
It’s no surprise that when you’re stressed out under a deadline or feeling nervous that your body temperature responds in kind. Your face may begin to feel flushed and you start to sweat.
Try this simple method: Head to the bathroom and run cold water over the inside of your wrists. There are major arteries present there (and why all the doctors and nurses on Grey’s Anatomy check pulses at the wrist), so the cooling sensation of the water will signal to your brain to literally chill out!
You can also swipe some cool water behind your earlobes, or dip your face in a bowl of ice water for 15 – 30 seconds, a la Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, for similar effect.
2) Anchor Yourself
“Anchoring” is a method of grounding your anxious mind and bringing your focus back to the internal situation and not external factors beyond your control. Stand up with your feet slightly apart (whatever is comfortable) and dig your heels into the floor. Maybe even do this barefoot on a rug with a nice texture, so you can really sink in between your toes.
Then observe what you’re thinking at this moment. How are you feeling? What are you doing?
Now evaluate whether your response to this stress is: a) helpful; b) aligned with your core values or intention; or c) related to future worries or a past problem. This practice can help you snap out of unhelpful old patterns and give you a chance to replace them with a more positive reaction.
3) Stick To Your Guns
Real talk: most of us like being in control. And as creative people, our industries really allow us so much flexibility and autonomy. But if you don’t know how to set boundaries, you’re on the fast track for burnout and resentment.
The easy answer? Say “no” to the projects and favors that aren’t in alignment with your values and goals. And stick to your decision! Not only will people respect you more if you’re clear, direct and don’t waffle back and forth, but it will save you from unnecessary anxiety.
If you’re a people-pleaser or just have a hard time saying no in difficult situations, here are 8 Powerful Tips to help you out.
4) Roll Your Feet Over A Tennis Ball
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but rubbing each foot back and forth over a tennis or golf ball not only relieves stress but helps your muscles and ligaments as well. The movement of the ball on your arch stimulates blood flow while stretching tight spots, and it can trigger a healing response that reduces inflammation and swelling.
Plus, it feels fabulous! So get on the ball. 😉
5) Give Yourself An Ego Boost
Ever heard of “fake it until you make it”? It’s true! You can relieve stress and anxiety (and boost your self esteem) simply by going through the motions of confidence. Stand up straight and force yourself to grin big or let out a heart laugh.
Then give yourself a compliment in the third person aloud. “Oh, Moniqua, you’re such a loyal friend! You’re a great cook, and you take such good care of your fam.” Using the third person is a little psychological trick to help you ditch that nasty Inner Critic, by talking about yourself like you would a colleague or loved one (or even a stranger!).
And talking things out helps relieve stress too, which is why therapy can be so beneficial for your mental health.
6) Use Essential Oils
Aromatherapy is a fast and effective way to relieve stress and anxiety. You can use a diffuser to get your whole home smelling divine while you prep for an audition or set up for a self-tape. Or carry a small bottle with you on the go, to take a whiff before a big presentation or meeting.
Essential oils can be used throughout the day too, especially if you have trouble turning off your busy brain at the end of a long day and falling asleep. If you’re not sure what to look for when shopping, check out my Beginner’s Guide to Essential Oils.
I personally love the smell of lavender (it is the go-to natural stress and anxiety reliever), but here are a few other oils that pack powerful stress relief too: bergamot, cedarwood, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, lemon, marjoram, orange blossom, Roman chamomile, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, ylang ylang.
7) Cuddle With Your Pet
It’s so easy to get caught up in taking care of our pets’ physical needs that we forget animals can have rich emotional lives too. So snuggle up to your pet or just share some love with them for 5 minutes. It’s a great self-esteem boost because you know no one can love you like your pet. ❤️
Which of these ways to relieve stress and anxiety will you try out first?
I know the past 16 months have been hard in ways we never anticipated, but there is strength in finding and connecting with a positive community. If you’re a creative woman who’s ready to enjoy vibrant health without diets, guilt, or deprivation, I invite you to join The Badass Beauty Club on Facebook and access health coaching for creatives who are ready to SHINE!