Dealing with a stressful day is not fun. Working in a fast-paced industry, I’ve experienced many stressful days these past eight years, and on those days, it’s when you really can feel like the cards are stacked against you and you might as well turn around, go back home and go to bed.
There are some coping mechanisms though, that can assist in times like this. Below, I’ve listed some quick things that you can do to improve your mood immediately. These are meant to be actionable items that you can just do, not things you need to buy something for, go somewhere for, or wait for someone else to do something. They just take you and a few minutes of your time…and perhaps your smartphone.
- Go For a Walk
Easy, cheap (as in, free!) good for your body, and gets you exposed to some oxygen, Vitamin D, and you’re given a chance to think. Or, to not think, if that’s your thing too. All this requires is some shoes suitable for walking and to head out the door – even if you feel like you don’t have a minute to spare, a 20-minute walk outside will do wonders to re-set your mood and give you a breather.
- Take a Hot Bath or Shower
This one’s better reserved for the end of your day, so that you don’t have to rush. Nothing can feel more soothing than a leisurely dip in the tub or trip in the shower when you’re stressed out, tensed up, and just need to unwind. Step things up a notch with some Epsom salts, a bath bomb, or your favorite scented body wash to really pamper yourself.
3. Call a Friend
Most of us have that friend, the one who’s always upbeat and can find the highlights in life. Give him or her a call and just chat it up for a few minutes. If you’re pressed for time, let her know in the beginning of the call that you only have a few minutes, but that you were thinking about them and just wanted to check in. Chances are, their mood will lift you up and you’ll find yourself smiling in no time.
- Look Back at Some Old Photos
Facebook’s feature to display your timeline memories is really helpful for this. I regularly find myself looking back at photos of my son when he was a baby, or watching videos we took of him learning to crawl or walk. Puts a smile on my face instantly.
- Jot Down Your Accomplishments
If it feels like you’re just stuck in a rut, can’t move forward on projects or your luck is against you, take a minute to write down the things you have done. Recalling some wins is motivating and will allow you to see what you have done and that you’re a BOSS.
- Watch Funny Cat Videos
Cliché, I know, but watching some humorous videos can really help you lighten up and laugh a little. Obviously, watch something that’s funny to you, and don’t be afraid to literally, LOL
- Write Down Everything
There are a few advantages to this. When your brain is going 100 miles a minute, doing a brain-dump of everything that’s going on in there can help you feel a bit freed up. This will allow you to transfer some of the jumble inside your head onto the paper, and hopefully be able to take a deep breath and realize that it’s either not as bad as you thought, or that you need to get serious about prioritization, so, therefore, take whatever was going on in your mind and begin to take action on the top 3 priorities. Just organizing your thoughts can help you plan ahead.
Psst. A little secret for you. These tips aren’t only for dealing with a stressful day or week. Some of these tips can be used as ways to help you unwind, prioritize yourself, and increase your productivity. Have you ever heard that employees who utilize their vacation time tend to be more productive and happier than their counterparts who don’t use their vacation time? So even if you have a million things to do, take some time for yourself to implement these little stress relievers at least on occasion.