Adulthood can be very stressful, and we would all avoid the rigors of adulthood if we could. Thinking about paying bills, keeping in touch with family and friends, meeting deadlines at work, and simply keeping on top of everything can quickly wear a person out. But the truth is, we don’t have a choice but to grow up and be responsible; the best we can hope to do is to keep all aspects of our lives as balanced as possible. From a fellow stressed out adult, here are seven ways to kick back and not feel guilty about it.
1. Do yoga
Have you ever seen a stressed out yogi? Probably not. They all look calm with glowing, well-hydrated skin and few worries. You could be like that too. You may not be a fan of spiritual mumbo jumbo and muttering “ohm” in a class full of people may not sound appealing to you, but it does keep you sane. Take an hour off your weekend routine of binge watching bad tv and drag a friend along to a nearby yoga class. Yoga will keep you relaxed,1 fit and beautiful. Stretching out is good fun too. And if you are a young misanthrope, put YouTube to good use and learn yoga by yourself. If you want to be adventurous, stock up on incense sticks, scented candles, potpourri, scented oils, and herbs. Sort out the feng shui in your home by rearranging everything in a way that perfectly suits you. Install some mood lights and saturate yourself in sweet scented paradise as you stretch.
2. Take a walk
This may seem like pretty basic advice and a one-size-fits-all answer to any health-related question, but it works. Walking has significant benefits2 that even you, a dedicated elevator person, can’t knock. Gather your thoughts as you walk through your favorite park and take in the scenery. If walking alone is boring, then listen to music if you like, stop and talk to strangers and learn their stories. Walking is easy, does not require any special fitness gear and will leave you feeling refreshed. Doesn’t hurt that you get to knock off a few calories too.
3. Take a bath
You’ve seen it on TV. Overworked woman lights candles, pours a glass of wine, pulls her hair back and slides into a welcoming bubble bath. But relaxing baths3 aren’t just for beautiful women in movies, give those sore muscles a much-needed break and soak in a nicely scented bath. Throw in some bath bombs for added oomph! Don’t forget your candles and wine!
Sitting cross-legged and taking a breather is honestly the easiest way to feel relaxed and one of the best too. You don’t even have to sit cross-legged; you can meditate in just about any position that’s comfortable for you. Recently, there have been a lot of studies on brain activity during meditation.
I won’t bore you with the specifics, but meditating has way too many advantages to ignore. It does not just relieve stress; it helps you focus—reduces your heart rate, lowers blood pressure,4 helps you get rid of negative thoughts and helps you sleep fitfully. And that’s just a few of the benefits you get by meditating. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but you’ll get used to it and be a guru in no time at all. So set aside at least 20 minutes out of your incredibly busy day, Just stay still and let your mind be at peace.
5. Slow down
Work emails keep piling up, and your kids have to visit the dentist. You’ve had way too many sleepless nights thinking about your presentation, and you have that meeting with an investor that you can’t afford to miss. Yes, you have a lot on your plate, but you can’t handle them if you’re laying in a hospital bed somewhere so SLOW DOWN and if you have the guts, tell your boss to chill on the emails.
6. Get a hobby
This may seem counterintuitive, especially if you see it as getting more work on top of the work you already have piled up. But a hobby is a different kind of work. One you enjoy doing. Without an employer breathing down your neck. It doesn’t have to be anything serious. Gardening, sewing, and reading are great options. If you are the athletic type, try joining your local swim, basketball or football team. If not, try knitting and interior decor. Hobbies are great and a productive5 way to escape from real life struggles.
7. Just chill
Chill is not just a word potheads use when other people act up around them. It should be the number one word in your vocabulary and a mantra for you.
No matter what you have to do to satisfy other people, remember to make yourself a priority and set aside some time to relax. Hire a masseuse/masseur, go to the spa, take a Zumba class, pig out, turn off your alarm and sleep for as long as you want. Just live.
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