Life has a way of making our head spin sometimes. I know I’m not the only one that has days where I have to turn off the TV before I get too stressed out, or have to fight the urge to seclude myself in a closet to avoid the day’s issues. During those times when the world is just too much, it’s good to have something peaceful to turn to. Here are a few things that are easily accessible and can help turn your day in the right direction:
- Take a walk. It’s amazing the effect that a few minutes in nature with no electronics will have on you. Take a few minutes out of your day and go for a stroll around the block. If time is on your side, take a drive to a nature preserve and devote a few hours to the experience. Temporarily detaching yourself from the real world is an absolute necessity when times are tough.
- Tune out the world. If you’re looking for a few minutes of solitude in a noisy atmosphere, invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones. You can simultaneously give the image of a present employee, but be engaged in another (calmer) world that is filled with your favorite music, a great podcast, or an audiobook. And when you decide to return to the work environment, you will be able to better handle the day’s events.
- Just breathe. Have an Apple Watch? If you do, pay attention to those reminders to pause and focus on your breathing. Their app guides you to watch a moving image and breathe in and out in time with it. In moments of tension or stress, it has a tremendous impact on your emotions. Use the reminders as a nudge to focus on you for a minute and use that renewed energy to propel you through the rest of your day.
- Laugh it out. Do you have a favorite comedian? Find some of their YouTube videos to watch. Check out a new movie that you know will make you laugh. They even still air new episodes of America’s Funniest Home Videos – and they are bound to make you crack up. Take a mental health break for some comedic relief before re-entering the gloom and doom that you were facing.
- Meditate. If you don’t know how to correctly meditate (like myself), just listen to some meditation music. Even just listening to it will decrease your heart rate and allow you to focus on something other than whatever stressor is present. You can do this at your desk or go to a private space, but either way, it allows you the ability to calm down when the world is too much.
- Phone a friend. Were you aware that you can pick up your phone and use the number pad to call instead of just text? Hearing the voice of a loved one or a close friend can turn a day around quickly. You can use the time to vent or just to talk about life in general. Most likely, at the end of the conversation, you’ll have a smile and a lighter heart. Extra points if it’s calling your grandma, they always know how to make things better and really like phone calls.
- Read a book. Once you get involved in a really good mystery or a big plot twist, you forget about what was so troubling to you earlier. Cuddling up with a blanket and a good story can divert negative energy elsewhere. Before you know it, you will have a day that ended much better than how it started.
- Write it out. If you don’t feel comfortable expressing your distress to a friend or family member, try to convey it via journaling. This method is often just as comforting to people as venting during a phone conversation or dictating a struggle to a therapist. Once it is out in the open, it’s yours to decide what to do with. You could rip it into a million pieces or you can store it away to read again another day. Whatever you decide, it’s relieving to just get it out there, even if it’s to nobody in particular.
- Master a new recipe. Maybe you like to bake, or perhaps you’ve had a how-to video saved for that amazing looking chicken that you haven’t had time to make. Take the opportunity to pour your heart into creating something new. In the end, you’ll feel accomplished for having turned a bad day into a successful one. And you’ll have a yummy dinner to eat.
- Take a nap. When all else fails, turn to sleep. Stress and anxiety take a lot out of a person, and our bodies need time to heal and replenish itself. Taking a nap will allow you to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to face whatever comes your way. If it’s later in the day, just go to bed. When you arise the next morning, it’ll be with a rejuvenated mental state, and you’ll be ready to conquer the world.
Kristyn Meyer is a freelance writer hailing from the mitten state. She is a mother, wife, writer, baker and wannabe coffee connoisseur. She is also the author of two children’s books – “Brother of Mine” and “I Don’t Know”, available on Amazon.