I’d like to think I’m a beacon of zen, stress-free living... except that I am really, truly not. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a horribly anxious person. I twirl my hair, bite my nails, jiggle my legs, fidget, and generally act like a personified ball of stress about 75% of my life. If I ever have a moment of 100% stress-free time, I immediately begin to wonder if I’m forgetting something to be stressed about.
That being said, a mom has taught me that I have to find ways to deal with my stress... other than comfort eating. So here are my 4 super simple tips for relieving stress, whether you’re pregnant or not.
1. Go for a walk or a drive.
Sometimes, when I’m in the thick of serious stress or anxiety, I just need to leave. I need to get out of the house, stop crying, stop talking about what’s bothering me. I just need to get out of it. Usually, I will head over to my mom’s, but sometimes, I’ll just go for a drive. Other times, I’ll walk around the grocery store or the park. I always go back home feeling a little better about the situation. More than anything, by going to a public place, it gives me time to think over the problem (or whatever is bothering me) and find a solution without resorting to insane tears.
2. Read, write, or cut up magazines.
Do something with your hands! Anything! I’m a fidgeter, by nature, and if I occupy my hands, I effectively occupy my brain. You can read a book or a magazine, or just tear your favorite pictures out for future scrapbooking. You can write in a journal or notebook, draft a blog post, or send a message to someone you haven’t talked to in ages. There is lots you can do to take your mind off your anxiety.
3. Invest in a coloring book.
And I don’t mean a little kid coloring book! I recently purchased The Secret Garden and it totally changed my life. Whenever I’m feeling particularly stressed out (by all the cleaning I need to do, by the laundry that’s been sitting, clean and unfolded, in my bedroom for a week, by all the prep I need to do for baby), I spend 15-30 minutes coloring.
4. Take a shower or a bath.
Clean body, clean mind? Maybe. I find showers and baths incredibly relaxing. Typically, if I feel dirty (if I haven’t washed my hair or my face or shaved my legs), I find it very difficult to refocus my anxiety. Everything just feels wrong until I get cleaned up and smelling good! Plus, the shower is the perfect place to think, mull over your problems, and even cry... without messing up your make up.
Do you have something you always do to relieve stress? Share with me on Twitter!