When feeling anxious and stressed, there are a number of solutions that can help to make us feel better. Good nutrition, daily exercise and quality time with friends are all important self-care activities essential to our emotional health. But there are other activities that can have a profound effect on our moods, and they happen to be fun too!
Here are 5 tips from our guest blogger Erika Long on how you can start reducing your stress and have fun while doing it.
#1 Catch some Air
Trampolining can be a great way to get in a better mood. Try being in a funk when you are flying in the air. Plus, it’s a great form of exercise. Trampolining gyms are popping up everywhere and they even offer fitness classes. Easy on the knees and good for the heart, bouncing increases lymphatic drainage which helps rid the body of toxins. Also, deep breathing and increasing circulation cause more oxygen and nutrients to flow resulting in the brain functioning better. Finally, when we are physically active, our nervous system releases the hormone called endorphins which is both a pain reliever and a mood booster.
# 2 Puppy Love
Spending time with pets can be a great way to ease anxiety. Playful and attentive, pets can help us take the focus off ourselves and our problems. Because domestic animals are dependent on us for their survival, we feel a sense of ownership and purpose when we care for them. You don’t necessarily need to have a pet of your own for this to work. Even if you can’t afford a pet, or where you live doesn’t allow pets or you live with someone who is allergic, you can still volunteer at an animal shelter or a local pet store or pet-sit your friend’s puppy.
#3 Need a Hug?
When we are touched, oxytocin, also known as the “bonding hormone,” is released which makes us feel calm and tranquil. If you are looking for someone to squeeze, professional cuddlers provide the hugs and holding that so many of us miss in our lives. Snuggling sessions can give us a sense of comfort to ease our stress and quell our fears.
#4 Bake for Others
Have you ever noticed that the smell of maple cinnamon spice can give you the warm and fuzzies? Maybe you look for a reason to make cupcakes for work. Psychologists are now looking at the correlation between baking and mental health. From giving an outlet for self-expression to being a form of mindful meditation, when we create food to share, we feel better.
But if it’s too hot to even think of turning on an oven, have a cookout! Take some protein and veggies, douse them in a bit of olive oil, sea salt, and Peppered Habanero spice, fire up the grill and invite over the neighbors. It really doesn’t matter if you are baking or cooking, it’s about sharing what you enjoy.
#5 Get Some Rest
Anxiety can lead to insomnia. When the mind just can’t shut off, it’s important to find a way that will. An hour before bed, start winding down. Dim the lights, turn off all screens and monitors, wash your face, brush your teeth, do some gentle yoga and get into bed. If you still can’t fall asleep easily, consider a natural remedy supplement.
Erika Long loves corgis, curry, and comedy. Always searching for the next great snuggle, flavor or laugh, she inspires people to live their best life now. When not writing, Erika can be found at her local brewery dominating Harry Potter trivia night.