Updated: May 16
We all know that stress is the worst, especially during these rather tough times. The past year also didn’t help at all, but if we learned something through all of this it is to learn how to look after yourself through it all. April is Stress Awareness Month, and for today’s blog we’re going to talk about all the ways that stress can impact you and some things you can do (that you might not know) could help you in the long run.
1. Practice mindfulness
Okay, so we all hear “take care of yourself”, “don’t get too stressed”, “relax after a hard day”. And while these are great things to do, some things are easier said than done. Even if you want to relax, you might not know where to start or even how to start. If you are anything like me, practicing anything can be really exhausting or sometimes you simply don’t like it, even if it is good for your overall health. With this in mind achieving any form of tranquility is actually really good. This could be not using your phone/computer after 20h, going for walks by yourself, or even just deleting certain social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram. There isn’t one perfect way to practice mindfulness, whatever works for you will help with reducing stress.
PS. From personal experience if you find yourself stuck in a loop of always checking your phone or you’re always on certain apps like Instagram or Reddit, deactivate them! The internet is really stressful and one way to help reduce it is by deactivating the thing giving you the most stress.
2. Free your Creativity.
Now this might sound like a weird one but hear me out—colouring books. Not the ones made for young children (however you can use those too if you like!). There is something called Adult Colouring Books that are designed to actually help reduce the stress or anxiety you might be facing. They are a lot more intricate than children’s colouring books with detailed designs. Colouring books encourage you to slow down and enjoy a meditative and relaxing hobby. Many people have come to find that colouring gets their mind off of things taking a toll on their mental health and allows you to unwind after a hectic day.
3. Explore Journaling.
Taking our thoughts to pen and paper is a fantastic way to work through stressful situations and lift some weight off of our shoulders. The mental benefits of journaling are so well- studied that it’s often recommended by therapists and other professionals in the mental health industry. Even if you don’t know what to journal about, shifting your thoughts from your head to paper releases all anxieties that can otherwise buildup and overwhelm you if left unattended. Try regularly writing things down when you wake up or right before you go to bed. Keep track of all your favourite memories, your accomplishments, or even small things that made you happy that day. This will serve as a pick-me-up book when you otherwise feel stressed or overwhelmed.
4. Take yourself out on a date.
This one might sound a little weird, but taking yourself out on a date can do wonders for your own mental health and can teach you about appreciating yourself as a whole. If you are feeling stressed or your mind is always on that one thing from work, getting yourself mentally and physically out of that space will help you relax. If you are feeling particularly stressed one day, take some time to go out to the park with some snacks and a good book, lay a blanket down and have a picnic by yourself. Walk the streets of Brussels looking at some of the amazing history that surrounds you. Go to your favourite bookstore and roam the idles, and go to your favourite café with said book. Enjoy spending time with yourself, you will start to feel relaxed and more in tune with yourself.
Ps. One of my favourite things to do is all those things listed above combined, I plug in my headphones and head over to my favourite book store. I pick out a book, grab some snacks on the way and go to the park and chill there for a while reading! Relaxing and fun, highly recommended!
5. Join a club
We all know that joining a club is a pretty obvious one, but it’s one of the best because it kind of forces you to actually take some time for yourself. Most clubs or classes have definitive dates and times that are set each week that can allow you to not worry about finding time, all you gotta do is show up! Joining a club like a weekly painting club or classes such as dance force you to get your mind off of all that pent up stress and allow you to fully integrate in the moment. You can work on yourself, enjoy your time and let go of all stress and anxiety you might be facing. Dance class is a great way to get you both mentally and physically out of stress. Working your body out in a fun and energetic way allows you to work that stress out from your muscles and doing something fun like dancing and jamming out to some pretty cool songs makes you mentally happy! A win-win scenario if you ask me.
While April is Stress Awareness Month it is important to take care of yourself all the time. and while this is easier said than done, at the end of the day trying is the best thing you can do! We hope this post gives you some ideas on how to take care of your mental health and if you try these out and love it, be sure to share this with your friends and family! If you are interested in starting a dance class, be sure to check us out. To learn more about what classes we offer click here and if you would like to learn how to get registered click here! We hope to see you out there soon!
See ya soon :D