A few weeks ago I posted a video on my YouTube channel where I opened up about my struggles with bullying growing up and with feeling depressed and alone. The outpouring support was really overwhelming. Not only were you guys incredibly supportive, which made me feel so much less alone, I was shocked by the number of my peers who said that they experience the same thing. Starting a conversation about mental health is important, but even more important is continuing the conversation. I know that for myself, I feel most down when my stress levels are high. I recently read an article on Buzzfeed about 101 Ways to Destress, and it had some really great ways that I definitely use, as well as some new ones that I never thought of! I also have some of my own ways to relieve stress though, and me and the team came up with our own list! Hopefully this helps you!
1. My number one way to relieve stress and feel better is to talk about whatever the problem is. Let it out. Whether you talk to someone you know or a stranger, your mom or your dad, just talk about it. Honestly, even setting up the camera in my room and talking to myself helped me. I was never even planning on posting the video that I filmed, but I realized that saying things out loud really helps.
2. Waking up early and naming my alarms with positive things so that the first thing I see in the morning puts me in a good mood. Even something as dreadful as the alarm clock becomes positive. My first alarm is called “5 Things You’re Grateful For” so that I think of them right when I wake up.
3. Taking the dogs out and seeing the sun. Even if it’s just letting them out in the yard.
4. Spending face to face time with loved ones. Even if it’s just sitting on the couch watching Netflix.
5. Eating healthy. I am not a great cook (trying to learn, but it’s a slow process), but when I can make myself a healthy meal and it actually tastes good, I get so happy!
6. Working out! I used to haaaaate working out, but lately I’ve actually been loving it and it’s such a good way to relieve stress! I like to do hot pilates, or yoga, and Nicholas and I do dance classes sometimes which is so fun!
7. Listening to music. I just got a Sonos system in my house so I can play all of my favorite music in every room of my house!
8. Reading inspirational books. Some of my favorites are The Book of Awakening, Happiness Project, and You Are A Badass.
9. Bike riding puts such an instant smile on my face that my cheeks start to hurt after a while
10. I asked Jacopo and he says he plays with a tennis ball, just squeezing it like a stress ball or bouncing it on the floor.
11. Sleep it off. Every time I wake up, I feel less angry or stressed about whatever was was bothering me.
12. Hiking and being surrounded by nature is another way that makes me feel better.
13. Go for ice cream. Just stop what you’re doing and go get ice cream. Can’t think of a better way to relieve stress than ice cream.
14. Cut out negative people. Have a good group of friends that you can go to. It’s more about quality over quantity with the people you keep close to you because you are who you hang out with and energy is contagious. I try really hard to only surround myself with people who have positive energy.
15. Call your friends that you don’t get to see all the time. Facetime them. One person I know I can always call is my friend Cubby who lives in New York.
16. Go see a movie by myself. When I was in HS I used to movie hop with Dani, but don’t say I told you to do that! We’d spend they whole day in the theater for like $10
18. Play with puppies. Go to a place where there are rescue dogs and just play with them. I read an article about kindergarteners that read to puppies to practice reading so that’s an option too! Puppies relieve stress–that’s just a fact.
19. Talk to older people and just listen to their stories. You might get some really good advice and insight into life. Just start a conversation!
20. Volunteer. I used to foster dogs, but I don’t have the time anymore since I’m traveling so much recently, but there are so many other ways to help out in your community and you’ll feel so much better afterwards.
21. I like to drive somewhere with a good view of the city. Bonus points if it’s sunset.
22. I also do a social media cleanse. I just delete all the apps and only focus on myself and don’t care about what other people are doing.
23. Sit and watch TV and do nothing at all.
24. Rollerblading. It’s so fun and actually a great exercise!
25. I like to go shopping (retail therapy), but Aimee said that stresses her out even more..
26. Put headphones in and just walk around outside. I end up at Whole Foods a lot.
27. Make art. I love to paint!
27. Take a hot shower and just sit there with music on.
28. Watching TV helps me too. I love the stand up comedians on Netflix!