While we may not often find ourselves fleeing from predators and scavenging for food, modern life is still full of all kinds of stressful situations. From getting stuck in traffic to that big deadline at work, stresses big and small can have a huge impact on our mental – and physical – health.
But finding ways to de-stress shouldn’t be another form of stress in our lives! That’s why we put together these nine super simple tips for de-stressing at home.
- Buy a plant. Not only are houseplants great for air quality (in addition to adding oxygen, some even purify the air), they are great for lowering your stress. Researchers have shown that just the presence of plants trigger our relaxation responses.
- Put down your smart phone (and tablet… and laptop…). Mounting research is showing that our screen addictions are actually horrible for our mental health. Many experience anxiety, stress and the feeling of being unable to “disconnect” from work and other responsibilities. Take some time for tech detox and enjoy some screen-free time. The harder it feels to disconnect, the more it’s probably just what you need!
- Turn on some tunes. There’s a reason we call some songs “soothing” – slow songs help you relax and even release the feel-good brain chemical dopamine. Since most of us store our music on our electronic devices, just make sure you turn on the tunes and then step away from the screen!
- Get crafty. Activities such as knitting and cross-stitch have been shown to create a meditative affect on your brain. As an added bonus, you’ll end up with some beautiful, handcrafted pieces to show for your efforts!
- Bring out your inner child. Adults have begun to re-discover the simple joys of coloring. That’s right! While it may have started as a fad, adult coloring books look like they’re here to stay due to their proven relaxation benefits.
- Declutter. A cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind. One of the most important things you can do in your home to create a relaxing space is to organize and declutter. While the organization process may seem stressful at first, the end result of a clearer and less-congested space will have a huge impact how easy it is to relax at home.
- Catch some quality zzzzzs. Not enough or poor quality sleep make it a whole lot harder for your body to deal with stressful situations. It’s during sleep that our bodies recharge and repair themselves from the physical and mental stresses of the day. Make sure you’re prioritizing getting a full night’s sleep. If you’re getting seven or more hours and still wake up feeling less than refreshed, consider investing in a new mattress. All good health starts with a great night’s sleep.
- Practice gratitude. The importance of gratitude has been making its way into the news a lot lately – and with good reason! Studies have shown that a grateful outlook is one of the largest factors in individual happiness. Have a hard time looking on the bright side? The good news is that gratitude can be learned. One of the easiest ways to start is by keeping a gratitude journal. Start by writing out five things each day that you’re grateful for and watch how your outlook – and stress levels – being to improve!
- Find the right light. One of the easiest and also most drastic ways to change the look – and more importantly feel – of a room is to update the lighting. Harsh, bright overhead lighting is, well, harsh. Floor and table lamps with lower watt bulbs will instantly give any room a more relaxing vibe.