My methods for keeping stress at bay

We all reach a point where you feel like your life is falling apart at the seams.

There are seemingly not enough hours in the day to keep your work, family and social life on track, so one or more them start slipping.  If you’re anything like me it’ll be the family and social elements that get kicked to the back-burner, but this isn’t always a good thing.

Sometimes you can actually push yourself into depression.

So you really should make time for things outside of work, time just for yourself. It’s selfish, yes … but necessary for your health and well-being.   Everyone needs some “downtime” to keep functioning normally every day.

Below are just a few of the things that I do to get the stress levels down.

Watch A Movie

Movies are a brilliant way to clear your mind.  They provide an endless source of escapism for you to lose yourself in, if only for a couple of hours.

Sometimes I may plan a whole day of relaxation, in which case I might arm myself with a box set of one of my favourite tv shows.

Go For A Drive

Some people don’t like driving, but I find it quite relaxing.  Especially if I have nowhere in particular to go.  Just drive around … no kids screaming at you, no deadlines to meet. Almost every area has some kind of scenic route you could go and enjoy.

For me, still being relatively new to the county I live in, I still have a lot of areas to explore and so I take every opportunity I can to get out and check out new places.  There are some really beautiful places that can inspire other things, such as painting or photography so why not try combining a drive with a photo or painting mission?

Or just turn the music up and drive around your old haunts – relive some of those teenage years!

Photography

I’m an avid photographer. I’m not what you’d call an expert, but I do love to take photos.

I bought my first proper 35mm SLR camera back in the nineties, but have been a fan of digital since it became affordable.

I finally bought a “proper” digital SLR camera in 2009.  I also have a small point-and-shoot that I carry with me most of the time, “Just in case”!

The big camera stays packed away unless I have something specific I want to shoot, or I have a trip planned, or I’m on one of my “drives” mentioned above.

Painting or sketching can be a good alternative option.

Whatever you do, it’s about using your senses, and if you find you have a knack for one of them, you should explore it to it’s full potential.

Read

If the weather isn’t good for a drive, you could try losing yourself in a good book. If you love books just lay around and read one from your favourite Author and loose track of time.

If you are someone who doesn’t really like long books don’t worry, grab one of your favourite magazines and read away.

This is particularly relaxing in the winter months … reading while sat next to a fire is something I find strangely homely!

Rock Out

Okay, you don’t have to “rock out”!  You can listen to something soothing if that is what you like.

Music can often inspire you to break out a dance move that hasn’t been seen since the school disco, or your cousin’s wedding!

Or it can mellow you out and help you escape your day-to-day worries. It’s another form of mental escape from your life.

Take A Bath

I normally take showers, as most of us probably do – wake up, scramble out of bed, hit the shower for five minutes, and run out the door.

Baths are far more relaxing affairs.  I read somewhere (or maybe someone read it for me!) that a hot bath was a good thing to get your body in the mood for sleep.

I’m not sure how true that is, but it certainly does help to relax after a particularly bad day.

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