Happy Life,  Self-Care

How to Relieve Stress and Clear Your Mind

Are you feeling stressed or overwhelmed? In this article I’m discussing 9 simple ways to relieve stress and clear your mind.

I hate feeling stressed and overwhelmed, and I’m sure you do too. It can get to you, especially if your to-do list keeps getting longer and longer.

When you’re stressed and overwhelmed, your mind is constantly on overdrive. You have so much to do that you don’t even know what to do anymore. My basic instant was always to work even harder to get everything done.

I mean, if you’re stressed and have a lot to do, the last thing you want to do is take a break, right? You don’t want to lose any time and you want to keep pushing to check everything off your list. But (I hate to say it) giving your mind a break is exactly what you should be doing right now.

Taking a break when you’re feeling stressed isn’t a waste of time. It’s what you need to relieve stress and to be able to handle the stress and overwhelm that’s yet to come.

With that said, here are 9 simple ways to relieve stress and clear your mind.

1. Do something with your hands

When you’re feeling stressed, it’s easy to get lost in everything that’s going on in your mind. Doing something with your hands helps to get out of your head and relieve stress.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Painting or drawing
  • Baking a cake
  • Playing an instrument
  • Gardening (my personal favorite)
  • Or any other long lost hobby

When you focus on making or creating something, you can really get carried away by the activity that you’re doing. You forget about everything else that’s going on in the world (and in your brain) for a while. I love that feeling! It gives the mind a chance to relax and rest, which is much needed if you’re constantly using your brain.

2. Move that body

Exercising is a great way to relieve stress when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. A good workout helps to clear your mind and almost instantly makes you feel better. It also distracts the mind from the things you’re worrying about.

If you exercise regularly, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about: you just NEED that work-out when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. The sweatier, the better.

Since getting back into a regular exercising routine, I finally get it too. But there was a time when exercising was the last thing I felt like doing when I was stressed or overwhelmed. Just the thought of doing a workout made me feel even more stressed.

If that’s how you feel, don’t worry. Even if you’re not into a sweaty workout, you can still relieve stress by moving your body in some way and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. Go for a walk, stretch your body or do some yoga.

Simple, quick, but effective.

3. Go outside

When you’re dealing with stress and overwhelm, you can start to feel dull and tired after a while. You lose focus and become slower at processing things. And of course sitting in the same spot in your office staring at a screen all day isn’t helping much either…

It’s time to switch things up!

A change of scenery can do wonders! I don’t know about you but spending time in nature always makes me feel calmer. Going outside and being in nature is a great way to relieve stress and clear your mind. It helps to boost your mood, feel better, and think more clearly.

A nature walk is literally a breath of fresh air.

4. Write, write, write

There’s so much going on in your mind when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It can make you feel completely stuck in your own head to the point where you don’t know how to move forward anymore. 

What better way to relieve stress than by emptying your head with a good old brain dump?

Grab yourself a notebook and write down everything that’s in your head: things you still need to do, what you’re worrying about, how you feel, what you need to remember and all the other things that come to mind. 

Writing everything down creates so much space in your head! And seeing all those things on paper can help to untangle your thoughts and give more clarity on how to move forward.

5. Talk about it

Similar to writing, talking about why you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed can help to relieve stress and clear your mind.

In your head, you can make things bigger or more important than they actually are. Talking about it helps you to put things into perspective and think more clearly. Maybe the things that you think are important and that make you feel stressed, aren’t actually things you should be focusing on or worrying about so much.

This happens to me all the time, and it always makes me feel better when I talk about it with someone and get things off my chest. So call a friend and pour your heart out!

6. Pamper yourself

In the midst of chaos, it’s easy to put your own needs aside and forget to take good care of yourself. But self-care isn’t something you should compromise on. You need it, especially when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed.

When you’re experiencing stress, your energy depletes much faster. And of course, you can’t run on an empty battery. Ever tried dealing with stress and overwhelm while feeling exhausted and drained? It probably didn’t work out so well, did it? For me, it brings out my inner bitchy monster. I can tell you, it’s no good…

Taking the time to pamper yourself, relax and rest on a regular basis, is important to let go of stress and recharge your battery. Because when you feel good, you can handle everything that’s coming your way so much better. And most importantly, it keeps the crazy, bitchy monster in check.

So in stressful times, make sure to be extra kind to yourself and make time for self-care.

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    7. Take a deep breath

    I’ve always found it really annoying when people told me to ‘take a deep breath’ when I was feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It’s just really not what you think you need in that moment. Fast forward a couple years and I’ve finally come around.

    As a response to stress, you can start to breath differently. It’s a more rapid, shallow breathing from the upper chest. You’ve probably never noticed it before (I sure hadn’t!). But once you know, you can start paying attention to it and practice breathing from your belly. Belly breathing slows down your breath and makes you feel calmer and more relaxed. With every breath, you can literally feel the stress flowing out of your body.

    What I love about breathing exercises is that you can do it anytime and anywhere (yes, even in the office bathroom). It doesn’t have to take longer than a couple of minutes, but it can help to release stress quickly.

    8. Cut out things that add stress

    There are many things in our daily life that add extra stress and overwhelm to what we’re already experiencing. In order to relieve stress, it’s a good idea to cut out those things.

    I’m talking about:

    • Eating too much (sugary) food
    • Drinking alcohol or smoking
    • Constantly using screens

    Of course there’s nothing wrong with checking your social media, eating a cookie or drinking a glas of wine now and then. But you should be careful that you don’t start using these things as a coping mechanism to avoid the feelings of stress and overwhelm.

    For me, coping meant scrolling through social media for hours in a row. But for you that might mean drinking wine like water or binge-watching series on Netflix. These are all easy ways to distract yourself from the uncomfortable feeling of stress and overwhelm. In the moment, it might help to make you feel better, but in the long run it only adds more stress to your life.

    If you really want to deal with stress head on and feel better, change your daily habits: take a break from screens, eat healthy meals and switch out wine for water.

    9. Get organized

    I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I have a tendency to get very disorganized. Piles of paper on my desk, inbox full of unread and flagged emails and just a bunch of random stuff scattered around the house.

    Your environment has a big influence on your stress levels. If there’s clutter, it’s more difficult to focus and it actually decreases your productivity. Clutter overloads your senses and it can make you feel even more stressed and overwhelmed than you already are.

    Less clutter = less stress. It’s that simply.

    So clear the clutter and get organized to relieve stress. It might take some time to get everything sorted out and put it back into place, but it’s such a satisfying feeling when you’re done. Pinky promise!

    Just one more thing…

    I hope that these 9 simple ways to relieve stress and clear your mind are helpful for you.

    I know it’s hard to take a break when you’re stressed and overwhelmed and have a million things going on. It’s still difficult for me too. But one thing I learned is that ignoring stress & overwhelm and pushing through isn’t the way to go.

    So, don’t be so hard on yourself and allow yourself to take some time out of your busy schedule to relieve stress. It’s just what you need in stressful times. You deserve this, lovely.

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