Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Danielle's Top 5 -- Stress Relievers

Today's one of those days at work where the tension levels are high. I've found myself a few times dreaming of the things I do to help relieve stress and recenter. I decided that a great way for me to take a quick brain break would be to share with you my...

Top 5 Stress Relievers

1. Praying: I've found that when I recenter and ask God to take whatever it is that's weighing on me, I immediately feel better. After venting to a co-worker today about something that happened, I realized that I was losing control of my stress level. I bowed my head at my desk and said a silent prayer - with a deep breath and a few moments passed, I immediately felt better. It's amazing what opening yourself up to God can do in even an instant.

“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”  - Mahatma Gandhi

2. Crocheting: About 6 years ago or so I decided to teach myself to crochet. Since then I've expanded my skills and while I'm not quite at sweater-making status yet, I find something incredibly therapeutic about taking a pile of yarn and creating it into something. I actually feel that way about most things crafty, but crocheting is repetative, full of patterns, and allows me to make beautiful things without thinking about it all that much. After a long day, I have been known to able to be found on a couch, next to Steve, with a hook in my hand while we watch a movie.

This scarf is the only thing I've ever made for myself. I love it!

3. Reading: I have been a bookworm for as long as I can remember. I have memories of it being a beautiful summer day, curled in a chair in front of a window reading a good book right around age 11 or so - and my mom asking why I was sitting inside reading instead of being outside playing with my friends. My response - because the book was too good to put down. Today I still love reading, though I don't get to do as much of it as I used to like to. Last year when we went to Jamaica, I just sat in my chair reading for the better part of the week (the ocean - one of my favorite places to be - and a good book... heck YES!). A few years ago I discovered this website called GoodReads that allows you to keep track of books you want to read and have read - it's great. My GoodReads profile is here - I don't have nearly as many books as some of my friends, but I do have 113 so far between to-read, currently reading, and already read.

"Books can be dangerous.  The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life.'"  - Helen Exley

4. Exercising: Once I lost weight and started to become more active, I found that a good jogging session on the treadmill or a nice long walk/jog session through my neighborhood would re the perfect remedy to bring my blood pressure and mind back down to a normal level. Earlier today I thought back to my morning exercise on the treadmill at our new gym, and it made me long to do a bit more jogging. Of course - I can't, so I opted to pray instead (see #1 above).

5. Spending time in our yard: This one is a recent addition to the list, but quickly became one of my favorite ways to relieve stress. Whether it's sitting on our porch staring off into the distance, spending time with Steve on our deck eating dinner, walking around in the grass barefoot, or pulling pesky weeds out of our gardens - our yard has become a place of respite. Our neighborhood is relatively quiet, our next-door neighbor is a really sweet guy who comes and says hi, and it's just a peaceful place to be. In fact - I can't wait to go home tonight and spend some time in our garden getting more weeds out and pruning our flowers.

Our backyard (The hammock & chair are no longer there - they belonged to the previous owner.)

There are lots of other ways to relieve stress that I have in my back pocket, but these are the ones I prefer the most. Just thinking of these is already making me feel less stressed and ready to tackle the rest of the workday. 

What things do you do to relieve stress?


Evan said...

I realized that I gravitate towards cooking new things when I'm stressed out. Something about taking the time to put together good food really peels away layers of worry and frustration.

I second prayer and yardwork. something about mowing the lawn or pulling weeds just takes your mind into a different place.

Anonymous said...

You forgot "masturbation"

Fashion Meets Food said...

Wow absolutely love this post!