top of page

life + work + parenthood + COMMUNITY

  • Writer's pictureNana Barratt

5 Ways To Calm Your Body When You're Stressed

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

When you're constantly drowning in work and taking care of your household simultaneously, life can get hard. And you get stressed, especially if you have no time for yourself. If you ever feel this way, read our 5 ways to calm your body when you're stressed:

1. Breathe

Sometimes the stress becomes too much to handle and you may feel like bursting with anger. It's hard to stop yourself before it happens, but try to catch yourself before that moment arrives. Tell yourself to eradicate that step, swap it for a breathing exercise or a mindful talk with yourself instead. You can find these online, such as YouTube or via your app store, and having it on your phone is handy as it gives you 24/7 access and comfort.

If you want to be more discreet, try to keep a breathing pattern in your head: one deep breath in, hold it for a few seconds, then exhale. Repeat this step until you feel less anxious or your heartbeat is regular again. While holding the breath, say a phrase that makes you feel superior, such as 'today, I am beautiful' or 'everything is okay.' It really depends on your mindset, but eventually, anything embarrassing about these exercises and phrases will go away when they start to work!

2. Take notes

It doesn't matter if you're surrounded by family while watching TV, playing a board game, cooking or taking a break during work, have a notebook and pen with you, and jot down your situation. What's happening? How long for? How do you feel about that? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the situation? What can you do to resolve it? Doing this helps you tackle the situation firsthand and as quickly as possible, so you're not avoiding it and bottling things too much.

3. Talk about it

Some things you can't do in secret, and maybe you don't want to! People could be noticing how stressed you look. Don't let them walk on eggshells. Instead, why not talk to them? You can guide them through your situation, just like how you would the previous step. What's great about this is that if you don't know the answers to your own questions, someone could help you. It also brings you and the other person closer to together and they may even tell you about their own worries.

4. Turn a stressful situation into something fun

Sometimes the things that are supposed to be fun aren't, such as baking cookies with your family. I know what you're thinking... 'There are so many chores I have to do after this. Put her to bed, clean the kitchen, take out the trash, wash the dishes...'

Don't worry about it! It's easier said than done, and it really does take a while to master this skill, but you can do it! Think this way instead: 'We'll have so much fun baking cookies because I'm spending time with my daughter. She's learning a new skill and the cookies will taste delicious! I'll read her a story as she falls asleep while the cookies are baking.' Let fun things stay fun.

You can leave the stress at work, pause, and come back to it later. If you really need to hold off on it for a little while, then that's okay as long as you remember to readdress the situation later on. And remember, this thought pattern works during normal things that could give you stress, such as chores and working - so play around with different thoughts and activities you can do while multitasking to change your mindset and stop procrastinating.

5. Prioritize what matters

Sometimes it's just impossible to avoid stress. No matter what you do, no method works. Even when remembering so many people are in your same situation, nothing helps. So, plan your routine differently. Things are clearly not working for you, and it may be scary, but a bigger change may be what you need. What do you do that you truly enjoy with others and by yourself? You may have to sacrifice a little cleaning or family time to make time for yourself.

For example, if you like to paint and do it every weekend, your family time could be incorporated into this every other weekend or every month, and then you have another day for yourself. It depends on how important the activity is to you, and if you want to keep it private or share it with others. If you want that hobby or task just for yourself, that's okay. You have to take care of yourself first, even if it means someone will be upset by that action. It doesn't have to stay that way forever, and eventually, that person will understand how you're feeling and accept the situation.

Deanna (or "Nana Barratt") is an MA Creative and Media Enterprises graduate from the University of Warwick. She previously studied Popular Music, but decided to take a different career path into writing. She now writes about music, the TV and film industry, and East-Asian culture, and gives student advice and lifestyle tips.

8 views0 comments
bottom of page