‘Tis the season!
… for a whole lot of stress.
Noom health coaches sat down to share their best stress-busting strategies to help you enjoy a healthy, happy holiday season.
Write it down
When you’re feeling swamped, make a list! Visualizing everything that you need to do can help ease any tension you may be feeling. When you complete a task, check it off the list and enjoy your sense of accomplishment.
Watch an episode of Friends
Friends is a classic that never gets old. Watching an episode always gives me a good laugh and helps ease my mind.
In my opinion, nothing quite soothes the soul like the calming voice of a yoga instructor — be it in person or online. Clearing your mind and simply focusing on your breath can make even the biggest mountains feel surmountable. If you’re home, light a few candles to set a more serene scene.
Use your smartphone to create a voice memo. Vent away and let your frustrations out by listing everything that is causing your stress right now. It takes less time than writing and you can let all of your emotion out while no one hears it but you!
Coach Chelsea D.
When I am feeling stressed, I step back and reflect my day. Then, I write down what has gone well in my day and what I am grateful for. It gives me a boost of happiness and motivation.
Strum it out
One of my favorite ways to ease some stress is to pick up my guitar and make some noise! This helps change my energy and mood almost immediately.
Coach Jack M.
Shoot some hoops
Stress for me is when I have way too many thoughts going on in my head. Going to shoot some hoops help clear my mind, refocus, and prioritize!
Coach Jack N.
When things get to be too much, I’ll head down to the lake and cast out a line. Something about the quiet of the outdoors and the stillness of the water is so refreshing. I don’t even need to catch anything to feel less stressed — just being out there seems to do the trick!
Stop and smell the roses
I love using aromatherapy to conquer my stress. Choose your favorite essential oil and place it in front of your nose. Then, take a deep breath, inhaling for a count of 10. Not only is it a great way to destress, but it’s also a great form of self-care. Bonus? It only takes 10 seconds — literally!
Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed I take advantage of this energy to clean and/or organize. I don’t have to turn the house upside down — sometimes it’s reorganizing my desk. Having in order helps me feel more calm. Plus, it’s one more thing to check off my to-do list, so it gives me a sense of accomplishment too.
When I’m stressed, I always get outside in nature. The sun, the fresh air, and the plants are so soothing for me. If I have the time, I’ll walk or run while listening to a podcast too.
Adult coloring books are great for relaxing, placing your focus on something creative, and having a little fun. It’s definitely one of my favorite outlets and I love the accomplishment of having a mini masterpiece at the end.
Listen to music
My favorite way to get through a stressful situation is to listen to some music. It helps me forget about my worries, refocus my thoughts and energy, and improves my mood so that I can move forward. All you need to do is find a good, upbeat tune!
Run it out
The most effective way for me to relieve stress is to lace up my running shoes and go for a run! The fresh air, the scenery, and the peaceful noises around me help me relax almost instantly. I don’t need to go fast to feel this way — just getting my body moving is key.
Play with a pup!
My dog Bentley is the best listener and is always happy to see me. Stress reduction is just one of many ways that pets can help improve our physical and emotional health! Taking a few minutes to play, snuggle, or go for a quick walk with Bentley always calms me down and brightens my day.
Go for a mindful walk
My favorite stress reliever is taking a mindful stroll around the block. I get out of my head and focus on taking deep breaths, appreciating the sunlight, and noticing the leaves rustling underneath my shoes. It helps me hit my step goal too — win-win.
Play a game
Often times we get so busy with everyday stressors and challenges that we forget how important it is to let loose, laugh, and live a little. Whether it’s throwing a toy around with your pup, playing hide-and-seek with your kids, or a game of cards with your roommate or partner, you’ll be sure to feel better. This also helps me feel a little more creative afterwards when I’m solving whatever was stressing me out.
Enjoy a stress-busting soak
Epsom salt baths are great for the muscles and the mind. When I’m stressed, I add 2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 15-20 minutes.
I love meditating, but when I’m feeling stressed, I find it even more useful! I like to put on some tranquil music, lay down on my yoga mat, and envision my day with a happy, positive attitude. Bonus? It only usually takes me 5-10 minutes to find myself in a better mindset.
Lighten your load
Stress tends to strike when we have too much on our plate. When that happens, look for an opportunity to delegate, reschedule, or just say no! It’s always best if we can prevent our schedule or to-do list from becoming too cluttered, but once we realize we’ve taken on too much, it’s important to give ourselves permission to let go of an obligation or two.
Take an exercise break
When stress starts piling up or I simply feel bogged down, I’ll step away from what I’m doing to do a few minutes of exercise — squats, push ups, an ab routine, or a short walk. It’s a great way to give my mind a break and get those mood-boosting endorphins flowing!
Challenge your thought
Stress is a response that is meant to protect you from harm. Your heart rate increases, you feel tense, and your breath becomes heavier because your body is preparing you to ‘fight’ the stressor and protect you. I take a moment to stop what I’m doing and consider how much of a ‘threat’ the stressor really is. Is it actually harmful? Why is it bothering me so much? If lay the why game until you get to the root of the problem, 99.99% of the time, you’ll notice that it’s really not the end of the world. Then, laugh it off.
One of my favorite was to relax is to make my way to the nearest ocean, forest, or mountain. Negatively charged electrons that can really benefit our health are highly dense in these natural settings, so getting outside can help you use natural energy to ‘recharge’ (pun-intended!).
Practice the 5 by 5 deep breathing exercise
Inhale slowly and deeply for a count of 5, hold that breath for 5, then exhale slowly for a count of 5, and repeat this breath cycle 5 times. The great thing about this stress buster is that you can do it anywhere — In the bathroom while your relatives fight at your holiday dinner, in your parked car while you wait to pick up your kids from yet another extracurricular activity, or at work during another stressful conference call (just make sure to mute the mic!).
Take a getaway!
Take a few minutes to close your eyes and picture yourself in your favorite place in the world. Try to really be there. Experience the sights, the sounds, and the smells. Soak it all in and stay there as long as you want and/or need.