A Busy Girl’s Guide to Natural Stress Relief
Feeling overwhelmed with everything it takes to keep your life together? Keep scrolling, because these natural stress relievers actually WORK.
Let me start off by saying that I am NOT a nature girl. My idea of camping involves fairy lights, Moroccan floor pillows, and hazelnut s’mores (and preferably, a hotel room at the end of the night). I’m happy to slather my body with aluminum if it keeps me from smelling like a yeti. And I will NOT catch bugs to carefully release them outside. I will DESTROY them and leave their lifeless carcasses on my doorstep as a warning to the others.
But, I recognize that you may be a little more conscientious. And trust me, I get it. Despite my apathy toward the natural movement in beauty, food, and healthcare, I’m always willing to try new things. And if they WORK? Sign. Me. Up.
I am NOT saying that you should ignore your doctor’s advice if you’ve been prescribed medication. Please take the advice of a provider who knows you over the word of some bug-murderess on the internet. But if you’re tired of feeling stressed all the time and are ready to do something about it, it is definitely possible to get some natural stress relief. Here are some to try...
The nerds who research all the things have learned that the scent of lavender helps you feel calmer. It’s a pretty smell anyway, so why not? Try some essential oils, body lotion, or a scented candle.
2. Grabbing a snack
Really! Come on, everyone gets grumpy when they’re hungry. And when we’re stressed, we’re more likely to skip meals or even forget to eat altogether. Don’t let this happen to you! Chocolate covered almonds, a smoothie, or yogurt are all great choices for a quick snack.
3. Natural stress relief from tea
The menthol found in peppermint naturally relaxes tense muscles and helps you feel calmer. This is a great tea to drink before bed to get you ready for sleep.
If it's hard for you to turn your brain off at night, chamomile is a great tea for insomnia. It also relaxes tense muscles and helps with irritability.
Studies have shown that green tea helps you to feel calm AND focused. Hello dream beverage! If the thought of sipping a steaming mug of freshly mown grass doesn’t excite you, try ordering an iced green tea lemonade or green tea latte. They might convert you.
4. Essential oils
The research is in, and apparently these things work! Lavender, bergamot, and ylang ylang are said to be great choices for natural stress relief. You can also find pre-made blends for maximum benefits.
If you want to learn more about how essential oils work, Danielle Daniel is your girl. She does an AMAZING job of explaining the science behind essential oils and gives really helpful instructions on how to use them. I attended her webinar and was completely blown away.
What’s that? Another thing you don’t have time for? No worries, there are a lot of ways to journal. A bullet journal (like the one above) is a Type A girl’s dream and will help you stay organized. And writing in a prompted journal or gratitude journal can be done in 1-2 minutes if that’s all you have. My favorite journaling app combines both.
Related: 6 Creative Ways to Beat a Bad Mood
6. Relaxation exercises
Slow deep breathing helps your body override the stress response and allows you to feel relaxed in just a few minutes. My favorites are guided visualization and progressive muscle relaxation.
Want to get a handle on stress in less than 2 weeks? Check it!
7. Spending time in nature
You know, outside. Where people used to hang out before Netflix. Being out in nature is an amazing stress reliever. Find a nice tree to read under. Take your dog to the park. Sit barefoot in the grass. You know you want to.
8. Spending time with your fam
When we’re busy, we can get hyper focused. Which means other, less pressing things might get lost in the shuffle. Sometimes, those other less pressing things are our loving friends and family. Take a break and spend some time with your people. Hugs and laughter are stress kryptonite.
9. Silencing your inner drama queen
When we’re overwhelmed, our thoughts can get away from us and say dramatic things that are really upsetting, but typically untrue. Are you really going to fail that class? Have you EVER failed a class? Probably not, right? Stop that drama queen in her tracks and do some fact checking before you let her get you upset.
Related: How to Beat the Bully in Your Head
10. Natural stress relief with yoga
Girl, if you haven’t tried yoga yet, you’re missing out. Doing yoga releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel amazing. It even helps you sleep better. It’s intimidating to learn something new, but yoga people are like, the chillest people on the planet. Check out a class or try a video at home.
If you’re anything like me, you might be picturing flute music, incense smoke, or gongs, right? And you won’t get any judgement from me if that’s your thing. But in case it’s NOT, you’ll be happy to know none of those are required for you to try meditation.
Meditating is just about learning how to get out of your head. And there a lot of ways to do it. My favorite is guided meditation. There are two apps that I love: 10% Happier and Headspace. And I promise they aren’t weird. Just try it, you’ll see.
Experts just LOVE to tell you to exercise so I KNOW you’ve heard this one before. But listen, lady. It’s because it works. If finding the time, energy, and (let’s face it) desire to exercise is hard for you, do what I do...
Literally commit to ONE minute of exercise per day. One minute. Trust me, establishing the habit is way more important than the length of time. My lazy day favorites are “one-song workouts”. You can find them on Pinterest or download an app.
If you’re a girl who wants to do all the things, you really need some go-to ways of relieving stress. Some stress is normal and can even keep you sharp, but excessive stress is downright draining. Take care of yourself so you have the energy to give your best to the things you care about.