With everything going on in the world right now it is very easy to get stressed out, I know that I have been. It's not always easy to think when your brain is "offline" and not processing things as it normally would. It can be hard to think of things to help you calm down when you're in that state, so here are the top 10 best things you can do to help yourself calm down.

  1. Meditate

One really simple way of calming down is by meditating. I used to totally think that meditating was stupid-until I tried it. Meditating is a great way to calm your mind and get your freaked out amygdala back "online".  Here is one great video to help guide you!

Increase focus, knowledge, and memory.
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2. Read a book

Reading a great way to distract yourself and take your mind ofd of what is stressing you out. Distraction is a very helpful tool to use when you are feeling anxious, depressed or simply stressed. There are millions of books out there just waiting to be consumed. Here are some of my favorite books!

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3. Color in a coloring book

This may sound silly but coloring is a great stress reliever! Coloring is not only fun but it gets your creative juices flowing. Theres a reason adult coloring books have become such a big thing in the past 5 or so years! You can find single coloring pages with a simple search on Google!

I recently decided to give a shot at coloring, something I haven’t done since I was a kid, I guess. But it’s been so popular among adults for the past couple of years, that I thought it would be worth a shot as a therapeutical activity during cold days.
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4. Take a drawing class

If you are all interested in drawing or love Disney, this is the perfect stress reliever for you! I have been OBSESSED with the Disney Animation Academy videos on YouTube. These videos are made by cast members or actual Disney animators and let me tell you, these are SO fun to do.

An important part of my art is iteration. Pushing to get a better version, refining over and over until it’s something that I’m satisfied with.
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5. Talk to a friend or family member

This one is simple, yet super important. Right now with all this crazy COVID stuff, talking to people regardless of who it is, is super important! It's nice to talk to friends about random stuff and just get a laugh. You can even vent about your stress, that will help you feel better and they might be feeling the same way. We have to take care of each other and support each other right now.

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6. Write in a Journal

Writing is a great way to clear all those stressful thoughts out of your mind and get it on paper. I like to write little thought bubbles for each thought I'm having and get out my stress that way. When you're done you'll so much more level headed and clear!

Journal it
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7. Sign up to talk to the elderly

This one is always important but even now more then ever. There are tons of programs right now that you can sign up to be apart of that pair you with at least one elderly person who is quarantined away from everyone. The elderly are often put in homes and forgotten about and we need to take care of them. I highly encourage you to do this because not only will you be helping someone and giving them companionship but you will also be making yourself feel better in the process. Its a win-win, you are distracted from your stress AND an elderly person gets someone to talk to and share their time with. You can do this by simply calling one of your local retirement homes or health care facilities and asking a manager to get connected with someone in need of a companion!

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8. Go for a walk

Walking is a GREAT way to clear your mind and get out of your current space. I know that one thing that gets me stressed is not getting to go for my daily walks. In Denver the weather is bonkers so it might be 70 one day and 18 and snowing the next day. When that happens its really hard to get out and clear your mind and get some different scenery. To counteract this, I've started bundling up and still making myself take that walk. Its important to have a routine and walking should be apart of it!

Win-win
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9. Play with a pet

This is one of my FAVORITE ways to relieve stress. I have two super adorable baby Basset Hounds and I love to play with them. When I play with them I literally can't be stressed or upset. They provide unconditional love and comfort no matter what. No matter what feeling I have they always cheer me up. If you don't have a pet and can finically afford to get one I really recommend adopting a pet from a shelter. Not only are you going to be happier but you are also saving a life!

My sweet Baby Bassets Huckleberry & Daisy / Photo by: Katie McGonigle 

10. Exercise

One of the best things you can do right now to relieve stress is exercise. One of my favorite movies, Legally Blonde, says it best " exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don't just kill their husbands." Lol the last part is obviously the joke but for real, exercise does release a chemical in your body called endorphins. They are proven to boost your mood. SO even if you hate to work out you can do something simple like go for a walk (see number 8) or watch a workout video!

Home workout gear
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Was this list helpful to you? What are you doing to relieve stress? Tell me in the comments below! x