Being creative reduces stress. Period. 🎨 ✨
A recent study found that doing about 45 minutes of artistic, creative activities reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol in healthy adults. And you don't have to be an artist to get the heath benefits. (But also, we're ALL artists. Even scribbles are kinda like eclectic modern art, right!?!) 💁♀️
Whether you're inclined to draw, paint, sew, cook, or write, GO FOR IT!!! Anything to get what's in your brain out so you're not spiraling!!!
You can prepare for this by having a few empty notepads, some coloring pages, and pencils/paint/pens at home. The next time you're stressed, pull 'em out. You might even make some beautiful art to hang around your home!!
Did you know that stress cleaning is a thing?!? Apparently when you're frustrated or anxious, your brain just knows it's time to wipe the slate clean... LITERALLY.
However, it's sometimes hard to get excited about cleaning. Chores just aren't fun, are they? Reframe this expectation by pouring yourself a fun beverage (dark chocolate almond milk, anyone?!? here's a recipe!), putting on a soothing playlist, or calling a friend while you get into project mode.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
It can be hard to find the motivation to get started, but trust us, it'll feel SO GOOD. When you're done, be warned - you might just find yourself making up excuses to go look at your perfectly-organized pantry or your rainbow-coordinated room. It's just SO SATISFYING.
Sometimes, you just need to feel clean and pretty. With a little bit of prep and planning, your basic shower or bath can become a first-class luxurious event!! Cut up some cucumbers and fruit and get ready to soak the stress away 🥒 😍
Whip up a quick sugar scrub for exfoliation or grab some lavender lotion to get some aromatherapy going on. Add a few drops of relaxing essential oils to your tub (cedarwood, lemongrass, and lavender are all SUPER calming), queue up a TV show or a good book for some entertainment, and lay out freshly washed and fluffy clothes for when you're done!
(For bonus points after you're done: Painting your nails is DEFINITELY a creative activity, right? Two de-stressors in one fun pastime!!!) 💅
Good news: the same stretching exercises you do to warm up and cool down your muscles can help stop your brain from spiraling as well! Focusing on what your body can do and moving in controlled motions clears your thoughts and helps your breathing slow down so that you can move from 'fight or flight' mode to 'rest and digest' time!!
Plus, stretching feels super good. 🧘♀️🙌 Here's a quick video that can help guide you through a quick de-stressing practice:
Ready for a whole-body reset?!? It turns out that laughing is INCREDIBLE for you. WHO KNEW!?!? When you laugh, you increase the amount of oxygen you breathe in, which helps stimulates your inner organs and digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems. Your heart rate and your blood pressure can both go down after about twenty minutes of laughing, which is CRAZY!!!
Plus, laughing is just an instant way to feel good and happy when you've been a lil bit sad 💛 Here are a few ways to find funny material: