5 Things I’ve Been Doing to Handle Stress

I’m sure this isn’t a new thought for anyone, but… life can be stressful. Sometimes it’s more stressful than others and lately I’ve felt the stress pile up for a variety of reasons (none of them bad). I think I’ve been handling the stress pretty well (although maybe you should ask those closest to me to see if they’d agree). I’ve intentionally done a few things to avoid becoming overwhelmed and I think that’s helped a lot. So, here are a few of things I’ve been doing to handle stress.

Life has been a little stressful lately, but I've been handling it fairly well. Here are five things I've been doing to help. // dreams-etc.com

1 // Working Out.

This, I think, is number one. A friend and I are workout buddies on Snapchat (dreamsetcblog), so when we’re finished with a workout we Snap each other to let the other one know. She mentioned once that with all that I had going on she was surprised I was still fitting workouts in and I told her the truth: it’s been helpful. I’m someone who has always let workouts fall by the wayside when life gets busy and stressful, but intentionally getting that activity in has helped me feel better. There are two things that I like to do: dance like no one’s watching and kickbox that stress out of my life… or at least into a corner.

Now, this isn’t to say that I’m always perfect at getting my workouts in. I’ve had weeks with no workouts, but I’ve been intentional about getting back into it and it always feels good when I do!

2 // Reading.

I always feel less overwhelmed when I end the night with a book, but sometimes I get into the habit of trying to do everything on my to-do list before I take the time to read at the end of the day. The thing is, it would be easy to have a never-ending to-do list, especially during busy and stressful periods, but no matter what has been left undone taking some time at the end of the day to read always makes me feel less overwhelmed. Sometimes I fall asleep after reading a page and sometimes I can get a couple of chapters in–the length of time spent with a book doesn’t matter as long as I open it up and read some words.

This isn’t something that I’m always good about doing, but for the last month or so I’ve been pretty consistent about opening my book at the end of the day.

3 // Painting.

Taking time to be creative does wonders for my mood and how I handle stress, so I’ve also made it a point to pull out my paints more often. I’ve found painting to be better than drawing or any other form of art for stress relief, because I tend to experiment more and I don’t take what I’m doing as seriously. It’s not because I’m not serious about painting, it’s just the newest medium that I’ve used so I’m still figuring out how things work and give myself the freedom to play. (Come to think of it, I should take that approach more with all of my art. And my writing.)

Again, this isn’t something that I’ve always been good about doing, but when I do, it helps.

4 // Movie Marathons.

There was one weekend that I had hit my limit. I was stressed, I was anxious, and I just needed a break. So I had a movie marathon. And I made my parents watch most of the movies with me. And I cuddled Little One.

I was kind of sad when the weekend came to an end and with it, non-stop movies. But it felt good to get back into life again and to have had a break. There were some things that I didn’t get done that weekend since I took my movie marathon break, but it felt good to have taken the time that I needed to relax and unwind.

5 // Give Myself Grace.

As you can see from pretty much everything that I wrote above, I’ve taken breaks from work when needed and I haven’t been as consistent with the activities that relieve stress as I could be, but I haven’t let that bother me. I’ve given myself grace when I’ve needed to.

Okay, full disclosure: I’ve given myself grace when I’ve needed to sometimes. I haven’t always been the best with that either, but it’s something that I have tried to do. I’m not perfect. I’m never going to be perfect, so when life gets stressful I definitely won’t be.


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  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 9:02 am

    These are great ways to deal with stress! I definitely like to read and watch movies when I’m stressed out, too. Workouts… well, I’m trying to be better! 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Giving myself grace has become my phrase of the year I feel like. It’s just something I feel like I never do enough of, but need to do all the time. Loving these tips. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 11:04 am

    I love stopping everything I’m doing to watch movies when I’m really stressed. Sometimes our bodies just need a break and I have no shame! ahah love this!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 11:34 am

    This sounds a lot like me! I guess great minds really do think alike!
    These are all great to handle stress – I love caving in when I feel overwhelmed. Movie marathons are the best to do when staying in!
    And working out or going on long walks with the pup is a very good one as well!
    Have a fab week! xxx

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Oh I love your working out buddy idea is awesome. I’ll have to try something like that. I love movie marathons, they help so much with stress!

  • Reply
    Emily @ Em Writes
    May 2, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    There are all ways that I love to relieve stress too. Anything that lets me escape from the source of my stress for a while! P.S. I love your bookmark!

  • Reply
    A Random Twenty Something
    May 2, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    So true, I loved this post!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    I guess we’re all the same.. When stressed out, I read or binge watch! 🙂

  • Reply
    Summer @ Coffee With Summer
    May 2, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Painting is a wonderful stress reliever…maybe that’s something I should get back into as it’s getting nice out. giving yourself grace is huge, too. I’m glad you’re doing that, Crystal!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    April was the month from hell. I have been doing my best to de-stress by spending time with my adult coloring book, and reading novels.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    All great ways to deal with stress. Working out is my #1 stress reliever. I also love taking bubble baths and getting massages. Movie marathons are always a good idea too! I have not painted in awhile (I am horrible at painting) but it’s always fun to do. I am slowly but surely trying to read more. It’s a work in progress. And yes to giving yourself some grace! It’s much needed.

  • Reply
    Sierra @ Happy Curious Life
    May 2, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Great ways to combat stress! whenever I feel the stress bug starting to bite, I always sit down and organize things. I don’t know why, but making a plan and having little action steps instantly calms me down.

  • Reply
    Ginger Marie
    May 2, 2016 at 6:39 pm

    I tend to clean when I’m stressed out. Working out also helps a lot! 😀

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    It is so important to remember to give yourself grace! Totally agree with all of these.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    I love your list so much–especially the fact that you have a friend you snapchat with who holds you accountable. That makes such a huge difference!

    Also reading… i feel a sense of accomplishment when I’ve finished a book so I love to add some reading time to my day, too.

    Xoxo and great suggestions to lower stress 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 7:53 pm

    That last one is key! 🙂 Love this!

  • Reply
    Chrissa - Physical Kitchness
    May 2, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    Ummm yeah working out is DEF my #1 stress reliever! I need to blow off steam some days and that’s the best way to do it!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    These are all great options without a doubt, thanks for sharing! I like movie and show marathons because it helps get the mind off the stress for sure. I like baths & just blogging and being on social media too interacting with others! xx adaatude.com

  • Reply
    Rica@ Yoga Mat Monkey
    May 2, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    I’m a beast when I haven’t worked out. It’s a great stress-release for me, and a must since I work from home and am sedentary most of the day. But my fingers do get a workout, if that counts for anything. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    Working out is my go to activity when I’m stressed out. It’s a great way to get out anger and I always feel better afterwards. I’m trying to get better about reading too. It’s been a challenge for me with my schedule, but I’m working on it.

  • Reply
    Angie Scheie
    May 3, 2016 at 1:01 am

    I have found through all my trials that #5 is the MOST important! We are way too hard on ourselves most of the time.

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Giving yourself grace is critical. I also agree and am trying to implement more exercise!

  • Reply
    May 3, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    When I’m stressed, running helps too so I totally get it that workout is #1 on your list. And books and movies provide a great escape. A movie marathon sounds awesome!

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