When life is doing what it does and is coming at you full steam so that you’re feeling overly stressed, it can be helpful to have a quick and easy way to get rid of that stress and manage it before it manages you.
Prolonged stress has a great deal of negative effects on your body and mind which ultimately effects your health and wellbeing, so it’s important to develop a self-care routine.
An effective self-care routine can be comprised of many things – journaling, meditation, ensuring lots of time for laughter and pampering yourself to name a few. But one of the best ways to decrease or eliminate stress quickly, is exercise.
Exercising is an excellent outlet for stress relief. It’s a must have in order to have a complete and comprehensive self-care regimen. Exercise gets your blood pumping, distracts your mind, and of course releases those happy chemicals (such as serotonin) in your brain to make you feel better. Exercise helps relieve the pressure of the stress that you’re feeling.
Read on for three different exercises that don’t require a lot of time, but are great tools to have in your toolbox in your fight against stress.
The first two – yoga and walking can be done in a manner that’s soothing and relaxing or more intensely. The last one – dancing provides a great aerobic workout.
Yoga’s great gift is that it really helps to ground you and clear any of negative energy that comes from being distressed from your body and mind.
There are quite a few varieties of yoga, from hatha yoga all the way to hot yoga. Another type of type of yoga that’s known to be really helpful for relieving stress, is called restorative yoga. Restorative yoga helps you to relax with a series of slow poses (poses held for a longer than in traditional yoga) which allows your muscles to stretch and helps relax you.
Another thing about restorative yoga that I really like is that there’s a great deal of focus on your breath.
With restorative yoga, you don’t have to be an expert to get the moves down while feeling like a pretzel with those convoluted poses. The purpose of restorative yoga is to help you relax with easy and simple yoga poses.
Walking is one of my favorite exercises for stress because there are so many different ways to do it. You can have a stroll which is soothing and relaxing especially if you’re using walking more as a part of your self-care routine. If you’re experiencing a time of high stress, you can adjust your walking speed and intensity which will help you burn off the stress.
If you only have a few minutes to spare, try taking a quick walk around your block. With more time, you’ve got more options. Is there a scenic spot in your community that you enjoy? Then consider driving or taking public transportation to that area so that you so that you can be in an area that you enjoy which can help relax and clear your mind.
If the weather is bad or you’re stuck inside because of quarantine, try walking around in your home, on a treadmill if you have one or just march in place which is easy enough to do while you watch TV or listen to an audio book. I use my Fitbit to keep myself motivated on my quest to reach my 10,000 steps each day which hasn’t been easy while being in the house.
Studies show that walking is one of the best things you can do for both your body and mind. Just strap on your sneakers and go!
Another one of my favorite exercise activities to help relieve stress is dancing. Dancing sets you free! It only takes a few minutes to get some exercise in, which is handy if you don’t have a lot of time or other options. Just turn on your music and dance it out.
Dancing gets your blood pumping, doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and can be done in your own home or just about anywhere else.
Dancing is so powerful that it can help you in a variety of ways when you’re stressed. It helps with the release of endorphins in your brain which will increase your happiness and the music itself can improve your mood which helps reduce your overall amount of stress experienced.
Another movement-based exercise that’s quite similar to dancing is Zumba. I LOVE Zumba! I think of it like a choreographed aerobic class. You learn a lot of the latest dance moves, get to hear great music and have worked in some exercise to boot! If you wanna learn more about Zumba, check out this post.
So there you have it! Three quick and easy exercises to help you beat stress quickly. It doesn’t matter how much time you have available, there’s always a stress-busting exercise you can do. It’s all about making time.
Let’s talk. Have you ever tried exercising when you’re feeling stressed? If so, what did you try? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In