I know! You’ve heard it before that meditation will be your secret sauce to take your wellness up to super status. It’s the last secret to the health of your entire mind-body-spirit, an absolute must-do that is the only path to beating your “stress.”
For sure, practicing meditation is an amazing approach to optimizing your health and overall well-being. I do try and meditate daily to relieve and deal with all the stress and issues, but its definitely not the only way to get there.
The whole purpose of meditating is to calm the mind and emotions and relax our physical body so let’s talk about some of the other things to try if meditation is not your thing.
Below I want to share some of the other techniques that have helped my clients relax and de-stress even when they had busy minds, too active to meditate.
This is a technique that I definitely started utilizing in my own routine. Spending some time every day writing out your thoughts or listing the things you’re grateful for is known as gratitude journaling and can really help bring understanding and happiness back into your world if you find it lacking. You can also use it as a “brain dump” to get all of your thoughts and ideas out of your head to soothe your mind. If you have an overactive mind, always thinking about what you need to do the next day I HIGHLY recommend this as a way to stop yourself from having to remember everything all the time.
Another simple one, we all know that we should read instead of staring into our screens every night. It’s also one thing to read to learn something that you have to learn, or to advance your knowledge. You can also read for pure pleasure, get caught up in a story and just relax.
Adult colouring books are all the rage right now! Not *that* kind of adult, but pages with lots of detail and tiny areas. Something that can take you hours, something you can get lost in. You could always opt for something simple, like kids colouring pages too. The idea is the same. Repeated movements and focusing on the art you’re creating can help to clear your mind.
Knitting or crocheting (or other crafts)
Knitting, crocheting or other yarn activities can actually be a great way to de-stress; you don’t even have to be any good to start with. You can choose to start with a quick little rectangular scarf and choose the pattern, size, and yarn. Once you get into the flow of these skills, they’re great to do when you’re feeling stressed. Not only can they relax your mind to focus on your work, but you can end up warming yourself or others with the products you create.
I may like to workout heavy most of the time, but sometimes even I know it’s just not what is called for. Instead of getting amped up, moving your body can be another great way to de-stress. Activities that are slower and less intense are ideal of course. Things like walking, yoga, stretching, or tai chi can all be great ways to relax your mind and improve your strength and balance at the same time.
Sleep in or take a nap
This is one that most people love to hear! A common cause of increased stress hormones is a lack of sleep. Too little sleep and too much stress tend to go hand-in-hand. So, getting enough good quality sleep is actually super important in helping you break free from stress without having to meditate at all.
Another one that clients love. Maybe you love massages or mani/pedi’s? Maybe you love long baths or lighting candles? Spending some time to pamper yourself regularly is great for your mind, body, and spirit.
Spend time in nature
You don’t have to head away for vacation to relax in nature. While a calm beautiful beach or cabin in the woods may be amazing, you don’t have to go that far. Even spending time on the grass at your local park or playground, or walking on a wooded trail in your neighbourhood can do the trick!
Make time for people and pets you love
This is another one of my favorites! It’s so important to spend time with family, friends, and pets whom you love. New research is coming out about the health issues related to loneliness. Reach out and plan to hang out with your besties, or even offer to take your neighbour’s dog for a walk in the park! Even better, get one of your own!
Stress reduction is the goal. How you do it, be it meditation or otherwise, is not that important. What’s important is that you find what works for you.
Try journaling, reading, colouring, knitting/crocheting, gentle exercise, sleep, pampering yourself, spending time in nature, and making time for people and pets you love.
Have other great ideas? Let me know what helps you de-stress in the comments below.