Whenever I felt stressed growing up, my mom would always tell me to “go take a tub.” So, I would go fill a bath with bubbles and water hot enough to make me look like a boiled lobster, and I would read and think and feel better. ‘Taking a tub’ is most definitely my favorite way to de-stress. Sylvia Plath put it best (I actually read her book, The Bell Jar, in the tub) when she said, “there must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.” This has totally been the case for me.
De-stressing isn’t easy, as work and school can make it extremely difficult to find time to unwind. It’s easy to rely on a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates to bring that instant relief to us after a long day, but in the long-run these coping methods will catch up to your health. So what are some healthy ways you can decompress? Well you already know mine, but what about reading for pleasure, going for a walk around the block or cooking a good homemade soup? Let’s talk about some healthy ways a busy woman can learn to relax.
1. Read for Pleasure
Being a student or career woman can mean endless course materials or unedited documents you need to read. If you find yourself missing the days where you could lay around and read until your heart was content, consider giving yourself some time to once again read for pleasure. It can be before bed, on your break at lunch or somewhere in between. Find a place and time where you can escape the academic articles and professional papers and read something of your choosing.
2. Find a Fun Form of Exercise
Many people swear by exercise as a means of stress reduction. Even a 30-minute walk can have a positive effect on your attitude. If walking isn’t your jam, there are tons of other ways to reap the benefits of exercise while having fun. Yoga is a popular method, as is swimming, spinning or Zumba. In the winter months check for days you can go skating for free at your local rink or ask for a free trial at a local yoga studio before you commit. You can also check your local area for cross-county ski or snowshoe trails – many outdoor stores rent equipment by the day for around $20, so a day on the trails is a fairly low cost way to get the endorphin high from exercise.
3. Get Creative in the Kitchen
Several women from my family use baking or cooking as a way to de-stress. Making something from start to finish, usually something to be shared among friends or family, can be very therapeutic and rewarding. Try recipes from blogs, invite friends over to make it more fun and host a food-themed party. Have a cupcake-decorating night or let guests put together their own tacos. Join your university’s bake sale and make some cash or take something to bring to work to impress your co-workers. Food is more fun when community is involved.
4. Have Regular Adventures
While traveling can be expensive, a popular trend is playing tourist in your own city/town. Getting out and exploring new shops or cafes is a very nice way to escape for a bit without having to blow all your cash on a vacation. This leaves you feeling like you’ve gone somewhere new, while developing a new-found appreciation for where you live. Pack a camera and enjoy the beautiful nature or architecture around your area. Invite friends to join or embark on a solo adventure to be alone with your thoughts.
Having a few methods to de-stress is essential to maintaining your wellness in everyday life. It’s important to take time to re-charge, whether it’s by walking, yoga, baking or having a bath. Find something you enjoy and make relaxation a regular part of your routine. Let us know what works for you in the comments below!