Did you know that de-stress techniques aren’t the same as relaxation techniques? Here’s the thing. When you’re stressed, you’re full of negative energy. Attempting to relax doesn’t work to get rid of that energy. The best example of this: when you’re super-stressed and try to relax, but you only end up more frustrated.
Why can’t I just relax?
Energy has to go somewhere, which is why forcing yourself to calm down doesn’t work long-term. Eventually, that energy comes out, whether it’s snapping at your partner or wanting to kill the copy machine for running out of ink. So when we address de-stressing, we’re talking about getting rid of that negative energy to be able to relax. Make sense?
The next thing to know — everyone de-stresses differently and a lot of this depends on your personality type. Keep in mind, as you go through the guide below, these personalities are rough examples. You’ll probably fit into more than one category, which is totally normal! You know you best, so take these with a grain of salt.
Pro Tip: Use the hobby ideas as de-stressors, too. Finding a hobby that you love and doing it when you’re stressed can work wonders!
How to De-Stress 101: What You Need to Know About You!
The Super Motivated, Type A
Type A’s are usually described as workaholics, as they tend to overcommit themselves to everything they do. If you’re type A, you might find it hard to sit still or do one thing at a time. For example, the idea of watching Netflix for an entire day makes you cringe. You HAVE to do something productive, which is why typical relaxation techniques like meditation can feel like punishment.
To de-stress, find activities that have an end-goal, so you still have a sense of accomplishment.
- Not enough sleep
- Always having something to worry about
How to De-Stress:
#1 Exercise: If you need to slow down, try a yoga class, or walking. If you feel pent up, try a hardcore class like kickboxing or weight-lifting. Level Up and Flow, Fighting Fitter, and Functional Full Body are perfect workout options!
#2 Do Housework: Your environment has a bigger impact on mood than you think. Take 30 minutes to clean up your home/organize something. Ahhh, that fresh n’ clean feeling!
#3 Hobby Ideas: Jigsaw puzzles, playing an instrument, hiking, board games, martial arts, running.
Those with perfectionistic tendencies obsess over small mistakes. You might have extremely high standards for yourself and others. So when you’re stressed, everything feels off since your work isn’t as good as usual, which in turn, causes more stress. You often spend hours and hours on one task and follow the “all or nothing” mindset.
To de-stress, use activities that you’re already good at or don’t have any associated achievement, so it’s harder to become frustrated at yourself.
- Fear of failure
- Completely neglecting self-care
How to De-Stress:
#1 Journal: Instead of wallowing in anxiety, journal your feelings, and practice self-compassion to release the pressure you place on yourself.
#2 Use Music: Find a song you’re emotionally connected to, and play it whenever you need to de-stress. If it helps, have specific songs for each mood. Bonus points if you can sing along!
#3 Hobby Ideas: Photography, reading, yoga, exploring where you live.
This category belongs to the people-pleasers, those who end up putting everyone else’s needs before their own. Usually, you end up in burnout because you sacrifice your energy for those around you. You spend most days taking care of people, whether it’s your children, partner, or other family members. Remember, “taking care of people” can also look like soothing their emotions, too.
To de-stress, do things that scratch that “I’m helping” itch but also benefit you, too.
- Constant worry about others
- Overpromises (trouble setting boundaries)
- Exhaustion from giving too much to others
How to De-Stress:
#1 Walk Your Dog: This still helps you feel like you’re nurturing someone, but you also get the perks of walking and releasing that energy.
#2 Talk it Out: How does this benefit others? When you talk to a friend/therapist about how you’re really feeling, it puts you in a better mood, so you can show up and help others as the best version of you.
#3 Hobby Ideas: Cooking, gardening, dancing, writing, scrapbooking.
The Laid Back, Type B
Misconception of the day: type B’s never stress. Type B people are considered the opposite of type A– laid back, easy-going, and flexible. But just like everyone else, they can still experience anxiety, overwhelm, and stress on a daily basis. The difference? They need to de-stress differently. For instance, a competitive race probably wouldn’t help them de-stress because it’s more focused on accomplishment.
Instead, type B’s can do de-stress techniques that tap into their laid back nature and release energy at the same time.
- Overindulgence (neglecting healthy habits)
How to De-Stress:
#1 Meditate: Meditation is perfect for slowing down and easing stress through conscious breathing.
#2 Get creative: For most Type B’s, creativity comes naturally. Use this to your advantage by doing creative things like drawing and coming up with recipes.
#3 Hobby ideas: Podcasting, painting, learning a new language, starting a collection.
You Decide Your De-Stress Techniques: It’s All About What Feels Good
What’s the next step? Pick things you want to do from the sections that resonate with you! Again, you probably don’t fit into just one. We’re not robots! Do what feels good for you.
Looking for more ideas? Read The 5 Stress-Busting Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed Until Now.
Cheers to less stress!