10 ways to deal with stress this summer
It’s supposed to be a chance to relax, but summer can often be a stressful time. Travel arrangements, changes to routine, family dynamics, and, of course, the impending exam results day all take their toll. To help you come out the other side of summer smiling, we’ve put together a list of 10 small things that might help you beat stress.
It sounds simple, but a few deep breaths are probably the easiest and quickest thing to do when stress starts to strike. Focusing on your breathing can help take your mind off what’s bothering you, and it calms your body down too.
Go for a walk
If you’ve got a few minutes, getting outside into the fresh air can be a great stress reliever. A quick walk uses up energy (which can be great if stress makes you antsy) and it can help you refocus.
Write it down
Especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed, making a list of what’s going on (or what you need to do) can be a great starting point. Even just getting stuff down on paper can help clear your head. Once it’s all there, you can start planning some solutions. Often, it’s not as bad as you feared once it’s all out in the open.
Talk about it
Find someone you trust, and voice your frustrations to them. It’s a bit of a cliché, but a problem solved really can be a problem halved – you’re not in it alone, and you’ve got someone else to help you get to the other side.
Eat something tasty
It doesn’t matter if you’re a fruit fiend or devoted to nuts and seeds – there are plenty of foods that contain vitamins and minerals that can help relieve stress. If you’ve got time, maybe you could even head to the kitchen. Watching ingredients combine and change as they transform into a flapjack, energy bar, or soup can be really calming.
Sometimes the best way to deal with stress is to take your mind off things for a little while. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, you’re never more than a click away from a dog reviewing human food or cats falling off things – or finding a funny GIF to put a smile back on your face.
Have a hot drink
It might not be the best tip for a heatwave, but since they’re few and far-between in the UK, a comforting hot drink is often relaxing. Give something without caffeine a go (such as camomile or peppermint tea), especially if you’re stressed before bed and need to calm down so you can sleep.
Get some rest
Stress takes its toll on our bodies, and rest is vital to recharge. Give yourself permission to relax, and make sure you leave enough time for a good night’s sleep. A bedtime routine can really help – stop scrolling social media, and do something calming such as reading or colouring.
Light a candle
Their soothing smell and flickering flame make candles a perfect partner for a relaxing evening. Orange could help reduce stress, lavender could help you relax, and vanilla could boost your mood. What’s your favourite scent?
Pet an animal
Size doesn’t matter here – a hamster or gerbil can be just as calming as a Great Dane or a pony. If you don’t have a pet at home, you could visit a city farm or petting zoo, ask an animal-loving friend if you can visit, or just go on a walk around your neighbourhood in hope of encountering a furry friend.
These tips don’t fix the big stuff, but hopefully they make the moment more manageable. If you’re worried, you can always check out childline. They’re there online and on the phone, anytime.