April is Stress Awareness Month. This month was deemed Stress Awareness Month back in April of 1992 and has kept up its education and recognition ever April since. Though we are living in some rather difficult and stressful times, things are turning around, maybe not as quickly as we would like, but they are turning around slowly for the better.
Stress is an evitable part of life for us all; however, there are often things we can do to manage it or avoid it causing excessive harm to the body. It is our job to learn how to cope and protect ourselves as much as we are able from stress.
Last week we mentioned it is Earth Month, but now that we are mentioning it also being Stress Awareness Month, we thought it would be great to have solutions to help cope with stress utilizing the great outdoors. One of the best ways to destress the body, mind, soul, and spirit is to get out in nature and enjoy what mother earth has afforded us. The planet is full of an abundance of fresh air and space for all of us to partake in things to rejuvenate our total being. When you are feeling stressed out or some form anxiety, consider using one or all of the following suggestions.
a) Take your workout outdoors. Whether you walk, run, jog, ride a bike, jump rope, participate in calisthenics, take it outside. Starting your exercise routine early in the morning or in the evening when it is cooler is ideal when it gets too hot. When you decide to participate in any exercise routine, consider doing more of it to lower stress levels.
a) Partaking in a book club or reading something that you enjoy or feeding your mind is quite beneficial in taking the mind off of whatever may have caused stress to the body. Try to read a book a month or pick up your bible or a spiritual book, for starters. Some libraries are opening back up again for curbside pick-up. Search their catalog and find something you may like or inquire with a Liberian to see what they may suggest for helping to destress.
3. Listen to Music
a) There is magic in listening to a feel-good tune from all genres. Music is food for the soul. No matter what race, creed or age, people all around the world enjoy dancing. It just makes one feel happy and come together as one without hate. Explore some alone time listening to music and digesting the words. Heck, sing if you want to; if you can’t carry a tune, that is quite O.K too. Don’t judge yourself; your job is to relax you the best way you are able. Even if you must laugh it off, yes, it is O.K to laugh at yourself; it may make you feel really good while having a belly laugh.
4. Eat lite
a) Often, meals filled with large amounts of meat and carbs are heavy on the body’s system, causing stress. Making for a hard time to digest foods, by eating meals that are lite in nature like leafy greens, fruits, or quinoa, the digestive system can work optimally with minor strain. Remember to drink lots of water to stay hydrated to remove waste from the body.
a) No matter where you end up, under a tree, at a park, on a trail, near the water, on a boat, or wherever you enjoy being, take time to write about what is stressing you out in nature. It is a great way to release what is going on inside of you and around you.
6. Meet New People
a) Being in nature alone or with others is an easy way to meet new people, perhaps those of a like mind. Outdoorsy people already know there are benefits to hanging out in nature, whether to walk their dog or breathe in the fresh air. They tend to be kinder in such atmosphere. So say “Good Morning” or “Hello” when passing them, for starters.
a) Whether you enjoy meditating, praying, chanting, be still, or taking a nap, being in nature affords humans the relaxation we need to relieve any stress that may have existed prior entirely. Sometimes doing something as small as taking in deep breathes (4) and breathing out (4) will do the trick in taking away something stressful.
b) Laughter is relaxing, too; whether looking back at happy times or being in the present, laughter calms the soul. Try to do it more often than not, for it helps relieve stress.
8. Host a picnic or cook-out
a) Since Spring and summer are just around the corner, now is a perfect time to get a blanket and be at peace wherever you end up. Sit in a park near the water; have a picnic with yourself or others and be in the moment. Soak it up and enjoy sitting or being in nature while you eat.
b) Invite some of your friends over to a park or your backyard and have a social distance cook-out. Don’t have too many people, though, because that may bring on some unwanted stress. The larger the crowd, the more food options, and anxiety may occur, so keep things simple. If need be, have everyone bring something and label the ingredients to avoid problems for those who may have food allergies.
9. Plant a Garden
a) Whether you have a yard or not, anyone can plant and grow something as miniature as cilantro or a tomato. Fruits and vegetables can be grown on a windowsill or in a small planter pot in the home with a few seeds. Within 2 to 3 weeks, with the proper feeding from water, sunlight, and maybe a vitamin, you can have a whole veggie or fruit garden.
10. Go Kayaking/Yachting
a) Sitting on the water or being active near water is very calming to the body for those who enjoy being around water elements. Kayaking is perfect because you can get a great workout, sit there and be still. You can even meditate on the water, journal all the positive ideas that will pour into the mind all in one place.
Stress and poor lifestyle choices have been known for years to contribute to a shorter life; it can cripple anyone no matter how strong they think they may be. Isn’t it time to live life more fulfilled and as stress-free as possible? There are many ways to live stress-free, and now more than ever. This Spring, turn to nature for some stress relief instead of something that may not be as productive. Consider these ten suggestions or find your own. There is so much to do outdoors to relax; there is no need to spend another moment stressed out indoors or anywhere for that matter. Live your best life, spending more time with Mother Nature!
Invest in a water bottle sling for your stress relieving nature endeavors. It is made of recycled water bottles and it fits your water bottle, phone, keys, money and more, but it won't weigh you down on your journey.
Don't forget all eco-friendly items are 10% off until Midnight Earth Day EST. "Earth 10".