When we keep stress in the closet, it doesn't do us much good.
Instead, use what's in there to bring about better mental clarity and health. These DIY stress hacks are simple, proven means to bring about some well-deserved recalibration. Try them out to see what brings maximum impact to your stress bottom line.
1. Towel as a yoga mat. Grab your favorite towel and get your Zen on. Research is increasingly demonstrating the positive effects of yoga on our brains and bodies. Try out some of these popular poses for 20 minutes and notice the relief.
2. Questionable fashion choices as comic relief. Yes, even fashionistas and hipsters have temporary lapses in judgment. Dig out the old duds, have a hearty laugh and be reminded not to take yourself too seriously, and that we're always capable of progressing.
3. Sunday Best as a confidence booster. Sometimes slumps can erode our esteem and motivation to care about appearance. In a study examining the impact of our clothing choices, Psychology researcher Karen Pine found that wardrobe choices are tied to our emotional states. My Aunt Cecilia used to say it like this: "put your earrings on everyday!" Apparently, what we wear can lead to higher confidence and improved moods.
4. Ditch the E-screens for sunscreen. Work will always be there. Grab your backpack, stuff it with Scooby snacks and sunscreen, and hit the trails. When we breathe fresh air, move vigorously, and enjoy nature, we escape from the daily grind and feel less stressed. The phone and computer screens will still be there when you get back.
5. Epsom salt as an invigorating escape. Draw up a hot bath and douse it with Epsom salt, which contains magnesium, and has been dubbed by Dr. Mark Hyman as the "relaxation mineral". Lock the door, turn up the tunes and breathe deeply.
6. Sneakers as sneakers. Okay, there's nothing complicated here. Put them on, lace them out, and get moving. Try to clock in close to 10,000 steps daily. As they say, running is cheaper than therapy. And walking is a surefire way to keep a smile on your face and facilitate improved mood, memory and focus.
When we keep stress in the closet, we aren't doing ourselves any favors. Instead, bring these everyday items out of storage and put them to good use to minimize the negative impacts of stress. Coping with life's demands doesn't have to be as complicated as we sometimes make it. In fact, often is the case that small revisions make a big difference in our health and well-being.