10 Tools For Combatting Stress Your Inner Child Will Appreciate

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Adam Whitlock

Do you have stress in your life? Are you so busy running from work to workout class? Are you tight on a budget? If you answered yes to these questions, read on.

Remember when we were merely innocent children wanting to grow up, and be like our parents? We were so naive and unaware of what the world had in store and wanted to experience it all. Now, as we “adult” we try to cope with things from our past that made us feel safe, warm, and happy. While we’re not getting any younger, we are still able to use tools and experiences from our childhood in our present life to deal with stress and find happiness, like we did when we were young.

1. Adult Coloring

Coloring in a book can be extremely therapeutic, as you probably have seen with the many coloring books that are now available to adults. Creating artwork can help reduce anxiety, become self-aware, and increase self-esteem, specifically coloring in patterns as it allows you to focus and become mindful of the present moment. (CNN) So grab some colored pencils and draw in some lines, just like you did when you were a kid.

2. Ride a bike

Do some exercise, whether it is Soul Cycle or just pedaling at the gym. Like Elle Woods said “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t.” Exercises help take your mind off of your daily to-do list, or stressful scenarios, your mind is focusing on pedaling similar to the way meditation allows you to focus on your breath.

SoulCycle is my method of choice because of the music and the vibes. I know no matter what’s going on in my life – if I’m late to class, or I have a million things going on, I am guaranteed to feel 90% better walking out than when I came in. The music allows me to feel energized, while the dance moves (which I am extremely uncoordinated and look awk AF), allows me to focus on moving rather than focusing on other sh*t going on. Followed by an extremely powerful message from the instructor, which somehow always relates to what is going on in my current life, sort of like when your horoscope is spot on.

When I was in elementary school, the best part of my day was coming home and riding my bike in the neighborhood with my friends. Of course, life was less stressful then and my biggest dilemma was which friends house to go to. Being on a bike makes me feel the way I felt when I was younger, I close out the outside world and just ride.

3. Get into Child’s pose

A signature pose for resting and taking a break, used during a yoga practice or just because you need to resort to laying on the ground and breathing. This pose allows you to quiet your mind and is restorative by coming inward with ourselves. Doing yoga, in general, is extremely beneficial for detoxing your mind, and allowing you to de-stress by focusing on your breath and poses. (Huffington Post)

4. Take a bubble bath/salt floatation

Remember when you were a kid and your favorite time was being in the tub? Filled with bubbles, making up games and allowing the warmth of the water to take over your body and float. Soaking in warm water with bubbles or essential oils can act as a mood booster while calming your mind (no surprise there), it can also increase your body temp and get you in the mood… for sleep, (Huffington Post). Adding bath bombs and sea salts can help enhance your experience. Similarly, floating in an Epsom filled tank can help with reducing anxiety. The salts keep your body afloat and relax your muscles. The enclosed space allows you to focus on your breath and your heartbeat. (Health) We’ll all float on okay…

5. Take A Timeout

When we were children, timeouts were the absolute worst. It meant being stuck in a corner waiting to be let out, being sent to your room with no electronics, or being punished and not being able to see your friends. No one looked forward to being alone with nothing to do with themselves. Now that we’re adults, it seems that it’s all we want to do, but don’t have time for it. Today, staying in is the new going out, and digital detoxes are not a form of punishment rather a way to keep us sane. 

Sometimes you just need to take five minutes out of your crazy day and have “self-care” time. This could mean applying a face mask, avoiding social media, or doing some meditation. The alone time that we never wanted is something we never realized we needed until we had a schedule with a million things to do every day. Take time for yourself and be selfish, it’s the most selfless thing you can do.

6. Journal: Let it out

TBT to when we had diaries that we kept hidden in our nightstand, with a lock that didn’t actually work, and we divulged our deepest darkest secrets about our crush, or if we had a sh*tty day, or we wondered when our boobs would grow in (no, just me, ok).

Today, journals are a form of releasing our stresses and organizing our thoughts and busy schedules. There are gratitude journals, to allow us to appreciate what we are grateful for and focus less on our first world problems. There are mindful journals that let us figure out what is triggering our bad day, and bringing us back to set an intention or finding the positive in an unpleasant experience. There’s a journal for just about anything. The whole point of a journal is to help us not suppress our feelings and to find the root of our problems so we can either come to a solution or just come to peace with the feelings we are experiencing.

7. Read A Book

Inspiration comes from all over, and if you’re feeling anxious or stressed, you can seek guidance from sources of people dealing with the same issues. A book I recently read changed my perspective on many things, it was called Light Is The New Black. The author went from hitting rock bottom and having her whole life fall apart to picking herself up to help others by becoming a light worker. Through meditation and listening to her soul, she found her purpose and lit her light back up. The book made me realize that you should do what makes you happy and what ignites your fire. Surround yourself with people who light up your soul, and do things that genuinely make you feel happy. “When we say YES to what lights us up, by default, we light up the world in a way that only we can, and bring the universe back into harmony.” – *Rebecca Campbell*

8. Listen to music/podcast

Music is therapy. It heals us, it makes us feel alive, it brings us together. When I’m in a bad mood, I turn to music, when I’m in a good mood, I turn to music. Even if when I’m in a bad mood, I’m sometimes guilty of playing extra sad music because it makes me feel better. It’s what I listen to in the morning when I wake up, on my walk or subway ride to work, in the shower, in my workout class, and at the end of the day.

Recently, I have found podcasts from many wellness enthusiasts, girl bosses, and social media gurus. Some of my favorites are: That’s So Retrograde, Ask Gary Vee, The Balanced Blonde, Actually Adultish, The Skinny Confidential, and The Chasing Joy Podcast.

9. Have a hot drink

When we were children or even babies, our parents gave us warm milk to calm us down. I was lactose intolerant so I always had a hot cup of tea to make me feel better. Some drinks that having healing properties are Golden Milk Lattes, a hot cup of tea, or a matcha latte. You can also use adaptogens that having ingredients specifically to reduce stress. I also use Calm Drink powder in a hot cup of water and lemon at night.

10. Take a nap

When all else fails, take a power nap and sleep it off. Get a lot of sleep when you’re feeling stressed and wake up feeling better. TC mark

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