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30 Ways to De-Stress This Week

“Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” — Parker Palmer

It’s Election Week. Regardless of how the vote turns out, this is going to be a stressful week for Americans, and even for the world at large. So this week, as we all face this uncertainty together, I just wanted to remind you to take care of yourself…to be mindful of the stress you may be feeling, even if it’s just a low-level anxiety buzzing in the background, and to be kind to yourself and to do a few things throughout the week to help yourself lower your stress and feel better.

So I’ve compiled a list of 30 simple things you can do to relieve stress and help you stay connected to the center of your rational mind, and your good, hopeful heart. Just read through the list, pick two or three (or more if you like), and commit to do them this week. Then, if you could, please share this list with a friend or two, so they can experience both the support they need from the list, and (even better) the support they may need from you.

Here's the list:

  1. Sleep 8 hours.

  2. Turn off all technology at 8 pm.

  3. Share your troubles with a trusted friend.

  4. Pray for your enemies.

  5. Bear hug ever member of your family.

  6. Say "I love you" to three of your closest friends.

  7. Make a list of everything that's troubling you, and surrender it to God.

  8. Take 10 deep-belly breaths when you wake up, before lunch, and before you go to bed.

  9. Go for a silent walk.

  10. Pet your dog (better yet, take it with you on your long silent walk).

  11. Don’t touch any technology before breakfast.

  12. Walk at 50% your normal speed.

  13. Roughhouse with your children.

  14. Get into nature, even if it's just a drive through the countryside.

  15. Listen to soothing or uplifting music.

  16. Get a massage.

  17. Take a long hot shower.

  18. Read a good book that helps you escape.

  19. Watch a good comedy flick.

  20. Read poetry (this book or this one are good places to start).

  21. Workout every day, even if it's just for 15 minutes.

  22. Take the week off from scrolling the news or social media.

  23. Work in the garden.

  24. Thoroughly clean your house.

  25. Lay down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.

  26. Do an act of service for someone less fortunate than you.

  27. Play a game outside with friends.

  28. Prepare your favorite comfort meal, and enjoy it with people you love.

  29. Every night before bed, name three things you're grateful for that happened that day.

  30. Sing...and while you're at it, why not dance a little?

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” — Eleanor Brownn
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