clean // all that clutter in your room, apartment, house, garage, car etc. is not just cluttering up your space it's cluttering up your mind as well! If you take the time, an hour, a day, however long you need, to clean out your space you will feel so much better about approaching the other stressful aspects about life. Plus, it's just much easier to relax in a space where everything is tidy.
get ahead // if you can prepare for that presentation, paper, proposal, concert now, you won't have to stress about it when you have less time and more responsibilities. Believe me, procrastination is enemy #1 when it comes to being stressed out. Even just jotting down a quick outline for that task and working on it a bit everyday will take so much weight off your mind!
treat yourself // my personal favorite way to de-stress! Treat yourself to a day of doing nothing, a day of movies and junk food, a sleepover with friends, a special outing with your besties, or a day at the spa! Sneak off and get a pedicure or a massage after a grueling day or take a Saturday, invite your best friends, and plan to not budge from your sofa for as long as possible. Friends + food is the best stress-busting combination.
get exercise // as much as I hate to admit it sometimes, Mom is always right when she suggests doing some exercise to help solve my problems. We all know that "exercise releases endorphins blah blah blah" but the real trick is that if you work out extra hard then you feel extra kick-ass and that will prepare you to tackle anything stressful in your path.
read a book // taking time away from a screen and reminding yourself why you love reading is a great way to beat stress. I find I don't have a lot of time to read if I don't specifically set a time where there is nothing else I should be/want to be doing and just read. Pick up a random new book, get a recommendation from a friend, check bestseller lists, or even read an old favorite! Just sit and read for a chapter or three it will calm you right away. (Bonus relaxation points if you read in the bath)
go out with friends // after a stressful week, month, or semester sometimes there's nothing better than going out and cutting lose with your closest friends. In high school, our after-prom party was at a club and the entire grade was so grateful to cut loose after the grueling month of IB exams. At college there are plenty of parties available to cut loose when you need it, and as an adult you and your friends can hit any bar or club any weekend you want!
head outdoors // if you don't have the time for a full treat yourself day, or even a night to go out, a nice walk outside can do wonders for your stress levels! Take a stroll through a park, up and down the street, through a farmers market, or down a walking path with your four-legged pals, with a friend, or even alone. Being in nature will refresh your mind and a bit of exercise will prepare you to tackle whatever is stressing you.
unplug // social media, instant news updates, a cacophony of sounds and video assaults us constantly these days. Unplugging completely by turning your phone off, not just silencing it, and turning off the TV and laptops/tablets for the night will greatly decrease your stress levels, and help you sleep a lot better.
take a nap // sleep is one of the best ways to recharge your batteries! Whenever I feel like something is too difficult to finish or I'm getting frustrated because something isn't working the way I expected it to, I usually take a 40-60 minute nap. It's a simple way to refresh your mind and get you back on track. Now, napping is not to replace an entire nights' sleep and I never recommend pulling an all-nighter, but napping? I'll always recommend napping.
What are your tiny tricks to improving your life?