Five Ways to De-Stress

As an A-type perfectionist and INFJ, I spent most of my youth gnawing my nails, tapping my feet, dealing with debilitating headaches, and doubling over in stomach pain because of anxiety and stress. I never knew when to say no and always piled on more than I could handle.

When I first became a teacher almost twenty years ago, I made myself sick with the amount of work I brought home. It made me irritable and not very present when I was home. If I wasn’t grading papers, I was writing emails to parents, creating lesson plans, or working on the yearbook (I was a control freak adviser). By the time Monday rolled around, I hadn’t gotten any family time, let alone ‘me’ time. For an INFJ, that is brutal. Read my blog post about the INJF personality HERE.

Last week, I found myself in the middle of a work cyclone with two back-to-back evening events, teaching 32 classes and working 60 hours. Because I live far from work, add travel time to all of that. My week culminated with a 4-hour exam at the break of dawn on Saturday for my teaching credential.

Trust me, I’m not complaining. I’m grateful to have a job and lead the life I do. It’s just that sometimes, it’s overwhelming.

I know it’s like that for a lot of people, but I have learned over the years, that I am only one person, and I must be willing to let go of things if my world is going 200 mph.

Last week, I let go of my blog. One of my first priorities this year was to make sure I consistently blog, but I knew that if I added that to the mix last week, I would have sent myself over the edge.

Instead of feeling guilty on the day I should have posted my blog, I decided to rebelliously have a Zen moment.

These are the five things I did, and I highly recommend you do, when you feel like your world is spinning out of control.

1 – Meditate: sitting still and concentrating on the breath is one of the most powerful things you can do to stop your mind from going into overdrive. When you really need to relax quickly, focus on the exhale being longer than the inhale. You will immediately feel your heart rate slow down.


2 – Light a candle or diffuse some oils. Lavender, patchouli, ylang ylang, or vanilla are some of my favorites.


3 – Take a hot shower. This is a no-brainer. Hot water relaxes muscles and increases oxytocin that alleviates tension.


4 – Watch a funny TV show. There’s nothing like a laughter to take your mind off your to-do list.


5 – Have a glass of wine or, if you don’t drink alcohol, hot tea (decaffeinated). Notice I said a glass of wine – not plural. Having too much will actually have the opposite effect and keep you up during the night.

Side note: On top of all this, make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep.

If you don’t get enough sleep every night, you can be rest assured (no pun intended) that you will not handle what’s thrown at you very well.





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