Looking for some free ways to reduce stress? That also work? I’ve got you covered!
One of the questions on my usual client intake form is about stress. I also ask my clients what types of stress they are experiencing. One type of stress is what I call “state of the world”. Other people might refer to this as “world events” or political stress.
Unfortunately, I’m seeing this more and more as a main source of stress for my clients… probably because there seems to be no shortage of it these days. Fortunately, there are lots of free ways to reduce stress and anxiety to give our nervous system a break, which helps us feel calmer, more confident, and more relaxed.
Four of my Favourite FREE Ways to Reduce Stress
#1 Shut out the world beyond your family’s front door.
This is another way of saying stop tuning in to the local or national news at dinner, or listening to radio updates on your way to work. Many of us do this automatically, and then wonder why we start and/or finish our days with more stress than we know what to do with.
Reading or watching the news may feel like a necessity if we want to “stay informed”, but there is so much stress that comes from not being able to help as much as we would like to. It no longer feels healthy and sane for us to stay plugged into the constantly churning news machine.
So, turn off the news and find something more productive to watch or listen to.
- Maybe you want to listen to your favourite song or playlist?
- Make dinner while catching up on your favourite Podcast?
- Grab an audiobook from the library that you’ve had bookmarked?
There are lots of ways to give your mind a break, which will help reduce your stress and anxiety, and help you relax.
#2 Find new & creative ways to relax.
Here’s a novel way to bust stress quickly: play this mindfulness bingo game I created for you!
You can download it, have fun with it, and see if you can get your friends or family involved and pick a winner. (Of course, no one really loses at mindfulness bingo… 😉
Click here to download the mindfulness bingo scorecard.
(And for bonus points, let me know how you’re using it in the comments!)
#3 Go for a walk in nature.
Most days, I spend a lot of time at my desk, and I usually have to motivate myself to stop what I’m doing to get out from behind it. Especially since I really like to enjoy what Mother Nature has to offer!
One of my favourite ways to clear my mind is to take the family for a walk or hike. Sometimes we’re downtown just strolling along the water; other times, we’re heading farther afield and exploring the sights of Parry Sound, Gravenhurst or another local scenic community with a ton of gorgeous scenery to delight the senses.
If you want to find some new trails and paths near you, check out the AllTrails app. You can find it on most Android and Apple devices. It’s great because it offers a description, convenient directions, and even reviews by people who have done the hike or trail. Popular trails often have recent reviews so you can check out the trail conditions before you go…
#4 Let everything go… and meditate.
My final tip to reduce stress quickly and easily is to make meditation a regular and routine part of your life.
I’ve mentioned this habit before, but a regular practice of meditation has been the MOST life-changing habit I’ve ever implemented for my physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.
A regular meditation practice was “the secret” to having a healthy and mostly stress-free home birth a few years ago. I also enjoyed a relatively sane postpartum experience. And we even went on a cross-country trip when our son was 5 months… and yes, I meditated every day of that glorious vacation! #yolo
Did you try meditating and it “didn’t work”?
If this is you, may I recommend giving it another try?
In my humble opinion, meditation has got to be one of the most stereotyped mental health practices of all. After all… who doesn’t have a preconceived idea or two about what it is, and what it isn’t?
Fortunately, I have never felt that meditation has to involve sitting in a Buddha-like position, in silence, for a predetermined amount of time. I think meditation is for EVERYONE (not just my granola-loving hippie alter ego).
Would you like to make the most of this simple but free way to reduce stress?
If you have…
- just 5 minutes, you can meditate! Sit down. Take a few, slow and deep breaths. Give your nervous system a little breather from the hustle and bustle of a go-go-GO lifestyle.
- 20 minutes, you can meditate! Lie down or just get comfy. Find a track on Spotify, YouTube or another platform and listen to some healing frequency music. Try “528 Hz Love Vibration”, “396 Hz Release Stress and Anxiety”, or “528 Hz Anxiety Relief” as a few examples.
- an hour, you can meditate! Having this time is precious since I have a two-year-old running around, but I love to take advantage (and I’m blessed to have a very hands-on husband). Find a guided meditation on Insight Timer app and settle in to give your mind this valuable quiet time. The FREE Insight Timer app offers thousands of meditations, for all ages and stages, so I can pretty much guarantee you’ll find meditations to love. This is not a sponsored mention; it just happens to be one of my all-time favourite apps! 🙂
Meditation is one mental health practice that can be anything you want it to be! Your perspective and your emotional/mental health will never be the same if you make this a habit.
If your mental health could use a reboot, pick one of these free ways to reduce stress and make it a regular habit for a week… or a month… and see how quickly your life changes with very little effort.
Life is a plate… Eat up!