6 Ways To Destress When You're Totally Stressed Out

Stop me if you’re totally relaxed, but I get a sense that all of us could use a little reminder to wind down this week. I’ve been living way too much inside my own head and too little in the world around me lately, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Writing projects, botched travel plans, daily obligations… even cool creative collaborations have me pulling out my hair!

Fresh off a five day retreat to the beautiful Hudson Valley to spend time with the fam recently, I rolled into Grand Central on the Metro North train, only to see my stress was waiting for me on the platform. It was tangible. I wanted to buy another ticket and flee the city for another week.

And you know what? When life feels like that, even though you’re #BlessedAF, it’s time to wind it back.

Here are some of my favorite ways to do exactly that. The best part? All of them can be done from the comfort of home.

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Let your nose do the calming.

Aromatherapy is a powerful thing. It can relax you into a sweet, calm mood or prep you for a full day of inspired work.

Also, shopping for seasonal scents is blissful addiction. You can change a whole room with aroma. I prefer smelling spicy, rich scents in cooler climates and citrusy, clean scents when it’s warmer outside. When I’m stressed, rose and lavender calm me down (while lilac makes me hopelessly nostalgic, so I dose accordingly).

Right now I’m spritzing on Adorn Amythest fragrance after I roll on some peppermint oil each morning. At the end of the day, I burn an incredible, light Satya Romance incense to unwind.

It’s science, it’s magic, it works! Explore aromas as a way to adapt to the highs and lows of your day.

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Give your skin a coconut-flavored snack.

One of the ways I reduce puffiness and redness around my eyes when I wake up in the morning (typical after all-nighters on the laptop or on the dance floor!) is to apply frozen coconut oil-dipped cotton pads.

You cut them in half and soak them, then keep them in a freezer in a ziplock bag. When you need them, just dab them under your eyes and then stick them on your face for 5-10 minutes.

This is also a great mental stress reducer, because it just feels so good—and it also slows you down. You’re not going to sprint through your to-do list with cotton pads stuck to your face, after all…

Dab off the excess oil when you’re done and you’ll be good to go. As a bonus, it also smells delicious. Any good coconut oil will do the trick, but my fave is Alaffia Fair Trade African Coconut Oil for Skin and Hair.

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While you’re at it, add some coconut love to your hair.

After dry brushing and taking a long, hot shower I like to douse my hair in coconut & sea water hair spray.

My product rec? Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray for delicious waves. It adds texture, so it’s best if you want mermaid hair and beachy locks as opposed to a silky smooth mane.

Also, this isn’t a detangler. You might be saying “duh!”, but when I bought it for the first time, I made that mistake and gave myself dreadlocks! 😉

When I need to detangle I use Not Your Mother’s Way To Grow Leave-In Conditioner, which nourishes your hair, makes it nice and smooth, and even promotes growth. Yum.

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Have a cup of tea.

Oh. My. Gawd.

Is there anything better than sitting down with a hot cup of tea after a long day?

I started drinking tea religiously in high school as per my mom’s example. My brothers did, too! We became a tea household, and I think our health was better for it overall. Whether I was working on a term paper or binge watching anime (yep, major dork over here!) I always had a cup of tea in my hand.

Tea has been replaced slowly by coffee and wine for me as my days have become more intense, but it’s making a major comeback.

I especially love Yogi Throat Comfort Tea if I’m feeling under the weather, Yogi Skin Detox Tea if I’m having a high school grade breakout, and good ol’ black Lipton Tea any time, any place.

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Get pretty.

You just can’t argue with the fact that getting a little dolled up—or simply taking care of yourself—makes you feel better. When my nails are chipped and I can’t find anything to wear in the morning, I don’t feel ready to face the world with confidence. Not surprising! But often overlooked until the last minute.

On the contrary, when I take the time to DIY a mani/pedi, properly dry my hair, and just do little things to take care of myself, I feel unstoppable.

I look at my hands all day while rattling away on the laptop keyboard, so I love it when my nails look awesome. Most recently, I’m obsessed with this yummy matte navy and matte confetti polishes from UO.

This is anything but vanity, babes.

This is simply showing yourself that you’re worth the extra time.

If you’re not into makeup and pretty dresses, that’s all good too. What is it that you need to do to take care of yourself and feel attractive? Make the time to do that thing. You’ll feel the difference!

Don’t stop until you feel amazing!

Exfoliate, moisturize, do all of the delicious things you imagine yourself doing in your ideal life that you never find time to do. Spoiler alert: nobody does that stuff for you. No one shows up and tells you to do it. You have to be your own advocate.

Keep a box of all the things that make you feel delicious in one place in your apartment or room, so you can reach for it and get your feelgood fix whenever its needed. There’s no such thing as too much self-care!

How do you wind down after a stressful day? 

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Written by Mishka
A city girl who loves palm trees, strong coffee & late night writing. Founder of Hey Mishka & Day Job Optional. Learn more about her here.