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How to De-Stress During a Difficult Time

(c) VictoryLab Inc. 2018

Going back to school, work, or a busy schedule as a mom or dad after a holiday like Thanksgiving can be especially tough, with reality sometimes hitting you at full force. From midterms, to project deadlines, to the demanding schedule as a parent, extra stress is added after a holiday. A lot of the time, this stress can become so severe that it leads to depression, something that many people have experienced as it’s estimated that 15% of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.

To prevent this from happening, it’s important to find some ways to help you cope with such a difficult period of time. So, read on to discover the best ways to de-stress when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Take a walk

This one may seem overrated, but it really is one of the best ways to help declutter your mind and boost your endorphins. The walk doesn’t have to be long, 10 minutes is great, but getting outside and getting some physical activity can help reduce your stress levels significantly.

Buy yourself a plant

Did you know that owning a lavender plant lowers stress and anxiety levels, improves sleep and lowers your heart rate? If you’re not really a plant person, smelling a lavender essential oil can do the exact same thing, it’s just in a bottle.

Try progressive muscle relaxation

If you don’t know what progressive muscle relaxation is, click here for an insightful guide (and tips!) that explains everything you need to know about how to do it. This exercise reduces stress by relieving tension in your muscles, causing you to feel more relaxed and ready to tackle whatever may be stressing you out.

Drink some green tea

Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which helps you relax during stressful situations, but also keeps your mind aware. If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to destress, make yourself a cup of green tea and it’ll help soothe your stress levels.

Take a hot bath or shower

Similar to progressive muscle relaxation, heat relaxes muscles, so taking a hot bath or shower is an easy way to get some relief from a stressful situation.

Chew some gum

You’ve probably heard that chewing gum during an exam helps improve your memory, but studies have actually shown that chewing a piece of gum improves overall attentiveness and effectiveness by 67%. This is another great fast and easy way to reduce your stress without even really thinking about it.


If you only have 5 minutes to lower your stress levels before something like an exam or a presentation, the best way to do so is by breathing mindfully. Simple techniques like breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth help slow down your heart rate, ultimately helping to relax your mind.

[Looking for some breathing techniques to help you relax and destress? To learn more breathing techniques and how to perform them, click here.]

The holiday season is a great time to get a small break to spend time with friends and family, but going back to reality after can be especially hard. If you’re feeling completely overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, following these tips can help you relax quickly and easily. If you feel like your stress is leading you towards depression, be sure to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or professional. We at VictoryLab know how stressful this time of year can be, so we encourage everyone to put themselves and their mental health first, no matter what.

[Want more ideas on how to stay happy and healthy during a stressful time period? Check out one of our blogs on tips for increasing dopamine levels by clicking here.]

To learn more about how VictoryLab can help you, your students, your team or your organization’s employees destress, click here.

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