Unlocking the Secrets to Stress Relief 6 Innovative Strategies You Haven’t Experienced

6 Innovative Stress-Relieving Strategies That Will Transform Your Life


Stress. It’s that annoying friend who always crashes every party. It’s so normalized that we’re practically throwing it another welcome party every day. With countless deadlines, bills that seem to multiply like rabbits, drama-filled conflicts, and the constant buzzing of digital devices, stress manages to squeeze its way into every corner of our lives. And guess what? We’ve become so accustomed to living in fight-or-flight mode that it’s practically our full-time address. As a result, we find solace in cortisol, indulge in sugar cravings like there’s a shortage of cupcakes, and consume enough coffee to keep a small country awake. It’s a vicious cycle that’s just a stone’s throw away from burnout knocking on our door. But fear not, my fashion-forward friends, finding relief from this stress-stricken existence doesn’t require a doctorate in rocket science.

To save the day, we’re bringing you some simple and outrageously creative ways to find stress relief. But here’s the catch: you need to commit to doing things differently. So, get ready to flip that internal dialogue, change how you interact with others (including those cunning social media platforms), and give yourself permission to say “no” unless it’s a resounding “hell yes!” It’s time to ditch the chaos and channel your inner tranquility.

Featured image by Michelle Nash

In this article

Edie Horstman

Double-certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant Instagram

Edie is the founder of the nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in women’s health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.

What causes stress?

Oh honey, where do I even begin? Stress has an uncanny ability to creep into every aspect of our lives. We’re talking about the lethal combination of a poor diet, lack of sleep (those Z’s are running away from us), the never-ending adventure called parenthood, relationship issues that make daytime soap operas look tame, the overwhelming pressure that makes you long for a vacation on a deserted island, feeling like you’ve lost control of your life, and even experiencing discrimination or abuse. The list goes on, darling. It’s like a bottomless pit of stressors just waiting to swallow us whole. And when those stressors push us beyond our limits, our body’s stress response kicks in and releases the infamous cortisol, wreaking havoc on our mind and body. Racing heart, tense muscles, irritability, anxiety, and that’s just scratching the surface, darling.

Can I avoid stress?

Wouldn’t that be a dream come true, darling? Unfortunately, stress is as inevitable as a fashionista spotting a fabulous pair of shoes. But fret not, my trendsetting friends, because managing stress is the name of the game. It’s all about building resilience and responding to stress with grace and flair. Think of it as turning stress from a villain into your personal fashion accessory. Trust me, once you shift your perspective, you’ll be unstoppable.

Woman meditating in chair.

How Stress Shows Up in Your Body

Ooh, stress loves to put on a show, darling. Some of us experience it physically, while others feel its impact mentally. It’s like a twisted game show called “Guess How Stress Will Mess You Up Today!”

Physical symptoms

  • Muscle tension: Stress turns your body into a tightly-knit ball of tension, causing muscle aches, tension headaches, and even jaw clenching that gives TMJ a run for its money.
  • Digestive issues: Stress can really stir things up in your gut, causing stomachaches, indigestion, and a dance between constipation and diarrhea that no one enjoys.
  • Increased heart rate: Stress triggers your body’s fight-or-flight response, putting your heart in overdrive. If this keeps up, it can lead to heart problems that no fabulous outfit can fix.
  • Respiratory problems: Stress can make you feel breathless, like you’re running a marathon without even moving, or make existing respiratory conditions, like asthma, flare up.
  • Skin woes: Stress has a knack for messing with your complexion, triggering acne breakouts and aggravating conditions like eczema. The stress gods just can’t resist playing with our skin, can they?
  • Weakened immune system: Chronic stress weakens your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to every germ and sniffle that crosses your path. It’s like your immune system is shouting, “Open for business!”
  • Sleep disturbances: Stress wrecks havoc on your sleep, making it harder to doze off, stay asleep, or wake up feeling refreshed. It’s like your beauty sleep is caught in a never-ending battle with stress.

Psychological symptoms

  • Anxiety: Stress loves to turn up the anxiety volume, leaving you feeling uneasy, worried, and nervous. It’s like your brain is throwing a never-ending party you didn’t RSVP for.
  • Depression: Prolonged stress can contribute to the development or worsening of depressive symptoms. It’s like stress and depression are BFFs, just ruining our lives together.
  • Irritability: Stress turns even the sweetest darlings into short-tempered divas. It’s like everything becomes an instant irritant, from a fly buzzing by to that annoying song stuck in your head.
  • Difficulty concentrating: Stress loves to hijack your brain, making it nearly impossible to focus, make decisions, or think clearly. It’s like your thoughts are doing a chaotic dance routine.
  • Memory problems: Stress can sabotage your memory, leading to forgetfulness or a foggy brain. It’s like your brain is playing hide-and-seek with your precious memories.
Catt Sadler writing at desk.

Identify Your Stress Triggers

Now, my stylish companions, let’s get to the juicy part of this stress-relieving journey. It’s time to identify your stress triggers, those sneaky things that push your stress levels into overdrive. We’ll need a journal handy, darling, because we’re about to unpack all those overwhelming moments. Whenever you feel like stress is about to take center stage in your life, jot down the circumstances, people, or situations that coincide with those feelings. Look for patterns and commonalities like a fashion detective on the hunt for the perfect accessory. And don’t forget to pay attention to those physical and emotional cues, like muscle tension, racing thoughts, or changes in mood. If you’re feeling a little lost in this stress maze, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of a trusted therapist. They’ll help you decode those triggers and pave the way to a stress-free runway.

Iskra Lawrence reading.

Learn to Set Boundaries

Darlings, it’s time to set some boundaries like the fierce fashion icons we are. Boundaries are the secret to liberating yourself from stress’s tight grip. Picture it as creating a VIP list for your life, only allowing the people, tasks, and experiences that bring you joy while showing the rest to the exit. It’s like decluttering your entourage, making room for what truly matters and igniting your inner spark. When you define what you’re comfortable with (and what you’re not), you’ll protect yourself from toxic relationships and experiences that make your stress levels skyrocket. It takes practice, my fabulous friends, but standing firm in your boundaries is a true game-changer.

Woman lighting candle.

Nourish Your Body

When it comes to stress, your body needs all the nourishment it can get, darling. Stress is like a demanding diva, gobbling up essential nutrients faster than you can say “fashion emergency.” That’s why a balanced diet and stress go hand in hand, darling. Start by ensuring you’re eating enough to keep up with life’s catwalk. Then, swap out those processed, packaged goods for whole, unprocessed alternatives like a fashionista switching from fast fashion to couture. Treat yourself to fruits, veggies, nuts, and even hard-boiled eggs. And darling, don’t forget the fiber! It’s like adding the perfect finishing touch to your stress-fighting ensemble. Oh, and let’s not forget about reducing your caffeine intake, my jittery friends. A nourished body is ready to conquer stress with style.

Feta salad with white beans

Establish Supportive Habits

Let’s face it, darling. If our current habits were a fashion trend, they’d be a major fashion faux pas. Our autopilot habits have a knack for causing more stress than they solve. It’s like dressing for a red-carpet event in a tracksuit. So, it’s time to take a closer look and identify those habits that need a serious makeover. Perhaps it’s time to drop that toxic friendship that’s been weighing you down. Or maybe it’s finally adding a morning walk to your routine, strutting your stress-busting stuff. The key is paying attention to what’s working and, more importantly, what’s not. To relieve stress, we need habits that support our radiant selves. So let’s turn the spotlight on those supportive habits and get ready for the fashion-forward life we deserve.

Orange carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

Creative Stress Relief Techniques

And now, for the grand finale, my fashion-forward friends. It’s time to embrace the creative side of stress relief. We’ve covered the basics, but now it’s time to step outside the lines and unleash our inner artists. It’s like taking your fashion style from classic to avant-garde.

Artistic expression

No rules, no boundaries, darling. Painting, drawing, or sculpting can be your tickets to stress-free paradise. These therapeutic outlets let you channel your emotions and release tension, just like rocking a bold and daring outfit.

Soothe with music

Let the rhythm soothe your soul, darling. Whether you’re strumming a guitar or having a spontaneous dance party in your living room, music has the power to bring joy and melt stress away. Time to shake off that stagnant energy with a fabulous dance routine!

Mindful movement

Channel your inner Zen goddess, darling. Activities like yoga, tai chi, and yes, even a little romp between the sheets, not only keep you physically fit but also promote mindfulness and relaxation. Get your body moving and reconnect with your breath, darling.

Nature therapy

Escape the concrete jungle, darling, and let nature work its magic. Take a hike, have a picnic in the park, take a dip in the water (yes, even a cold plunge!), or simply go for a leisurely stroll. It’s time to refresh your mind and reconnect with the world around you.

Find joy in the kitchen

Release your inner chef, darling. Experiment with new recipes and give stress a taste of your fabulous culinary skills. Invite a friend over to bake cookies, whip up a homemade pizza, or create a spread of delectable spring rolls. The kitchen becomes your stress-free runway.

Go to a comedy show

Let the laughter flow, darling. Laughter releases those delightful endorphins, the body’s natural stress fighters. Treat yourself to a comedy show, watch a funny movie, or indulge in a hilarious podcast. It’s time to laugh your stress away and embrace the lighter side of life.

Now, my fabulous readers, armed with these stress-busting techniques, it’s time to conquer stress with your impeccable fashion sense. Embrace your inner fashionista and show stress who’s boss. Remember, darling, stress may be a constant presence, but you have the power to strut through life with style and grace. Stay fabulous, my fellow stress warriors!