Five Quick Ways to Relieve Stress

I have had a million and a half things going on in my head recently. I’m about to move, about to start a new job, and about to turn into a grown-up real quick. It’s a lot. I think back to four years ago and how difficult I thought going to college was… and now here I am thinking that was a cake walk. (If you’re getting ready to start college and you’re super nervous…. I seriously seriously seriously recommend taking it one day at a time. Enjoy every minute because it truly flies by.)
I am the first to admit that I just do not handle change (really any kind of change) well. It’s difficult for me to adjust. I’m anxious about everything that is happening. And I’m anxious about everything that is about to happen. (Even though I know that everything going on is awesome.) I’m even anxious about how I’m going to respond to all the changes. It’s a crazy cycle!!!
90% of the time I have been trying just not to think about it if I can help it. And the other 10% of the time, I’ve switched into a “stress management” mode. Here are five quick ways to relieve stress:
1. Drink a bottle of water | Did you know that dehydration can worsen (or even create) stress and anxiety? If I can’t quite put my finger on what’s causing my stress, I know to grab a bottle of water. Drinking water also helps because it gives me a little break and something else to think about. I’ve been trying to drink more water to prevent anxiety, but sometimes I’m not that great about remembering to drink. Personally, I have issues (haha) with drinking out of reusable cups, but these acrylic monogrammed cups are adorable!
2. Listen to music or read a book | I start and end each day by reading. It’s the best way to keep your brain going, but simultaneously shutting it off to the rest of the world. I like to read a little bit in the morning to kick start the day. Jumping right into emails and whatever else is on my daily to-do list never ends well. Spending the first five minutes of my day reading a few pages of a book is great! While I’m unwinding at night, I’ll read a little more. It helps me forget about the day’s stresses and also helps me fall asleep better. (Most of the time, it’s much easier to close a book than to turn away from the ever-enticing Internet.) Listening to music is a good alternative as well! (How cute are these Kate Spade earbuds!?!?)
3. Write a letter (or two) | While emailing and texting are quick and easy, there’s nothing quite like writing a real letter. I sometimes write letters to myself (either past Carly or future Carly) and I sometimes write letters to friends. I have to be honest here and say that I never mail them… but writing is a therapeutic process in and of itself! Rifle Paper Co. has precious little “social stationery” cards that would be perfect for quick notes. It’s a win-win: relieve some stress and brighten someone’s day!
4. Give yourself a manicure | I’ve admitted that I paint my nails quite frequently. I love having a fresh manicure and I absolutely hate chips. This is a major reason why I paint them so much. But I also paint them because I think it’s such a great way to relieve stress. The best part? I’m FORCED to sit still for about fifteen minutes. I can’t type. I can’t text. I can’t move. It’s the greatest!
5. Wash your hair | You know how the song goes: “I’m going to wash that man right out outa my hair.” I think there’s a lot to be said about this! I do my best thinking in the shower. Just standing under the shower and literally cleaning up can make the inside of my head feel much more organized. I always leave the shower feeling refreshed and renewed. When I really need to relax, I will even do a hair mask!
What are your quick tricks to relieving stress?

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Never thought about the water thing, going to have to try that.
I always take an hour and a half before an exam to stop studying, shower and get ready, I find its de-stressing.

Cardigans and Chai

Starbucks trips! Getting away for 15 minutes to go get an iced soy chai helps me get back on track. I'll definitely have to try the water trick, that probably has a lot to do with my stress levels during the school year since I never drink anything except coffee & tea!


Drink a cup of tea and take a walk. Thanks for the tips!


PS. I use that "Clear" Shampoo and it is wonderful! (I only had a little dandruff (Ik I was so grossed out like whatt but yeah it was only a bit) After I used it for two days my dandruff what gone 😀 Okay of my soapbox haha.

Elizabeth Calzada

I love all your suggestions! I have painted my nails quite a few times during my breaks too hehe I also make and drink some chamomile in peace for a while!


Great suggestions! I find watching a quick episode on Netflix with a cup of tea does wonders for my stress. 🙂


I'm going into college this fall so I'm looking forward to using these great tips! I never thought about washing my hair to relieve stress, but it sounds like the perfect thing to do. Also, I thought I was the only one who wrote past/future letters to myself! Glad you do too!


Love this post! I'm always looking for ways to relieve stress and these are some great, unique suggestions. I would have never thought or washing my hair or writing a letter as stress relievers, but they definitely always work for me!

I'd say that taking a moment to breathe, repeat some positive affirmations and going for a walk helps to lower my stress. Movement and smiles!

Megan G.

You know, after a day like today, I REALLY needed to read something like this. Thank you for reading my mind and offering some great advice. 🙂

anna wachs

there are no truly quick tricks to relieving stress, you have to confront your issues and figure out why you get so stressed and what your ultimate fears are

Devon Shea

When I'm stressed I ALWAYS paint my nails. Maybe it's because I'm a little bit messy when giving myself a manicure, so I really have to concentrate in order to do a good job. That focus alone takes my mind off of any of the day's stressors!
Great post! I'm dying to know where you're starting work in the city, by the way!


Julia D.

You've touched on so many of my tips that I can only think of a couple more to add. One of my favourites is exercise or meditation, or if I'm feeling SO overwhelmed I like to get a small thing crossed off my list so I remember that I'm very capable of doing everything in front of me. Once I get that small thing done, then I feel better about taking the break I need to get back on track and be able to tackle everything else.

It sounds like you have an amazing sense of self-awareness in that you recognize the type of person you are and try to change the things that you don't like while altering your response to certain things rather than overhauling what makes you YOU, if that makes any sense.