Stressed? Here are 5 Ways to Feel Better in 5 Minutes

School, work, relationships, bills, everyday life events, and long to-do lists. Things that can make us feel stressed and overwhelmed throughout our day.

Our stress is at an all-time high, not to mention we are still in the middle of a global pandemic while reacclimating to normal life. It’s important to take care of your mental health.

Here are 5 easy tips you can take to help with your stress and bring some calm back into your life:

  • Focus on your breathing
    According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) taking deep breaths is important for working your flight-or-fight response.
    • Set a timer for two minutes
    • Take a deep breath through your nose while counting to four
    • Hold your breath seven seconds
    • Exhale for eight seconds
    • Repeat the process for the whole two minutes

Photo Credit: Sage Friedman
  • Take a break from your phone
    Constantly checking your phone for and scrolling social media can overwhelm you. Unplugging for at least an hour a day to do some deep breathing, exercising, coloring or another activity can help you in reducing stress.

    Just because you are taking a break from your phone, does not give you permission to hop on social media via your laptop or turning on the news. Take a complete break from the screen.

    Also, to help with managing notifications on your phone, check out my article on focus mode from iOS 15. 

Photo Credit: Yahdi Romelo
  • Go outside for a walk
    Getting fresh air is important. According to the American Heart Association, “Nature presents scenes that gently capture your attention instead of suddenly snatching it, calming your nerves instead of dazzling them.”

    So go for a walk around the neighborhood with your favorite playlist on or you can go on a walk without your playlist and enjoy the scenes around you, being present and aware of everything around you. From the birds chirping to the sound of the tree branches moving from the wind.

    Moving your body is important during times of stress because you are keeping the tension in by sitting there feeling stressed.
  • Connect
    Connecting with people you trust is important to discuss your concerns and how you’re feeling. This could be your friends, family, or even a therapist. SDSU offers an option where you can connect with a therapist, more information on that can be found here.

Photo Credit: ​​Friends by Helena Lopes
  • Make time to unwind
    At the end of a busy workday, be sure to take 60 minutes for yourself to unwind at the end of the night. This could include journaling, coloring, watching an episode of your favorite tv show to laugh at, or reading a book. When you make time for yourself, your body will respond accordingly.

Photo Credit: Jess Bailey on Unsplash

A friendly reminder to also be sure to eat healthy, exercise, and get plenty of sleep (7-8 hours) each night.

Written By: Mike Stark | @MikeStarkCA

Feeling Stuck? 5 Ways to get Yourself Up Again

2020 has been insane. Between coronavirus, quarantine, the election, virtual school, and the regular everyday stressors, we may get stuck. It’s ok, though; we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The important thing is getting yourself back up when you’re feeling stuck. Here are 5 activities to lift your spirits

1.  Journaling: I know what you’re thinking; what’s the point? In the abbreviated words of my rocker listening/motorcycling therapist, journaling is a mindfulness activity that is good for you. It gets everything out of your head and on paper, causing your mind to slow down, something that happens when you are anxious or stressed. You do not need a fancy journal or an expensive app to do this activity. You can use the notes app on your phone and then lock the note or go old school with some pen and paper around the house and then shred or keep your entry in a binder.


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Individual journaling from NAMI.

2. Sweat-It-Out: I cannot describe how good I feel after taking an outdoor Orange Theory Class. When you are stressed out, the last thing you want to do is go for a run or take an at-home fitness class but trust me when I say afterward; you will feel much better you did because those endorphins will lift your spirits.

3. Blast your Favorite Playlist: Create a playlist of your favorite songs, and when you are feeling down, blast that playlist in your house and feel free to dance around shaking off those blues.

4. Socialize: Socialize, but not on social media. Connect with a friend or family member via facetime or zoom. By nature, we are social creatures, so when we connect with people, we love this improves our mood. Even if you are struggling, reach out to a friend and let them know what’s up but don’t overwhelm them. Let them know why you are struggling and see if talking it out helps. If not, you can always seek help from a campus therapist (619-594-5220) who can guide you in the right direction of getting you the help you need.


Photo Credit: Screenshot of Zoom Meeting from Zoom.Us Blog

5. Get your dose of Vitamin D: Getting out to get some Vitamin D has proved to improve mood, be sure to keep your physical distance and wear a mask, but head to the beach, bay, or your favorite park and lay down soaking up the sun. Don’t forget your sunscreen.

What tips will you be trying, or songs have you added to your self-care playlist? Let me know by hitting me up on socials @MikeStarkCA on Twitter and Instagram.

Written By: Mike Stark