Sleep deprivation all by itself can lead to stress. Our cells need a chance to work on the "regular maintenance" without worrying over decisions and movement. Breath deep and set aside day to day problems, try herb teas like chamomile, have a nice glass of milk or a product called Calms Forte. Check here for all my resting comfy suggestions: Post on Sleep.
Just flat out slow down. Living the fast paced life so many modern people live acts as a tension tightener. Unplug. Turn off the TV and turn on the music. Drag out that ole dusty guitar you've been neglecting and just strum a few chords. Don't even tune it, just make some wonderful noise.
Holiday time has an especially frantic stress mode. Resist. Have a pot luck with friends instead of a fancy party. Find ways to laugh. Have your own comedy film festival and invite people you like to share the evening.
Just recently, we found a lost dog and took him to the pound. We felt good giving the owner a chance to find his pet, but we had such a positive feeling about him that if he hadn't been picked up we would take him home. Taking care of a dog has stress, indeed, but going for walks and having a friendly companion relieves more stress than it causes.
Help others. Just spend one hour a week giving to someone less fortunate than you are. Visit a nursing home and just talk to the guests there. I have an older friend that's a joy to know. I've never considered our friendship a charity because I get so much from it. Even if you might not feel caring toward someone else, do it anyway. If you cannot find an hour of time to spend in this way, you're seriously neglecting yourself.
For some of us who've survived incest, this next thing might sound radical. Get a massage. You may have to talk to several people and meet them in person before you find someone you trust. That's OK. A good massage experience will recharge your physical well being in amazing ways. (note to self: find a place to get one!)
I became familiar with massage through a loss. Some joker ran a red light and ran into my boyfriend's car. I had a pretty bruised chest, a banged up knee and sore neck. Someone suggested I see a chiropractor and I found one just down the road. She put heat on my back for a few minutes then sent me in for a massage.
At first I felt a little anxiety at being so exposed, but once I got used to the masseur, I really liked the feeling afterward. He used Arnica oil which is thought to improve healing. It did smell a little funky so I'd suggest asking it be combined with some other nicer smelling oils.
If you think you can't handle a stranger touching you so much, start with a hot shower or bath and rub your own hands and feet with your favorite lotion.
I hope some of this helps you get through your day a little easier. Please leave a comment with any special tips you found. Next post, I'll talk about anxiety as it relates to overwhelming childhood memories.