Happy to finally have the weekend show up off after a stressful week at work? Well somebody decided to receive their work emails on their personal phone…and your frenemy on Facebook has decided to let the world know about your relationship issues…and never mind that you received a news update on Twitter about a possible sharknado in your neighborhood.  So yes…between work, friends, family, bills, school, kids, girlfriends, boyfriends, technology and just trying to have a good day, life can be a little stressful.  But don’t worry – here are my top five personal tips to de-stressing, guaranteed (not really but hopefully) to work for anyone.    

#1 Write, Paint, Sing that Frustration Away

Don’t consider yourself much of an artist? We’ll that’s ok because I’m not asking you to paint the 2016 Mona Lisa or write the next New York Times best seller.  All I’m saying is that creating has helped me get through a lot of stress and frustration.  Sure, I might be focusing on my problems, but at least it helps me get all those emotions off my chest. And I know what your thinking – gasp a man with emotions.  No?  Seriously though, don’t worry if your painting or poem isn’t as “beautiful” as you’d like it to be.  The idea isn’t for the world to see your creation, it’s just about getting out all those toxic feelings out before they put you in a dark place.  Who knows…you may surprise yourself and be the next Van Gogh.

#2 Play

Not much into the creative arts?  That’s fine.  I know some of us just like to get some of that fresh air into our lungs (including me) and so my next tip is – get outside and move!  Run off that nervousness, school those punks on the court, hit the gym before taking that test.  Science has consistently shown us that a little exercise can go a long way in helping us to de-stress.  And again, you don’t have to be the next LeBron or Arnold “Get to Da Choppa” Schwarzenegger.  All that matters is that you get a little bit of movement in your life.  Plus you get the added benefit of being beach ready!

#3 Beethoven is a Great Relaxer

Look…I love Hip Hop. I’ve been listening to rap music since I was probably about 4 years old (no lie).  But I don’t think listening to DMX growl at his enemies and threaten them with violence is necessarily the best way for me to calm my nerves.  So whenever I’m feeling a little anxious or just plain angry, I like to grab some headphones, go over to Pandora, and listen to my Piano Sonata No. 14 radio station.  Another favorite is Heart Meditations.  Yes, the music can be a bit odd if you’re not used to it, but it’s extremely soothing and does wonders for a chaotic mind.  Ultimately, it is about whatever type of music floats your boat.  Just remember.  The key is to calm yourself down.  Not pump yourself up like you’re about to step into the UFC octagon.     

#4 Meditate, Pray, & Be Thankful 

Sometimes all it takes is just a nice quite moment to step back out of the madness of the day and take a breath and look at the big picture.  Life isn’t perfect.  I don’t believe anybody’s is.  But I know it can help to really sit there and count all the little blessings you have.  Your health…your mind…your loved ones…your friends and all the times you’ve spent joking with them.  Sometimes we get so caught up on keeping up with the Joneses that it can be an easy road to forgetting that life is more than just our tough job or bad day.  I know this is easier said that done…especially when it feels like the rain just seems to keep pouring down.  But what does it hurt to give meditation, prayer, and thankfulness a try?

#5 Get the Crew Together

Probably my personal favorite remedy to de-stress is getting together with the fellas.  During this time it’s ok to talk a little bit about your woes, but don’t make it a habit of being the Debbie Downer of the crew. I said it once and I’ll say it again.  Life isn’t always perfect.  But that doesn’t mean every time you get together with your friends you want to just keep rehashing that negative energy.  Spend that time with them to laugh and raise their spirits and yours.  Go have some brewskies.  Hit the bball court. Go fishing. BBQ. Doesn’t matter what you do, as long you’re doing it with the people you enjoy being around.       

Hopefully these tips will help get your blood pressure down a bit and help you to enjoy the day a little more.  I know they can come in handy through personal experience  but there’s an entire spectrum of de-stressing activities out there,.  Let me know which ones work for you!  Stay blessed ladies and gents.