13 ways to relieve stress and anxiety


Stressed-out woman staring at computer screen

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Whether you’re dealing with a huge problem or a number of small nagging issues, none of us can escape from stress and anxiety. Sometimes life just sucks. So you need to be ready to deal with your stress and to channel that anxiety so it doesn’t get the better of you.

It’s no fun feeling as if your problems — great or small — are eating you up inside. So we’ve rounded up 13 things you can do to regroup and not let stress get the better of you.


1. Get a punching bag and have at it

Man with punching bag

You don’t have to be a professional boxer or even join a gym. Order a punching bag and use it when you feel like you can’t take it anymore. Punch it, kick it, affix a photo of the nagging bully who is making your every single day a living hell, and kick its ass. You’ll not only avoid getting featured on “Snapped,” but also relieve that stress and get a good workout in the process.


2. Grab your rubber ducky and let Calgon take you away

Glass of wine on bathtub edge

Can’t afford a spa day? Give yourself one. Draw a bath, make it a bubble one and soak in it for at least 15 minutes. Don’t take your phone with you. Take a glass of wine or nonalcoholic cocktail with you instead. Soak, sip, repeat.  


3. Two words: cardio kickboxing

Woman kickboxing

You don’t have to do but 15 to 20 minutes, and your objective — at least in the beginning — doesn’t even have to be about fitness. You will be surprised how much better you feel after a rough few weeks at the office after you flail around like a furious beastie, even if it is in the comfort of your own living room.


4. Get a stress ball

Business woman squeezing stress ball

Can’t wait until you get home? Is it that bad? Keep a stress ball handy and squeeze it to within an inch of its squishy little life. Once again, you’ll be reaping ulterior benefits along with relieving stress — such as exercising your hand so it doesn’t freeze in the shape of a claw because you spend at 12 to 15 hours a day, every day, typing and ignoring the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.


5. Read something for 15 minutes

Woman reading

Fiction, nonfiction, comic book, newspaper, magazine — doesn’t matter — just read for 15 minutes and let your mind unplug from whatever is causing the stress. Even if you end up staring at the same sentence for the entire time, you’ll be giving your mind the break it needs and deserves.


6. Volunteer

Dog in cage at pound

Volunteer at the organization of your choice. If you need some inspiration, look up local pounds in your area and walk homeless dogs. It is no secret that dogs can be very therapeutic. And it’s super beneficial to homeless dogs, which thanks to you, will get to stretch their legs, learn to heel and socialize with humans and other dogs. You’ll also be exposing them to potential fosters and adopters.