1. Exercise. This is so important and so many people skip this step. You don't need two hours, you can do 10 minutes. It gives you time to think and sort everything out in your head and you're burning calories. You'll also feel better about yourself which helps when you're stressed. If you don't want to go to the gym, you can always do some yoga, some squats or go for a walk. Walking is really good actually, it's very calming and not too tiring.
2. Pamper yourself. This applies more to girls I suppose but I find it really helps me to relax. It's soothing. There's nothing like a nice face mask to calm you down. Again, you don't need to do it for hours. You could have a full on pamper evening once a week or you could just take 5 minutes to cleanse your face every day. It makes you feel fresh and relaxed.
3. Organise yourself. I find I get stressed when I have a lot of stuff to do. Try and plan it in advance. It gives you more time and it makes you feel like you've accomplished something. You could have a weekly planner or just a to do list for the day, anything that works for you and that you can stick to. Prioritise too. Get the hard things done first and the rest will seem a lot easier and less daunting.
4. Listen to music. A bit of relaxing music or your favourite happy song always makes you feel better. Try and avoid songs that make you sad because it can and probably will just make it worse. Though I do think everyone needs a good cry sometimes, it's best to avoid it.
5. Talk to people. It can be a friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend, a family member, a psychologist, a therapist, whoever you find it easiest to talk to and who will listen. This helps to get everything out of your system but you'll also get support. Some comforting words can make the world of difference.
6. Make a list of all the good things you've got in your life and the things to look forward to. You could pin this on your wall to remind you of it everytime you feel a bit down and it will really help. It puts things into perspective and can calm you down an awful lot.
7. Try and think positive. I know this can be very hard. I'm naturally quite a negative person but I've found that thinking positive will get you past things and probably solve a lot of problems much faster than if you think negative. You can learn how to do this, all it requires is a bit of will power.
8. Take a break. If everything gets too much, stop. If you can't go on a one week holiday that doesn't matter. You can spend 15 minutes doing something else and it will make you feel a lot better. Or, if you have the time, go for a day trip somewhere you like. It doesn't have to be expensive, it can be a long walk in the countryside or a trip to a local town where you can have a wonder.
9. Do something you like. This will instantly make you feel happier. It'll take your mind off things for a bit and sometimes that's all you need. If you get bored of doing what you like you could always find a new hobby which could also make you feel better because you might discover new skills and you're learning something new which will give you a sense of accomplishment.
10. Finally, if all else fails, eat or drink something that makes you feel better. If I've had a long, hard day, I like to drink a very chocolatey hot chocolate. It sooths and relaxes me. But I wouldn't do this too often because, if it's unhealthy food/drink you love, it's not good on a daily basis.
I hope this helps anybody who is feeling a bit overwhelmed by stress and take care!