I discovered the acupressure mat. I use it on the soles of my feet, and sometimes other areas of the body. It relaxes and stimulates at the same time. We started a SparkPeople group for those of us trying out the mat, and we welcome you!
I have been listening to free hypnosis/meditation apps on my iPhone every night when I go to sleep. It helps me focus on my breathing and relaxation for several minutes every night. I am amazed at how much better my sleep is! It has definitely helped to reduce stress. It took about 2 weeks to get used to it, but it's definitely worth it. Test the apps to find the message/voice/music (or not) that works for you.
Scheduling items from my self care list helps me to manage stress. In addition, these are non-negotiable, i.e. they are as important as brushing my teeth in the morning and getting to work on time. Regular self care includes relaxing breathing, wandering around my vegetable garden, trying a new SparkPeople exercise video, progressive muscle relaxation (PMR), and so on.
I'm a MAJOR fidgeter with self-destructive habits -- hair-twirling, nail-biting, cuticle-shredding, etcetera (attractive, I know!). I also love houseplants, and have several that are big and frondy and need leaf-cleanup, trimming, stuff like that. I reailzed that plant maintenance feels soothing in the same way that my bad habits do - but it's much more constructive! Now, when I get that restless, nail-biting feeling at home, I try to head for a houseplant and look for dead leaves!
If you ever feel stressed out at home, look around you. If your like some people everything is thrown here and there so GET TO ORGANIZING. Organizing a place makes it seem bigger, more free, out in the open. It really makes you feel in order and less stressed, more relaxed.
After a workout my feet are tired. I bought some cream (I use either foot cream or body lotion). After my shower and before I get dressed each day, I rub the cream on my tired feet. This also keeps my shoes smelling nice, as well as soothing my feet.
At least 4 times per day, stop to think only of yourself. Take personal inventory. Drop whatever you are doing, get comfortable, elevate feet, close eyes. Breathe as deeply, calmly and deliberately as you can. Inhale on the slow count of 4, hold for same count, exhale as slowly and lengthy as possible.
Start every day with the same routine, something positive you can look back on throuout your day. Deal with the stress your day throws at you by keeping in mind your morning and how relaxed and at peace it made you feel.
Take a few moments, or an hour at least once a day, perhaps longer if you can, and do something just for yourself. Enjoy a hot bath, a cup of tea, curling up in a chair with your book and a cat, or watch a good movie. It is so good to have a little me time. You and I are so worth it!
Lay on your back with all your muscles relaxed. Starting with your toes (then balls of the feet, then heels, then ankles, etc), focus on relaxing your muscles even further. If you tense up, start over. This meditation will drive away excessive thoughts and help you fall asleep.
Yoga Deep breathing is a great way to cut the stress. Practicing breathing in Yoga, and during exercise engraves proper breathing on our beings. Then, when we are faced with stressful situations, we can easily fall into proper breathing to help us deal with the stress.