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14 Ways to De-Stress That Don’t Involve Alcohol

Now that the weather is warm and the days are longer, the temptation to unwind after a long day at work with a glass bottle of wine can be overwhelming.

Just one beer can quickly turn into two or three, and before long you’ll be waking up in a fog feeling just as stressed as ever with hungover to boot.

So if you’re looking to de-stress without having a drink, here are some alternatives that’ll make you feel totally Zen – without the headache.


Not only is yoga a great way to relax and let your stress melt away, it’s also a good form of exercise. There’ll be plenty of time for deep thought, plus stretching out your muscles will get all those endorphins going – meaning you’ll be feeling more downward dog than down in general.

Hang Out With Your Best Friend
There’s something about giggling with your BFF that just can’t be beat when you’re feeling irritated or upset. Even if the source of angst isn’t your significant other, it’s better if you can offload to a good friend instead – they have enough distance from your social, economic and work life to truly offer good advice.

Watch Comedy
Laughter is the best medicine, so take in a dose of belly laughs to take your mind off the stresses and strains of your day. Whether it’s live comedy, a funny film or even a YouTube video or TV rerun that makes you giggle, smiling might make you forget what you were worried about in the first place.

Read a Book
Tucking into a great book has a way of transporting you into another world in a way that TV or Netflix just can’t. Since you can’t text or surf the internet while reading (at least not easily), it’s a great way to escape your current source of stress and get lost in some pages.

Shaking your booty is not the answer to all your problems, but then again neither is yet another Cosmopolitan. Go strut your stuff at a bar, a dance class, or just throw on your feel-good soundtrack and boogie in your living room.

Photo: Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

The benefits of meditation have long been documented – so what are you waiting for? Find a quiet space, remove all distractions, and get comfortable. The road to inner peace may be paved with barking dogs and other annoying distractions, but practice makes perfect.

Run, lift, or spin your way out of your doom and gloom by taking a trip to the gym or pounding the pavement for 30 minutes or more. It may feel like the last thing you feel like doing, but you’ll be in a better mood after and have thoroughly earned that tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Going for a Walk
Clearing your head and getting some fresh air is a good way to blow away the cobwebs in the summer sunshine if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Leave your phone at home and take a stroll alone, or with a friend if you need to vent while you walk.

Did that last meeting with your boss make you feel like punching the boardroom wall? Find an outlet for your anger that doesn’t cost you your job or send you heading for the bottle. By channelling your frustration into something positive, you’ll feel like you’ve actually accomplished something.

Pick your favourite jam and turn it all the way up to 11. Listening to music will relax your body as well as your mind, so you can manage your stress levels and let all your worries slowly drift away. Consider trying something classical if your indie go-to isn’t doing the trick for you.

Performing a repetitive task can help you unwind and relax, so try taking up knitting or crocheting when you need a release from work, life or anything else that’s troubling you. Plus, you’ll be well on the way to a sweater by the time you’ve calmed down.

Chew Gum
Chewing gum can actually reduce your cortisol levels, meaning stress will be relieved almost immediately. However, its effects are long-lasting too, lessening negative moods and general stress. So next time things aren’t looking so sunny, crack open the Wrigley’s instead of the wine.

Keep a Journal
Having an outlet to analyze your day or week can be incredibly therapeutic. If you’re not up for discussing your woes, putting pen to paper can help you wind down after an incredibly stressful presentation, interview, or argument. It’ll give you the closure that talking it out can’t always do.

Turn Your Phone Off
Stop looking at work emails, forget about what everyone else is getting up to on Instagram, and just ‘be’. Don’t just put your phone away or on silent – actually switch it off and put it out of reach. Sometimes being away from your digital distractions can do you the power of good and remind you what’s important.


Notable Life

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