Auckland life can be a tough life. We feel you on that one hundy percent. The Outerlink’s constant unreliability to even show up, waiting an eternity to get a table at Dear Jervois on Saturday, and the ever increasing avocado prices (don’t get us started on that) can be a bit much. All jokes aside, the drudgery of everyday life can leave us feeling a little unwired and strung out and in need of some serious TLC.
We get that it’s important to take both little and big steps to pick yourself up, shake the dust off and put yourself back together when the going gets tough.
From shaking to baking, we’ve whipped up a few handy hacks to help you get that much needed zen back in to your life when you need it most.
#1 Put Your Green Thumb To Use
Green is the colour of harmony, balance, renewal and energy—just what you need to call on in stressy times. Ditch those blues of yours by surrounding yourself with some greenery and reconnecting with nature. Head to Auckland’s top-notch plant shops, adopt a succulent or two, and put together a sweet little terrarium. Not only will you have a beautiful addition to your home (that, FYI helps clean and freshen the air), but by becoming a plant mum/dad you’ll be getting your dose of green on the daily!
#2 Embrace Hygge
Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring us the most bliss. Take a leaf out of the Danes’ (aka world’s happiest chaps) book and embrace the ‘Hygge’ lifestyle. Pronounced “hue-guh”, this philosophy is all about consciously enjoying and making the most the teeny tiny, cosy things in life. You can’t buy it in a DIY-hygge-kit or ‘instant-hygge-food’ at the supermarket—nuh-uh, it’s all about creating your own happiness in small actions. Basking in the light of a scented candle, wearing the fluffiest socks you own, warming your mitts with your fave tea or all three are just some of the little things you can indulge in hygge style.
#3 Sweat It Out
An oldie but a goodie, exercise is an activity you can’t go past when you’re looking for ways to de-stress. From a jog through the park, a swim at the beach or a run to the pizza place—the possibilities to get endorphins pumping through your body are endless. Consider endorphins as happy little particles of glitter, rainbows and bubbles that kick stress right out of our system and replaces it with good vibes. Try a kick boxing or cross training class for a high-octane sweat sesh to rake in those endorphs or a spot of tai-chi, Pilates or yoga for something less intense, but equally therapeutic!
#4 Treat Yo’Self With Retail Therapy
They say that money can’t buy happiness but let’s be honest, it buys shoes and cute stationery—that’s pretty much the next best thing. Now we’re not suggesting you go on a full Pretty Woman-inspired shopping rampage, but there’s no denying that even the tiniest spot of shopping feels so. Darn. Good. Whether it’s the book you’ve been dying to read or the bag you’ve been lusting at for weeks through the store window, sometimes whipping out the plastic and treating yourself to something you know you’ve worked damn hard for is the kick you need!
#5 Preen And Pamper Yourself
For that much needed TLC, pampering yourself is the ultimate way to destress. From your head to your toes, you can literally treat any part of your bod to a spruce up that’ll have you looking like a 10 and feeling like a solid 1000. Keep it quick with a speedy lash-n-brow tint or go all out with a full-body massage, spray tan, fresh cut-n-dye job and a killer mani-pedi to top it all off. The only difficult part for us Aucklanders is actually choosing which of our city’s fabulous spas and salons to head to—#firstworldproblems.
#6 Move And Groove
In T-Swizzle’s famous words, sometimes you need to just shake shake shake it off. And boy oh boy, the world is your oyster when it comes to doing just that! When the going gets tough, pop on your all-time favourite tunes and throw yourself a mini dance party from the comfort of your own room (or really, wherever you want, we ain’t judging). Feel all that built up stress shimmy and shake right off your back as you jam out. Or, for you social butterflies out there, round up your squad and head to town or one of Auckland’s many dance classes for a social shape cutting shesh!
#7 Get Your Clean On
Clean space = clean mind = clean life. While most of the time we moan and groan at the mere thought of picking up a mop, even the teeensiest spot of cleaning works wonders to keep your stress levels on par. Kill two birds with one stone by giving both your mind and your pad the spruce up it deserves by making a start on that floordrobe of yours or finally washing up that festering plate you cbf touching until now. And who knows? You might get so distracted by all the cool stuff you actually find while cleaning, that your stressed out thoughts float far, far away!
#8 Meditate Your Stress Away
When the going gets tough, sometimes you just wanna hop on a plane and take your mind, body and soul to somewhere (literally anywhere) that’s far, faaaar away from life as you know it. Hear yee, hear yee on that! Let’s be real though, 9.999 times out of 10, our dreams of a spontaneous vacay are are shattered by the unavoidable realities of life—ya know, work, money, uni and stuff. In times like this, opt for the next best thing: meditation! Get in a cosy spot, chuck on some soothing tunes, close your eyes, breathe iiiiiin and ouuut and spend the next few moments escaping the chaos of the world around you, taking your mind deep into only the happiest of thoughts!
#9 Get Baking
Dust off your apron, dig out the rolling pin, grab your beaters and whip that stress right out of your system with a round of baking! One of life’s simple, homely pleasures, you can always count on a bit of baking to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Piping the perfect icing swirl, oozing cookie dough through your fingers (or violently kneading it, if it’s been one of those weeks) and filling the house with the sweet smell of fresh bread—we couldn’t think of anything more therapeutic. Best of all, at the end of it you’re left with a batch of deelishimo home baked treats! Up to you to either share the good vibes around to your buds or y’know, keep it all to yourself to polish off.
#10 Arts N' Crafts
A foolproof way to drain stress from your life and reel in all the creative vibes is to sink your teeth into some art and craft projects! In the age of adult colouring books and Pinspiration galore, there’s undoubtedly a creative project out there for anyone to get stuck in to no matter what skills sets they posses! Painting, doodling, sketching, embroiling, hot-gluing, glitter-ifying—you name it, the options are endless and work wonders for keeping your stress-levels at bay!