4/20, fittingly in the middle of Stress Awareness Month, provided us all some much-needed stress relief. But now that 4/20 has passed, it’s back to reality and the stress that comes along with it.
To help us all feel a little more relaxed, we put together five tips on how to reduce stress and paired them with our favorite cannabis products for ultimate stress relief. But first, let’s explore what stress is and how it affects the body.
What Is Stress?
Stress is perfectly normal. It’s how your body and brain respond to a demand. There are several types of stress, but the two main categories are acute stress and chronic stress.
- Acute stress is short-term. It comes and goes quickly, like swerving out of traffic in the nick of time or getting into an argument with a friend. Acute stress is designed to help you avoid and manage dangerous situations.
- Chronic stress lasts for long periods of time, from weeks to months to years. Examples of chronic stress include long-term money problems, staying in an unhealthy relationship, or the loss of a job. Chronic stress is more harmful than acute stress because you can get used to it and no longer realize it’s an issue. The longer it goes untreated, the more damage it can do.
How Does Stress Affect the Body?
When you experience stress, your body releases stress hormones that make you more alert, make your muscles tense, and increase your heart rate. This is how your body protects itself—these reactions are designed to make you more present in the situation so you can react and protect yourself.
With acute stress, once the stressor has passed, your body can relax and come out of protection mode. With chronic stress, your body stays alert. Humans weren’t designed to be triggered at all times, so over time, chronic stress can do serious damage.
These are just a few ways chronic stress can culminate:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Depression or anxiety
- Skin problems
- Menstrual problems
Now that we know what stress is and the damage it can do, let’s explore how to reduce stress with 5 tips that aren’t meditation. (Because we know meditation just isn’t always an option.)
Tip #1: Write Down All Your Commitments
This sounds scary, but getting everything down on paper gives you the opportunity to fully grasp everything you have to do. Trust us—just do it.
Once you have everything written down, grab a red pen, and scratch out whatever you possibly can that doesn’t bring you joy, add value to your life, or isn’t worth the time commitment. It’s okay to set boundaries.
From there, you can start to prioritize your goals and to-dos. To accomplish everything you want, try assigning certain tasks to certain times or days. For example, maybe you start batching your emails and only check them at 11 am and 3 pm each day so you’re not constantly jumping out of your work to respond to them. Or maybe Saturdays are designated for laundry, so the rest of the week you don’t have to think about it.
The best cannabis product we found for mellowing out and zeroing in is the Strane Limefire Skunk Pax Pod. It’s great for morning and daytime use, but it is high in THC, so beginners be wise.
Tip #2: Do the Dishes the Night Before
This sounds weird, but it does make a difference. We know that after cooking (or ordering in) and eating dinner, cleaning the kitchen is the last thing anyone wants to do, but it’s worth it for tomorrow morning’s sake.
Doing the dishes the night before eliminates a reason to procrastinate in the morning. (“Wait, before I get to work, I should clean the kitchen.”) It also means you have the space and dishes to make breakfast in the morning.
Not to mention, waking up to a clean, de-cluttered space is a lot easier on a stress-prone mind than waking up to a messy one. Our environment does affect our focus, so do yourself a favor and knock out those dishes the night before. Future you will thank you.
The best strain we found for an after-dinner cleanup is our Donatello Kush. It’s just buzzy enough that you don’t mind the task at hand, but it’s not overly sedating.
Tip #3: Exercise
This sounds hard, but it doesn’t have to be. Even a 10-minute walk around the block or some quick, easy stretching can help improve your mood and clear your head.
Exercise releases endorphins, our feel-good neurotransmitters, and it offers your body a way to physically work through its triggered fight or flight response.
It also helps you practice focusing on a single task. The more you exercise, the more you start to focus solely on your body’s movements, in turn teaching your brain how to focus on one thing at a time instead of stressing about multiple things at once. This can help you keep your head clear throughout the day.
Our favorite cannabis product for exercise is Nordic Goddess Body Balm. Rich in CBD, it can soothe discomfort pre- and post-exercise so you can work out for longer and your body can recover faster.
Tip #4: Put On Soothing Music
This sounds small, but it makes a big difference. Slow-paced music or nature soundscapes can reduce your blood pressure and help you feel more relaxed. Stanford University researchers have even noted that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.”
What’s important here is that you get to decide what “soothing” music means. Research shows upbeat music can make us feel more optimistic and slower music can calm our mind, but ultimately, it’s up to you to determine what feels good for you and your mood at the moment.
The most effective cannabis product we’ve tried for relaxing with music is our 253 Tincture Mellow. Designed for a relaxing and mellow effect, it helps to calm the mind so you can feel the music.
Tip #5: Laugh
This sounds easier said than done with a stressed mind, we know, but it’s a very effective way to relieve stress.
Laughing can reduce stress throughout your body. It stimulates your heart, lungs, and muscles, in turn encouraging better circulation. It also increases your intake of oxygen-rich air, and it releases endorphins. Long term, it can actually improve your immune system.
When we’re feeling stressed, our go-to strain for laughter is Tropicanna Punch. This citrusy and herbal flower delivers a hard-hitting mellow that gives you a giggly, euphoric high and puts you in a dreamy state of mind.
Stress is a part of everyday life, but it’s not something that should be ignored or taken lightly. Ignored stress can impact your health and do serious damage, like cause high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce stress that can easily be incorporated into your daily routine, like prioritizing your goals and to-dos, going for a 10-minute walk, or putting on some soft music. What’s more fortunate, cannabis can enhance these activities for an even more relaxed outcome.
- Write down all your commitments and get focused with the Strane Limefire Skunk Pax Pod.
- Knock out the dishes tonight so future you has one less thing to worry about with Donatello Kush.
- Enjoy physical exercise and recover quicker with Nordic Goddess Body Balm.
- Calm down with some mellow music and 253 Tincture Mellow.
- Laugh out loud and feel the endorphin rush with Tropicanna Punch.
And if you find yourself in the Turner Falls, Massachusetts area, swing by the 253 Farmacy dispensary for all your mood-boosting cannabis needs.