3 unconventional ways to cope with stress

stress- unconventional ways to reduce stress, illustration of woman pulling rope like tug of war

Let’s face it. We’re all stressed. But everywhere you look for advice, you see the same tired ideas on how to solve it. So what do you do if all that advice just hasn’t done the trick? Time to check out these three unconventional ways to cope with stress.

First: why you shouldn’t give up on lowering your stress

Lowering your stress can seem like an ongoing, never-ending task. And that’s really because it is. Stressors are a part of life, and as long as you’re living you’ll encounter people, places, and challenges that raise your blood pressure and get your heart beating faster.

But just because stress can’t be completely eliminated doesn’t mean you should stop trying to manage your response to it. Here’s why: stress contributes to hormone imbalance, mental health issues, and physical health issues. Just a few of the conditions that stress can help cause or worsen include:

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • hypothyroidism
  • estrogen dominance
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • anxiety and depression
  • gastrointestinal (digestive) issues
  • autoimmune disorders
  • and more

So, what are some unconventional ways to cope with stress?

The impact stress has on your body—and your health—makes changing how you react to life’s stressors super important. Most of us know a lot of ways we “should” be able to lower our stress levels. They’re everywhere: yoga, meditation, journal-ing, and practicing deep breathing or other forms of breath work. But even though they get promoted as the best stress cures, they aren’t the end all be all. If you just can’t get on board with the usual advice or follow through, start with these instead.

Consider a visit to the chiropractor

Think your back and neck are feeling fine? Well, you still might want to call to schedule an appointment. For starters, stress and poor posture are linked. Sometimes, a visit with a professional can remind you to stand (and sit!) the right way. Not sure what the “right way” is? Ask!

But there’s another benefit to heading to the chiro. Adjustments can be deeply calming. They alleviate nerve interference and encourage your body to release endorphins and hormones, like dopamine, that make you feel good.

Work some extra vitamin C into your routine

Stress doesn’t just make you feel depleted. It actively depletes your vitamin and nutrient status. So what can you do? Peel an orange—the smell alone helps stress! Then, enjoy it as a snack for some extra vitamin C. (Not an orange fan? That’s okay. You could snack on a bell pepper, guava, strawberries, tomatoes, or leafy greens.) On a larger scale, if you’re someone who occasionally gets vitamin and mineral infusions from your physician, like a Myers’ cocktail, plan it for when you’re feeling extra stressed. The added calcium, B vitamins, magnesium, vitamin C, and more can do your body good.

Open a bag of baby carrots

Sure, carrots have a whole heaping amount of good-for-you nutrients. And, as we just mentioned, your body needs more of those when you’re stressed. But there’s another good reason to munch on some baby carrots. When we’re dealing with a lot, the act of chomping down on something crunchy is therapeutic.

A lot of us unconsciously hold stress in our jaws. When you go for something super crunchy, the force you use to bite down on it can force some of that tension. Just can’t get on board with carrots? Celery and apples do the trick too.