Relaxation Tips from a Sloth

Hi, I’m Buttercup, and I’m a sloth. I’m known for being a sedentary tree-dwelling mammal. I spend most of my days hanging upside down from a tree sleeping and eating, and I don’t have a worry in the world. Whenever I hang in my tree all I see are humans running a thousand miles an hour, worrying about this and that and never stopping to take in how awesome life really is. I’m so grateful to be a sloth and live a carefree, stress free life. I highly advise you humans to take my advice to make your life stress free.

There are eight main things in order to live a stress free life. I don’t stress about anything and I always move at my own pace… sometimes so slow that algae starts to grow on my fur, but at least I am happy.

Meditate: I know it may sound weird, but a few minutes of meditation a day can calm you down and help ease your anxiety. Daily meditation can alter the brains neural pathways causing you to be more resilient to stress. Since sloth does mean being lazy and slow, I am pretty good at relaxing and meditating. I spend at least 10 minutes of the at least 20 hours in my tree, meditating each day.

Slow Down: While hanging, I have a lot of time by myself. Humans rush through things, always trying to get the next thing done. They never take time to focus on the things they do. Everyone just needs to try to focus on one thing at a time. I’m pretty good at slowing down, especially since I move around 1.2 miles per hour.

Reach Out: Talking to other people when you’re stressed is one of the best methods of relief. It gives you a chance to let out everything that’s bothering you. Having a good support system is a key component of stress relief. Whether it’s finals and school, sports, TV shows, jobs, money, your future or drama, it all stresses you out. Hanging upside down in trees, I have plenty of quality time with all my friends, and my closest ones sometimes even share the same branch as me.

Relax Your Body: Try to figure out what parts of your body are physically stressed… Take care of yourself by eating healthy. Enjoy your sweets but don’t neglect the healthy foods. Check out the food pyramid and make sure you’re getting everything your body needs. Fruits and salad are in my diet every day to keep me healthy. Your body would also definitely appreciate a 10 minute massage for $12 at the mall.

Laugh out Loud: Laughing increases endorphins and lowers stress hormones, which can heighten your mood, making you more pleasant to be around. Humans are too tense a lot of the time. You guys need to learn to loosen up and “hang” around like me. My mouth is shaped like I’m smiling all the time, so I stay happy all day, every day. I think you should try it out.

Jam Out: Listening to your favorite songs that sooths you and lowers your heart rate and your anxiety. I’ve noticed most humans are happiest when they get out of the shower after they try to loudly sing, thinking that they are super good. A little music as you’re getting ready will help you stay calm. I’m not the best dancer but I can turn my neck up to 270 degrees, which I can do when I vibe to the music that’s being played.

Get up and move: I know that I have no room to talk, but I’m allowed to lie around all day and you’re not. Exercise can get rid of depression and anxiety. It releases feeling-good chemicals and helps you deal with stress. Take a walk, run, ride your bike or hit the gym, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. I might not be fast enough to go for a run, but I do get my daily swim. My muscles are little, but still strong from climbing trees every day to find food and hide from my predators.

Be Grateful: Stop and realize all the great things that you have. Write what you’re grateful for on a post it note and stick it on your wall; that way you’re constantly reminded how lucky you are and how many things you have to be grateful for as they start adding up on your walls. You could also keep a journal and whenever something good happens, write and down and then when you have a bad day go back and look at all the good things. I’m so thankful for my herbal baths and flower treats and I make sure my owner knows it, too.

I spend almost all day in a tree sleeping 15-20 hours a day, and I couldn’t be happier. I understand that life can be a little crazy with finals, school, college applications and sports, but you should never let your stress level get out of control. Trust me, I’m a sloth.