There are plenty of methods and tools to relax and keep or get back to balance. I like simple things that works. I have experienced a lot, being curious about many fields and having worked in very stressful environments.
I have been trained on a few techniques as well and saw the results on others. Then it depends on the circumstances.
So here is my list of tools for stress management, relaxation, keeping your balance:
The more efficient : acupuncture
The more pleasant : massage (depending on the style of massage)
The easiest : nature
The quickest : visualisation
The cheapest : breathing – just thinking about breathing and slowing it down works wonders
The one I use the most these days : yoga
The “obvious” ones : bath, shower, cooking, baking, gardening, walking
The ones with names that need some purchasing : Aromatherapy : holy basil (tulsi), laurel, kunzea – very appropriate these days. Lithotherapy : amethyst, pink quartz, hematite
The basic that works : Music – in time of trouble, I always go back to the album Visible World by Jan Garbarek
My favourite : hugs (not always available unfortunately)
About meditation : I find that the term conveys a complicated “exclusive” dimension that I cannot relate with. I do group meditation once a week because I like the very casual relax atmosphere of this group and it works. I enjoyed the meditation we were doing in India during my yoga teaching training because it was simple and practical. So yes, meditation is a wonderful activity and works very well and it is way more simple than you might think.