It’s Friday and once again I have posted nothing but last Friday’s meme!
This week, appropriately enough as I head off on vacation/holidays, we’re talking stress relief.
First, and before we start busting stress, what causes you the most stress, is it big things or the small stuff?
Both, really. I worry over the big stuff and try to plan for every possible contingency and obsess over what I’m saying or doing or planning. The little stuff builds up—too many little things going wrong in one day can be a huge source of stress.
Exercise or chocolate for stress busting ( or maybe something else) ?
Well, it’s not exactly chocolate, but I do tend to escapism—a book or web surfing or a favourite movie or a computer game—something like that. Usually I can get back to whatever it is that’s bugging me with a clearer head after a while away from it.
What is your favourite music to chill out to?
Some good classic rock and roll. Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Doors, Moody Blues etc. Even some Metallica or AC/DC depending on just how stressed I am. Then segue into mellower rock, like Melissa Etheridge, finally settling into some folk (Loreena McKennit, Anuna) or jazz (Al Jarreau,). Yes, I have a mix (in my head) for chilling. Maybe I should get it onto a CD…hmmm. Stress Relief Mix…
Where do you go to chill?
Someplace comfortable and relaxing. Depending on the season and the source of my stress, I might be on the porch or in the living room, by the riverside or in the coffee shop, or in the library or even the club on a Friday night….
Extrovert or introvert, do you relax at a party, or do you prefer a solitary walk?
Well, I tend to want to go to the solitary walk (or endless journaling), but I do better if I force myself to socialize after a while. Being with people—whether or not I talk about the source of my stress, or even can talk about it—helps me put things in perspective.
Bonus- share your favourite stress busting tip!
Disclaimer: these tips are mostly theoretical. They are my goals.
The first is related to my last comment—keeping things in perspective. It’s my persistent failing—I tend to obsess and over-think things instead of keeping them in proportion—see solitary walks, above. I’m also impatient, so when I don’t get results immediately I get frustrated.
Case in point—I got a new cell phone earlier this week (yay! Back in the 21st century!). When I tried to access the voice mail later in the day to set up the message, I got a recording that the number was not in service. I tried calling the store—had to leave a message. Called the salesperson (who had given me her card and yes she’s cute)—had to leave a message. Finally got through to the company, they said the number hadn’t been activated, so they called the store (must have a special line) and got it taken care of. Apparently I had so distracted the salesperson she forgot to actually activate the number (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). But I got all stressed out and upset and annoyed—as if someone were deliberately trying to make life difficult for me. I happened to talk to Brit Boy during all this, and he told me to chill out and take it easy—he who does not suffer fools any more gladly than I do. And I realized he was right, of course. It’s a cell phone, not a heart pacemaker; I’ve purchased it and signed up for the plan, everything is on order. It will work in time. Patience and perspective.
The other thing that is important, I think, is saying no. I don’t have to do something just because someone asks me to, even if it is a good thing to do and needed. The church tried that at Pride this year—we weren’t going to knock ourselves out to do all the things we usually do, we were going to do what we could with the people and resources we had available. And that’s what we did—and things went very well. Much less stress than last year, everyone had more fun, and we were more successful, too.
Short term stress-busters—delegate what you can. Carve out something for yourself every day—a favourite breakfast, fifteen minutes with a recreational book before bed, an afternoon with the kids, half an hour chatting (online, on the phone or in person) with a good friend.
This last been good for me—the me-time every day. It’s a few minutes that let me relax and not be responsible for anything, just to be me, or escape a bit. Or vent. It’s whatever I need it to be.
So, in summary (babbling is another fault of mine): personal time every day, patience, and perspective (which includes a sense of humour).
Oh, one more thing. Have someone you can lean on—really lean on—when you need to. Partner, colleague, friend, sister, brother, parent—whoever. Mutual support is crucial.