I have had a busy couple of months, and that’s not about to change. To say I’m dealing with a lot of stress is an understatement, so I have a couple of tried and true methods for helping deal with it.
I’m going to lead with a disclaimer that I am not a medical professional, and if you are experiencing panic attacks or prolonged, debilitating bouts of stress, then I highly recommend you speak with a doctor. What I’ve listed below are things that I have found work for me, especially as I’m going through one of the most stressful periods of my life. I’ve listed them here in the off chance that they help someone else the way they’ve helped me, but if your stress is negatively impacting your health, please seek professional help.
1. Talk to Someone
If you’re an introvert like me, or you happen to be fiercely independent, this can be a hard one, because you become used to relying on yourself and doing things all on your own. Having someone to discuss your problems and feelings with can be a huge weight off of your shoulders. And I guarantee you people are more likely to help than you think. Even if it’s just an ear to listen. Knowing you have someone there can really help you cope with a stressful situation.
2. Journal Writing
This is something new that has been invaluable for me. I’ve mentioned several times what a benefit a digital journal has been for my well-being and productivity, and stress is another area in which the journal has been a big help. Having a place to dump all of my thoughts and sort them out – I can’t stress enough how helpful it is. And I’m not the journaling type – I never have been. But I recognize how much better it makes me feel.
This is even more applicable if you’re nervous or uncomfortable talking to someone. It gives you a way to decompress and voice your concerns in a way that is still private. And it doesn’t have to be written. An art journal can be just as effective at venting your frustrations and articulating your feelings. Maybe a mix of both. Give it a try next time you’re feeling stressed.
3. Get Crafty
This was the whole reason I returned to jewellery making in the first place. I needed a creative outlet that wasn’t writing, because writing had the responsibility of a career now that I was taking it seriously, and it caused me a lot more stress than it used to. So I got into jewellery making, and I’ve enjoyed it so much I decided to open an Etsy store to sell the pieces I make. Painting, sketching, scrapbooking, crochet – whatever you feel like doing, give it a shot. Give yourself something to do purely for the enjoyment of it.
4. Jump into a Video Game
This is what I turn to when I just need to turn off my brain. When I need to stop dwelling on things I can’t control and letting them stress me out. Sometimes I can put on a favourite movie or tv show, but even then my mind can be all over the place. Nothing draws my attention the way a game does – you control what happens so you have to be more mentally present than you would be if you were just watching something.
I would be careful not to overdo it here because it can be easy to get sucked into a fictional world that has that interactive aspect to it. And you might want to be careful which game you choose, of course. Some games will stress you out more, like multiplayer, or a horror game. But there are plenty of games out there that are simple, relaxing and still so much fun!
5. Get it Done
Frequently my stress happens to be about things I have to work on. The best way for me to get a handle on it is to actually do the work. The stress of a writing deadline can be well, stressful, so the best way to make myself feel better is to get some writing done. Take things off your plate where you can. I’m fairly good at working under pressure, which works in my benefit, and I understand that there are people for whom that is not the case. It just so happens that I have talked about ways to improve your focus and habits to help you get more done which you might find useful should you want to do some work and get those stress levels under control.
Have Any More Suggestions?
As I mentioned before, these are methods that have worked for me, but I’d love to hear from you! What do you like to do to help you unwind? How do you cope with stress? Let me know down below!