so, seriously, what helps YOU to de-stress?

The silly blogthing quiz got me thinking… The question they asked was:

When you’re stressed, what tends to make you feel better?

and these are the options they offered:

  • Reading a good book
  • Watching a movie
  • Taking a nap
  • Getting out and doing something
  • Venting to a friend
  • Having a few minutes of quiet

I nodded strongly at the first, mentally adding: or a light magazine. The second one is not something I do a lot these days, but that’s out of laziness, not because I don’t find chilling out in front of a nice romantic comedy or period drama a good way to unwind. The third – well, yes, power naps do help, definitely. The forth is one that now and again becomes an absolute necessity, like I’ll go mad if I don’t go out and just have a change of scene. Venting to a friend – well, of course! and the last one is probably the first I’d have said, it’s my default option.

And then there are things they haven’t mentioned, like (in no particular order):
laughing
listening to relaxing/inspiring music
dancing
doing something creative just for fun – like taking photos, or doodling, or playing with clay
having a good cry and letting it out
journalling – putting your thoughts and feelings onto paper/screen
expressing your feelings through creativity – for me that’s usually poetry, sometimes drawing/painting
praying of course
doing something different, just to break out of the rut
having a nice bath (haven’t in years)
reading the Bible
going for a walk
knitting (haven’t in ages, there’s a bag sitting here with a half-knitted yellow jumper that I started several years ago, last time I got the urge to knit)
embroidery (same as knitting, once in a blue moon I get the urge to do cross-stitch, and when I do, I find it hugely relaxing)
looking at nature – flowers, green stuff, water… especially sitting by a river or a stream
chocolate
and yes, a tub of Ben & Jerry’s cookie dough…

would love to hear your additions to my list!

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13 thoughts on “so, seriously, what helps YOU to de-stress?

  1. Gardening/yard work, cooking, organize/straighten up a cluttered room or closet, prayer/meditation, playing with my Yorkies, if the stress is mixed with anger I sing along with rock music until I'm exhausted.

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  2. that last one is interesting, Michael – don't think I've heard of singing being used like that. I guess it's the sort of stuff you sing in a kind of shouting sort of way, so it lets anger out? the vocal equivalent of using a punchbag?was just thinking that I hadn't listed decluttering – that's something I also find helpful now and again.

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  3. That's it exactly. When I do this (and I haven't had to in a long time) it is to such performers as KISS, Sammy Hagar, Aerosmith, that really driving jackhammer kind of rock.

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  4. lol… I apologise for adding that practical note :) and yes, shopping when stressed can be pretty dangerous to the bank balance. just as comfort-eating when stressed can be dangerous to the waist line… (been there, done both) (oh, and also done the too-much-booze option, which is why booze is no longer on my list.)

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  5. going somewhere where no-one can hear me and screaming the 10 worst obscenities I can think of
    going for a drive (yes I even did it in London traffic before the congestion fee era)
    listening to John Cage's music and following the track of the rythms as they repeat and change subtly
    and I'm with Michael….only I go for a duel with Callas – yes I can sing the Casta Diva (well I don't know all the words but I can keep up with her)

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  6. interesting music theme developing here, plus the yelling theme (which I remember doing when living out in the country, going outside late at night and yelling into the trees in the dark. don't know what the badgers made of it.)and the driving – funny, I don't drive to de-stress but I do get a buzz from driving fast, so it can be a way of lifting myself out of the gloom, kind of re-energising.

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