I am writing this post mainly to collect my thoughts. I have too much to do and not enough time to blah blah blah, you know the drill. I’m just trying to keep all the balls in the air, y’all. And sometimes, the juggling becomes so stressful that I realize I haven’t bathed in two days (hey, I always catch it before I get to day three) or I decide to just leave those Cheerios on the floor a bit longer because the rabbit will eat them eventually.
In fact, right now I am supposed to be both working on a transcription project and looking for a new babysitter, and also, probably looking through the mail to make sure I’m not ignoring a bill. Instead, obviously, I’m writing this, mainly because sometimes stress relief comes in little bursts and that’s all you get. For me, writing provides one such burst. Other things that do this include my first sip of coffee in the morning, falling asleep on the couch while watching bad TV, and making lists of things I’ll do later. (I should note that, like tomorrow, later never comes.) Here is a list of other things that I humbly suggest you try to relieve stress on an all-too-temporary basis.
- Get a fluffy pet that you can stroke when you should be doing something else. This will put you in a trance-like meditative state, and you will forget everything except the feeling of fur under your fingertips. Nothing will get done, but I promise you’ll feel blissfully relaxed until the pet gets bored and runs away.
- Choose some websites that you can check compulsively, even if you only have 30 free seconds. But be careful here: these can’t be hate-reads or sites with actual news articles, or there is potential for an emotional reaction. Also, NEVER read the comments section, ever, unless you want to have a rage stroke – the recovery from which would be very stressful – at the number of idiots and trolls out there.
- While we’re on the subject of websites, go to FreeDigitalPhotos.net and search for “stress.” I did this hoping to find a nice pic to include in this post, and instead I found a wealth of hilarious images that you should check out right now. They will make you less stressed, I promise. So will this picture of Phil Spector. (True story: I once kept this image on my desktop at work to use as stress relief during annoying projects. Since I always giggle when I see it – yes, I am currently LOL’ing over here – it worked great. Can you imagine being the dude who thinks that is a good look for showing up to anywhere, let alone court?)
- Drink green tea slowly and calmly while doing nothing but enjoying the warmth of the mug. Or Scotch, while enjoying the weight of the glass. You know, whatever works.
- Do some yoga, some deep breathing, some stretching, or some krav maga. It depends on whether your cortisol levels drop when you’re doing downward dog or kneeing someone in the chest through a pad. Again, whatever works.
- Decide to organize something that doesn’t really need organizing, like your spices, your socks, or your linen closet. The task will absorb you because it involves a lot of detail while also being pointless and irritating enough to take a lot of concentration. It’s the perfect kind of job to do when you’re too stressed out by the job you’re supposed to be doing and need a break.
- Play Angry Birds. Get mad at the birds when they don’t fly the way you could swear you directed them to fly, then laugh it off because it’s just a stupid game. Spend a minimum of an hour playing this “stupid game.”
- Go on Pinterest. Pretend you are doing something useful like putting together recipes for the week or figuring out cheap ways to decorate your living room. Actually browse through a bunch of inane “inspirational” quotes and exercise suggestion pins that are pics of barely dressed women, make fun of the pinners in your head, and lose two hours of your life that you can never get back.
- Start watching “Battlestar Galactica”. Seriously. You will forget the rest of your life in your desire to see what happens next, and you will also realize you don’t have it so bad since your planet hasn’t been taken over by a race of robots created by Man that have evolved the ability to look like Man and have thus infiltrated your supposedly safe battlestar and… well, it’s complicated. And way more stressful than your real life, I promise.
- Read a book, any book except the Twilight series (sorry, I hate vampires and girls with no agency). See if you don’t feel better, I dare you, except for the fact that you spent hours reading and none of your shit got done. Oh, well. At least you’re not stressed out!
You have to be ready with your stress relief plan at a moment’s notice because stress likes to creep up on you. Just when you think you’re all calm and serene, that’s when it happens. And if you don’t really have the time to de-stress on a grander scale, at least chilling out for a few minutes or an hour can do some good, right? Please say yes, because right now, it’s all I’ve got…
Okay, now that my stress is gone due to both writing and making a list, back to work!