I’m sure this isn’t a new thought for anyone, but… life can be stressful. Sometimes it’s more stressful than others and lately I’ve felt the stress pile up for a variety of reasons (none of them bad). I think I’ve been handling the stress pretty well (although maybe you should ask those closest to me to see if they’d agree). I’ve intentionally done a few things to avoid becoming overwhelmed and I think that’s helped a lot. So, here are a few of things I’ve been doing to handle stress.
1 // Working Out.
This, I think, is number one. A friend and I are workout buddies on Snapchat (dreamsetcblog), so when we’re finished with a workout we Snap each other to let the other one know. She mentioned once that with all that I had going on she was surprised I was still fitting workouts in and I told her the truth: it’s been helpful. I’m someone who has always let workouts fall by the wayside when life gets busy and stressful, but intentionally getting that activity in has helped me feel better. There are two things that I like to do: dance like no one’s watching and kickbox that stress out of my life… or at least into a corner.
Now, this isn’t to say that I’m always perfect at getting my workouts in. I’ve had weeks with no workouts, but I’ve been intentional about getting back into it and it always feels good when I do!
2 // Reading.
I always feel less overwhelmed when I end the night with a book, but sometimes I get into the habit of trying to do everything on my to-do list before I take the time to read at the end of the day. The thing is, it would be easy to have a never-ending to-do list, especially during busy and stressful periods, but no matter what has been left undone taking some time at the end of the day to read always makes me feel less overwhelmed. Sometimes I fall asleep after reading a page and sometimes I can get a couple of chapters in–the length of time spent with a book doesn’t matter as long as I open it up and read some words.
This isn’t something that I’m always good about doing, but for the last month or so I’ve been pretty consistent about opening my book at the end of the day.
3 // Painting.
Taking time to be creative does wonders for my mood and how I handle stress, so I’ve also made it a point to pull out my paints more often. I’ve found painting to be better than drawing or any other form of art for stress relief, because I tend to experiment more and I don’t take what I’m doing as seriously. It’s not because I’m not serious about painting, it’s just the newest medium that I’ve used so I’m still figuring out how things work and give myself the freedom to play. (Come to think of it, I should take that approach more with all of my art. And my writing.)
Again, this isn’t something that I’ve always been good about doing, but when I do, it helps.
4 // Movie Marathons.
There was one weekend that I had hit my limit. I was stressed, I was anxious, and I just needed a break. So I had a movie marathon. And I made my parents watch most of the movies with me. And I cuddled Little One.
I was kind of sad when the weekend came to an end and with it, non-stop movies. But it felt good to get back into life again and to have had a break. There were some things that I didn’t get done that weekend since I took my movie marathon break, but it felt good to have taken the time that I needed to relax and unwind.
5 // Give Myself Grace.
As you can see from pretty much everything that I wrote above, I’ve taken breaks from work when needed and I haven’t been as consistent with the activities that relieve stress as I could be, but I haven’t let that bother me. I’ve given myself grace when I’ve needed to.
Okay, full disclosure: I’ve given myself grace when I’ve needed to sometimes. I haven’t always been the best with that either, but it’s something that I have tried to do. I’m not perfect. I’m never going to be perfect, so when life gets stressful I definitely won’t be.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESSFUL AND BUSY PERIODS IN LIFE?
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