When I was a journalist, stress motivated me. I thrived off of it. But, now, I am one of those people who easily gets stressed. I easily feel overwhelmed. I also easily make a stressful situation far worse than it actually is, thus only making me more stressed. You know what I mean?
Simply put, being stressed makes me stress out more. In turn, I blow the situation way out of portion. Sometimes, it takes me a while to find my emotional balance. But, I do find it. Truthfully, I have to in order to function efficiently. It’s a vicious cycle, honestly.
Nevertheless, I’ve learned to combat stress. I am at a point in life (youthful, as it may be) where I have to give myself time to decompress and calm my nerves. I have to acknowledge I need to be my own encourager and helper. I have to acknowledge there is good in quality self-care. Then, I have to put these methods into practice.
One of the biggest ways I decompress is I envision a positive image or scenario in my mind. Usually, I flip flop between a few scenes. Either, I am at the beach surrounded by palm trees with a cool breeze against my skin. Or, I am walking a small dog on a sunny day.
Regardless of where I am or what I am doing, it is a warm sunny day. I am happiest in the summer and not just because of the extra vitamin D I receive then. But, because I absolutely love summer. It is my favorite season.
If I am able, I like to decompress by watching YouTube videos. I have an accumulating list of videos marked for watch later. I don’t know what it is about watching others’ lives or interviews that excite me, but I enjoy it.
My husband and I also help each other decompress by giving each other alone time. I know nearly every health professional says it’s important. Guess what? They are actually right. It’s a wonderful feeling to know the two of us have dedicated time to ourselves.
It is nice to get excited about being by ourselves. I don’t think that is the introvert in us either. Although, I am sure we prefer alone time more than others.
Still, it’s fun to not have a worry for an hour or so. Sometimes, I read a good book. Others, I simply close my eyes. The point is I am not productive. I do not attend to my never-ending mental to-do list.
I know that is not ideal for everyone. It works for us right now. It felt a little weird at first to block off “Renata time.” Nevertheless, over time, it became natural and now I yearn it. You have to get passed the awkward and be intentional. Simple as that.
The last way I try to relieve stress is to make myself walk away from the situation causing me a headache in the first place. Even if it means going on a small walk around my house or the workplace. Walking away from the situation for just a moment does wonders for your energy and overall mood.
Let yourself get past the incessant nudge that says you have to finish this now. Give yourself five minutes. Work and life can wait. Your mental well-being is far more important. Take it from me. I’m learning the hard way each day.
I challenge you to find a way to decompress. Find a way you can at work like I do with positive mental images and thoughts. Find a way you can at home like I do with alone time. Find a happy medium. The work will always be there. A calm, peaceful mind will waver. Do your part of nourishing it rather than drying it out.
Take care of yourself any chance you can, no matter what you may think is piling up. Stress is only as bad as you make it. Be realistic. Be fair. Be gracious. Be a work in progress.