Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How do you stress and de-stress?

We all have stress.  Can we all just admit that?

It might not all be from the same sources and some might seem worse than others, but at the end of the day, stress is stress.

I have so much going on in my life right now, I barely have time to sit still (unless I make it).  There are issues I'm dealing with that can keep me up at night, steal my appetite, and make my emotions go into overdrive.  And at times, all of these things have happened.

Lately, I've seen --- more clearly than ever before --- that everyone responds to stress differently.

Some lash out at those closest to them. You say things you don't mean.  Or maybe you do mean them but not in the manner they're uttered. Sometimes you say things and don't know what you meant to say, but it comes out all wrong.

Some withdraw from everyone and everything. This is pretty much the opposite of the above. You turn down social invitations. You answer texts/emails/messages with as few words as you can get away with. You pretty much hide away from the world. 

These are the two I've witnessed recently -- among friends, family, and acquaintances.  And I have to say I've employed both responses at various times in my life.  And they're both equally risky.  I've seen the effects they can have.  I've lost friends and irreparably altered relationships when I didn't handle stress well.

I've tried to be more mindful of that in recent years, but when you're stressed, it can be hard to reign in your behavior.

That said, here are some of my favorite stress relief activities ...

1)  Running
Cliche, but so true.  Nothing clears my mind better than hitting the trail with nothing but my iPod to keep me company.

2) A good cry.
This probably seems counter-intuitive, but sometimes you just gotta let it out. Pro tip -- check out some military homecoming videos on YouTube. They usually do the trick.

3) Crayons and a coloring book.
Because nothing takes away stress like returning to childhood.  The good old days when you're biggest decision was whether to play kickball or swing at recess.

4) Writing.
Journaling, blogging, creative writing ... all of it helps me get out some pent up thoughts and frustrations.  Sometimes just putting it all on the screen or paper alleviates the weight a little.

How do you respond to stress?
What are your favorite stress relief methods?


  1. I love the coloring! I have to try that! I don't handle stress well at all. I use to eat or drink it but I can't anymore. Alcohol just doesn't taste good and if I get close to over eating I end to sick.
    So instead of that I have been super moody and it is especially true when I feel like someone is being critical of me. Oh and sleep! I love it if I can sleep it off. Sometimes that doesn't work.

  2. So true! Spot on girl. I really love to write and I find the more I make it a priority, then I am much happier. I took a bath and did some deep breathing the other day, that helped too. I really love Zumba to shake that stress too! That e-card is too much!

  3. I typically ignore stress or keep it inside. When it really starts to get to me, though, all I want is a long, hot shower (and probably a good cry).

  4. Ah, I have been guilty of that first one more than I'd like to admit. I've worked really hard on how I handle my stress over the past couple of years and I would say running, lifting weights, or just checking out mentally for a day are my go-tos. By checking out, I mean staying in, binge watching Netflix, sleeping if my body needs it, and cleaning around the house. It sounds boring but sometimes those days of "nothing" are just what I need to keep myself sane!

  5. I have been so bad at keeping up with commenting lately, but I came here just to copy your blog address to include in my workout post tomorrow and this post is SO GREAT!!! My last job was so stressful, but I still have stressful days now, too. Running is a great stress reliever but when I don't have time for that, I cry. Big time. Or if I don't want to cry or can't find the urge to do that, I watch funny TV shows/movies and ignore everything just so I can watch mindless things and laugh--laughter helps, but usually it has to be by myself or I'll lash out at that person (it's happened before). Otherwise I'll keep things bottled up and that doesn't always bode well for me. These are great tips, tho!!


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