Decompressing is a skill. Some people have it. Others, like me, have to work hard to do it. Here are some of the easier and more difficult ways to de-stress.
1. Exercise. I hate exercising, but my partner swears by it. He'll try to get me to go running with him, but I would rather shove myself and him off a cliff. Finding something that works for you is the most important thing. While I hate running and all other forms of cardio, biking gives me enough stimuli not to get bored. It also gives me the opportunity to check out great nature trails and to get to know my neighborhood better. I like the thrill of wind in my hair while catching speed down hill. Biking works for me. The important thing is to find what excites you. If you don't know what it is, start experimenting. Sign up for single classes, or if you're cheap like me, use Youtube for research in order to start releasing that pent up energy.
2. Talk to a trusted confidant. This can be your partner, best friend, or cat (for you cat ladies out there). It doesn't matter. Having an ear that is listening to you is fantastic. Rather than keeping a feeling locked up, you can work through it verbally. Sometimes you might be surprised by what awesome advice you receive, and other times you might just hear how ridiculous you sound when you say something out loud. Yesterday, when I was talking to my partner about feeling anger toward my father because of his cancer, he reminded me that this is a normal stage of grief. My best friend also reminded me of what a fan of my work she is at the exact moment I began to doubt myself. You'll be amazed at how much love and understanding you will find. Talk to someone who won't judge you, won't lecture you, won't share your secrets. Find someone who will just listen. And don't forget to return the favor.
3. Take some needed alone time. This pertains double to you introverts. Indulge in your whims. Watch an entire season of Orange is the New Black in two days. Read that trashy novel. Take a walk. Do your nails. Fart and burp. Wear your comfy sweats and your favorite oversized teacher with a hole in it. You're alone. Who the fuck cares? Surely, not your dog. Enjoy these moments. Work out that issue in your head, or completely veg out and forget about it for awhile. There is no better time to procrastinate than now.
4. Meditate. Remember when I said try something more difficult to decompress- well, I wasn't talking about exercise but meditation. Who knew sitting there and just breathing would be so hard? Because it is. The aim of meditation is to quiet one's mind and slow your breath. People who meditate on a regular basis are often more efficient in work and life than those who don't. Meditation helps remove the mind clutter. Honestly, I would rather clean out my closet, but I know one hundred percent that meditating helps a whole lot more than that.
5. Have a drink. I say 'shove it' to all you nay-sayers out there. Having a drink or two or a smoke is perfectly fine if you want to. Sit back for that nightcap on the couch to Game of Thrones and enjoy. Now if you're heading out every night to drink bottles at the club, I think you're taking my advice a bit to far.
6. Volunteer. Earlier today, I wrote about how volunteering improves your mental and physical health. It takes you out of your own head, and puts you in a place where you are doing something productive and worthwhile. Volunteering reminds us that perhaps our problems aren't as big as we're making them out to be, and that's very tough to admit.