What can I stay about stress? Its the often forgotten about once-removed-second-cousin of the mental health family. Stress is that one at the family Christmas get together who no one seems to know exactly how they are related to and you have to endure as they natter away about god knows what because you weren’t listening properly as Aunty Pam has just arrived with her famous cranberry and orange festive shortbread. The one your mum tells you to just take one for the team and humour for one day, and oh, keep away from the sherry.
I can not stress enough how stress is not something to be embarrassed about!!!! Stress is natural and means you are human with human emotion!!!! It is is not emasculating or a sign of weakness!!!!!
It can be an all consuming, debilitating force, it can also be on the back burner constantly bubbling away and thats how I have felt over the past few weeks. Without a doubt I have had the most amazing time but understandably with moving away from home (to London no less) and starting an intense acting course and finding a new group of friends coming from a very tight knit albeit large squad up north, I have felt a constant niggle growing in the back of my mind.
Sometimes this kind of stress I think is really dangerous as it can manage to slip past your noticing and then spiral out of control and then you’re really not in good place at all.
So I thought I’d let you all know how I manage, or at least try to manage this – the only reasons this past term I haven’t ended up shivering in corner, chewing on my gnawed down stump of hand, repeating the same four words over and over.
EW EXERCISE, I know I know!! But what they say is true, exercise really does improve mental health, with the added bonus of physical health too! For me running is for when it all gets too much and that nagging has turning in to an angry gran boxing my ears with her heavy handbag full of dentures and prune juice. I totally understand its damn hard to get going! But get out that door, put some hella fly tunes on and remind yourself of what a bad-ass b*tch you are – I recommend Cascada’s Everytime We Touch to help u take those first steps, Beyonce aint too bad either – and you will thank yourself after. I promise.
Alright now you’re just plain bonkers. Or your sat typing away, Bob Marley playing on vinyl, wearing harem pants, with a joint in one hand and moonshine in the other as you do yoga and haven’t washed your hair in 5 months to save water… I hear you say. Yes, a year ago I would have said the same. But since moving out things like a small little app (it’s free too how yummy) called Mindfulness has helped me gain headspace and clear out all the noise in my thoughts and bank the important parts and chuck the rest. Changing your habits like having 5 minutes in the morning to stretch, breathing deeper using the correct muscles and some still, quiet, alone time at night before bed has really made a huge difference. (WARNING hippy-esque sentence to follow) Not only has it helped me feel calmer in the city that never sleeps, it has helpd me know me better. (Okay I put my moonshine down now…)
Sighing! Oh my, how much just audibly sighing releases tension! Who cares if you’re walking down a busy high street, you feel stressed then you stop, breath deep, drop in that sigh and let them haters stare. Exhale all that nasty and BOOM you got some quick short term blissful release.
- drinking water
- having a shower
- dancing and singing like a madman in the kitchen
- doing something that scares you like talking to a stranger on the tube (omg yes I’m that person, but most people are nice and like a quick convo – just stay away from the blue collars and brief cases and definitely do not DO NOT wake anyone for a conversation they will not appreciate that…)
- HAVE A GOOD BREW WITH YA MATES
- make the bed
- change clothes
- write down everyday something or someone you’re grateful for
- write down a memory
- write a poem or draw even if u bin it after
- get a colouring book
- turn the bright lights off and have low lighting – yep thats a valid excuse for spending stupid amounts of money on expensive candles.
- shove your face in a fluffy – any domestic animal will do, best when said animal is furry
So yeah, thats what I do to manage it all, and sometime these dont work and sometimes a good cry is as good as any of the above if not better. In fact what’s best is trying to understand what’s causing this stress and making peace with it. But sometimes you can’t do that just now or have no bloom’n idea why your hearts racing and and your palms are sweaty (knees weak arms are heavy, vomit on him sweater already mom’s spaghetti – sorry couldn’t help myself hehe) so that what this is for.
Not foolproof but they are seeming to work for me, hope this can help someone else too.