I stress easily. I’m not sure how early in my life this started, however I do know it’s been going on as long as I can remember. It’s not that I stress about everything. I can’t recall the last time I stressed about something academic (maybe the hell that was my sophomore English class in high school?), nor can I recall a time where I stressed because I felt like I wasn’t able to live up to a responsibility set forth before me. Things that stress many people out aren’t the catalyst for my stress.
Money? That’s a huge stress point. This past winter I went to visit my dad and grandparents. I met my dad at his work place so that we could pick up lunch for my grandma (who was going through chemotherapy at the time). When my dad went to the ATM to get cash out, he was so excited that he still had $15 left after making his withdraw. If my bank account sniffed $150, I’d be finding a second, third, and fourth job.
Work? Another giant stress point. I do nothing less than everything I can do every single day at work. It makes me work late
here and there frequently, however I was raised with the mentality that you don’t leave work until your job is done. While I know this pays off in the long run, it certainly drives me insane in the short-term.
Here’s the thing though…I don’t like to stress. Shocking, right?
I tend to float around reading blogs around the internet quite a bit. I realize many of you who are commenters (frequent or occasional) on this blog likely ended up coming here for the first time because I left a comment on your blog. In my perusing, I came across this post by Amanda at Musings of a Crazy Cat Girl discussing where she finds peace. While I won’t steal Amanda’s thunder (or traffic to her blog) by listing out her items on this post, what I will say is that there was a consistent theme across all five items that brought here peace. That theme is that each of the items that bring her peace are near and dear to her heart.
I decided to take my own stab at this by listing off five items that bring me peace and allow me to destress. My apartment has become its own sanctuary for my mind and my sanity, so I chose to limit myself and my list to activities that can be completed in, or items that can be found within my apartment.
1. Cooking – I love to cook. I’ve found joy in making food ever since I was a young child (and have the scar on my head to prove it). It’s just such a calming and gratifying action to be able to take ingredients and turn them into something wholly different and new. Of course, being able to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of my labor is always a plus.
2. Sleep – I realize this might be a bit of a copout response, however a big reason I (along with many other people) have such a difficult time dealing with stress is due to a lack of sleep. I totally remember hating naptime as a kid. After all, why would I want to take a nap when I could go outside and get grass stains on my jeans from playing football? Adult me realizes that little kid me was half wrong — I should have taken a nap THEN went to get he grass stains on my clothes.
3. Video Games – I have to use my mind a lot at work. Getting bombarded with question after question after question after question after question from every angle for days upon weeks upon months takes a bit of a toll on the mind. Sometimes, it’s just fun to turn on the Xbox 360, put in NCAA 12, turn the difficulty down to the lowest setting, and win 94-0. Owning fighting/wrestling games allows me to take out pent-up frustration on video game characters…plus as we’ve discussed before, I’m a bit of a wrestling mark.
4. Music – Music a very cathartic part of my life. I realize that’s the case for many people, and I’m certainly no exception to the rule. After a long day, I’ll put on some of my favorite songs and just let the music play while I relax or eat dinner. Nine times out of ten, I’m feeling better within a half hour or so.
5. Writing – Sure, this was the obvious final choice on the list, but my writing really does mean that much. Frankly, my writing doesn’t always have to be on my blog in order to relieve my stress (though lately most of my writing has been blog related). It’s just the action of writing that allows me to rid myself of stress and pent-up emotion. Some of my best posts — be they personal posts, short stories, or something entirely different — have come about as a result of writing when I’m stressed.
What do you do to find peace and destress? Sound off in the comments.
Front page image credit: Umberto Salvagnin on Flickr