9 Relatively Unconventional Ways to Relieve Stress.

The past two weeks, I have found myself to be absurdly stressed out.  And I am not talking the oh, had a stressful day, get some sleep and everything will be calm and peaceful tomorrow kind of stress.  I am talking the kind of stress that consumes you, offers you a nice, tension headache 85% of the time, makes you say really stupid stuff because you, frankly, have lost your mind during this process and haven’t slept much.  And the kind that tricks you into thinking you aren’t really stressed out and that you can handle this.  Actually, I am pretty sure the devil lived inside of me for a decent amount of the past couple of weeks.

Needless to say when this past Friday came and I was still semi-delirious hanging out with Satan, I subconsciously knew I had to completely decompress before Monday would come and beat the crap out of me (but first I had to do 39 things before the weekend could begin).  Please note that I write that intro with an attitude that will invite you into my stress, not with an attitude that actually comes from me, Ann, the normal, almost 32-year-old with a generally positive outlook on life.

The weekend came and here I am, Monday morning, feeling around 4,300 times better and so I thought I would share a few things I did this past weekend, some intentional, some not, that sent the devil on a one-way flight to I don’t really care but please make sure there are no flights back to Chicago.

  1. Game night.  I had planned a game night with my cousins a while back and despite being slightly stressed about hosting when it was 2pm with guests arriving at 6pm and I had to still go to the grocery store, cook, clean up my house and take a shower, it was so. much. fun.  We played Apples to Apples, Cranium and Taboo for five hours straight.  I didn’t think about one thing besides winning.  And yes, I won (with my team) every single game.  That helps with the stress.  Listen, bring back game night.  With friends, family, heck, I don’t care if you do it alone.  Play more games.
  2. Go to bed early, sleep in and take naps (i.e. revert back to when you were two years old).  Doesn’t need a whole lot of explanation, other than my advice of:  just allow yourself to sleep in.  Allow yourself to curl up on your couch at 4pm for a little 45 minute snooze.  Be okay if it’s Saturday night and 9pm and you are in bed.  I was.  And it rocked.
  3. Talk to your mom.  I talked to my mom for about an hour a few days ago and explained to her the stress I was under and frankly, just the wisdom and encouragement moms can offer can sometimes do the trick.  And sometimes her strong advice of getting off of my electronic devices helps, too. #momsarebrilliant
  4. Bake.  I am far from Martha Stewart and who the heck has time to bake?  Well, I somehow managed to bake Sprinkles cupcakes (fave) and it is great to get lost in a project that separates you from stress.  Yes, perhaps only for a short time, but, it helped.
  5. Don’t work.  Come on, you really don’t need a nonprofessional like me to tell you this.  But, I will.  Don’t work on the weekends.  You aren’t that important.  (I am talking to myself here.)
  6. Pray.  Yes, for those of you who read my blogs you knew to expect this.  I will confess, this past weekend I did not set aside time to pray.  However, I prayed throughout my days and nights constantly.  #ilovegod
  7. Buy fresh flowers.  I had to throw this one in there.  Besides, I was at the grocery store anyways and sometimes, you just need fresh flowers to make you smile and appreciate nature inside your four walls.
  8. Work out.  After game night which included a few glasses of wine and going to bed around 1am, I slept until 10am and the first thing I did on Saturday was go to my basic training class.  If you ever need 60 minutes  where you think of nothing besides how ridiculous you look doing circuits of physical activity that could possibly kill you, basic training at East Bank Club will do the trick.  I promise you  my mind thought of nothing stressful for the entire 60 minutes.
  9. Brunch with your best friendEileen, I know you read these blogs and I can say with certainty that our 2.5 hour brunch was refreshing, peaceful, loving, thought-provoking and…fun.  Just what I needed. Thank you.

2 responses

  1. I love that you suggest NOT working on the weekends. I’m very guilty of this. I feel like every email needs to be answered immediately and that just isn’t so–especially on the weekends. People all crave a break and by continuing to answer each other, we just put more pressure to all be non-stop workaholics. I call a truce!

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