You’re at that point again. That same one that always creeps up on you and hits like a ton of bricks. It leaves you close to tears out of frustration: you’ve approached the deadline for a paper, your boss asked you about something you forgot to do two days ago and now you’re scrambling to get it done and dog s*** on the carpet again. Life gets overwhelming and we’ve all hit those breaking points where we just want to give up and bury our heads in a hole.
Instead of that, consider these 8 ways to relieve stress:
Yeah, we all complain about it, but frustration and anger are the best motivators to work out! When I get to the gym, I’m pumped because I’m there to move. When I’m on that bicycle, I think about all the insults I’ve ever gotten, even if they’re ones I’ve said to myself: “Why is there so much cellulite on your legs?”, “Why aren’t you wearing make up, it’s like you’ve stopped trying”, “If you weren’t so dramatic, maybe you’d find someone to actually be in a relationship with”, “It only happened twice”, “You never showed me you cared about me”. Yeah well f*** all you guys, because I’m cycling up this giant mountain on this stationary bike while flipping you all off. Use the frustration to your advantage, that’s all I’m saying.
2. Break Something
I’m completely serious. The majority of the time you’re stressed, you’re frustrated. I had a professor tell me once to take all the glass bottles from my recycling and a bucket or bin and take it to a remote spot. From there, make sure the bin is empty and you throw those bottles as hard as you can into it. It’s an easy clean up and it’s gets your aggression out. Just be sure the bin is far enough away so that there’s no tiny shards of glass coming back at you.
This may should cliche, but there are a lot of ways to meditate: yoga, sitting in silence, praying, reading, walking etc. Take time to yourself in silence or with calming music and close your eyes. Imagine your happy place and take a few deep breaths to clear your mind.
Get it out of your system. Go somewhere desolate and yell all sorts of profanities: how much you hate your calculus professor because they humiliated you in front of a 200 person lecture, how unfair your job is because you’re paid less than coworkers even when you have more relevant experience, how upset you are at your partner because they gave you logical reasons to why you shouldn’t impulsively adopt that dog from the pound. Just get it all out.
Get out your planner and figure out what you’re doing the rest of the day, week and month. When you can see what you’re life looks like in front of you, it’s easier to manage. Write out everything you need to get done and fit those tasks into time slots. Check lists are the best because we have so much satisfaction crossing something off! One simple accomplishment is better than none.
Cleaning is so refreshing. It feels so good when you’re done getting all the crap off the surface and having the room smell nice and look like it came out of an IKEA magazine. I find doing dishes is very therapeutic, since it requires no real thought, your mind can just wander. If you have a really greasy dish, scrub the crap out of it to release some of that frustration! The only thing you’re doing is making it cleaner, it’s a win-win.
7. Get Intimate
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sex is good for you. Get that dopamine flowing, whether it’s with someone else or alone… I’m not just talking about sex either. Even a touch from someone else can make a difference. This is why hugging, snuggling up under a blanket with someone on the couch or suffocating your cat while whispering “I love you” as they try to escape your grip is good for you! Having that closeness with someone else creates the sense that you aren’t alone.
8. Watch a Documentary
Preferably on Outer Space. Do you realize how big our universe is? HELLO! You are one tiny being in this entire world of billions of people and creatures and microbes. Your issues are smaller than that. Yes, they are still there and you need to do something about them, but don’t make them bigger than they actually are. You’re capable of anything you set your mind too, you just need a different perception on your issues to see just how small they are.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and realize that there are ways to get past the frustration. What are the things that help you get back on track?