3 Ways To Stave Off Stress

This last week was really rough on me mentally. A zillion new sexual assault allegations. Alabama voters who are willing to vote in a sexual predator rather than consider a Democrat. A shooting at an elementary school in Northern California that barely made the news. The Dakota Access Pipeline has already broken and spilled oil into the water.  And on top of all of this reigns our Predator in Chief, Donald Trump.

This was literally the topic of one of my therapy sessions this week. This is how stressful it’s gotten. It feels like nowhere is safe and every day a shower of horrible things happen. It’s been causing a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. The news is just one big trigger and I’ve had to get creative to deal with it.

If you are a victim of abuse, and the odds are stacked against you, then the recent news cycle could be upsetting to you too. Hell, even if you’re not a victim! Here are three things I’ve been doing to help absorb some of the blows.

  1. Kittens!

I follow a page on Facebook called Happy Cats for the specific reason that I get a video of an adorable kitten in my newsfeed for every couple of stressful posts I see.  It seems like a healthy approach to life. I mean, yes, we need to resist and stand up for people’s rights and that means paying attention to all of the madness going on. But we don’t need to do it 24/7. I try to give myself breaks even when watching late night TV because they all draw from the same well for their monologues. It may be informative and funny but even that can be too much.

  1. Mini Vacation

Don’t be afraid to unplug from social media for a bit. Only you can decide how much is healthy for you, so I won’t say leave social media for x hours or days etc. But I would suggest having some alternatives for when it gets to be too much. So that you aren’t just left feeling overwhelmed with no support or solution I suggest games, or learning something, or laughter. There are a number of informative vlogs that I like to watch instead of the news, The Financial Diet (TFD), Vlogbrothers, and Sci-Show. Some great comedy channels for a good laugh are Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard, or HISHE.

  1. Sense5

I also keep a Destress Box. It’s a shoe box that I’ve filled with things for when I’m anxious. I try to find something for each of the senses. Taste, touch, sight, sound, and smell. I keep lavender lotion in there to smell, fuzzy soft socks that I can just feel the fabric on, crossword puzzles, and a journal in case I need to write about how I’m feeling. There are bubbles, silly putty, and an adult coloring book. Just customize your box for you. If you’re feeling fancy you can even decorate it.


What do you do when you need to rejuvenate yourself? How do you de-stress and fuel up on positive energy to keep you going? Especially with all the awful news we are bombarded with daily! I would love to hear from you!! I can always use new ideas! Meet me in the comments section!

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8 Comments

  1. Sae Sae Norris said:

    Nothing gets me back in my happy place than going to the movies and eating popcorn. Sometimes, when I can’t do with that, I play video games (reading is something I have to do in small doses, cos it usually just revs my brain up too much, and I go into work-mode; but sometimes nothing beats just chilling with a good book.), or just surf for new music to listen to.

    Journaling is different from writing for me, so I have a “safe” novel that I work on –it’s a place where all my demons and uglies can mingle with my creative babies; it’s wonderfully cathartic. I try to limit the news if it’s getting to me. It’s a tricky balance, but we can’t save the world. I think there’s an expectation that we have to ACT on the headlines and stories we see, but that’s putting an unrealistic pressure on ourselves. It sucks being exposed to so much negative without a way to do anything about it. Sometimes the news is a fast track to feeling hopeless as a result.

    Getting out of myself helps too. Sometimes just serving others –talking, hanging out with people that need company, doing dishes or babysitting…sometimes doing something nice for someone is an insta-balm for getting out of my own problems.

    I love your idea of a DeStress Box! My office is kind of my destress box, lol.

    November 20, 2017
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      Thanks! You make a great point it does feel like I have an obligation to fix every bad headline that I read. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels that pressure. Not that there isn’t any place for that pressure in my life I think that it’s good to challenge ourselves and find new ways to be of use to the world. But I agree that we can’t solve every single problem individually and that it can get overwhelming when we try to. I love all your ideas! Thanks for sharing!

      November 20, 2017
      Reply
  2. Tara said:

    We both know I’m a News junkie who has the news on in the background of everything I do 24/7 ( and now that my new car came with Sirius xm radio, I can even stream CNN live!!! 👋🏻👋🏻👋🏻) but i try to start each day with yoga and meditation to ground my body both physically and mentally. Quiet the senses, quiet the mind. Namaste 🙏 ( adorable right. ? 😉)

    November 20, 2017
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      That actually sounds like a great way to start the day! I was practicing mindfulness meditation for a while a you years ago. It was really hard but also really rewarding. Maybe I’ll have to jump back into that lifestyle. thanks for commenting!

      November 20, 2017
      Reply
  3. SK said:

    The news doesn’t phase me. The world is what it is. Bill Clinton was as filthy a sexual predator as those in the news today and yet Democrats seem to ignore that. That’s not to give a pass to Republicans. They are just as contemptuous. Both parties disgust me.

    Kittens help.

    My dogs are my center which I seem to need more and more these days. Every day a piece of me breaks away as I try to survive the next. I’m not sure I can stave off my new found anxiety bear…he is the sum of all my bad life’s decisions catching up to me.

    November 20, 2017
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      I think you’re right about the political aspect of it. Republicans tend to assume that Republican offenders are innocent and Democrats do the same thing with Democrat offenders. The whole system is messed up. I absolutely love dogs! But what on Earth is an anxiety bear? Anyway I really appreciate you reading and commenting! Thank you so very much!

      November 20, 2017
      Reply
  4. Carol Hedges said:

    Hi Amy … I think we are having it tough on both sides of the pond! Yep, my cat is my de-stresser! and nice smellies for the bath help. And digging the garden. Seems like we all need a safety zone today. Glad you found yours!

    November 20, 2017
    Reply
    • Amy Laurel said:

      Digging in the garden sounds lovely right now! Probably because it’s so cold outside and not an option. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I appreciate it.

      November 20, 2017
      Reply

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