I had a really hard time writing today. Which, when you’re posting every day, is something to be expected from time to time. Also, my brain has been pretty bogged down with stress.
One of the biggest battles I face as a spoonie, is reducing stress and stress management. We all know that, while stress does not cause our illnesses, it can exacerbate symptoms and cause flare ups. Stress management is key.
I’ve been working with my therapist and my doctors to learn better coping skills, and find areas in my life where I can cut out potential stressors. Still, life has a way of sneaking up on me every now and again. This week would be one of those times.
And so, I thought instead of just working on me, I would share my top five ways to de-stress, in case life was being mean to anyone else lately.
*Music. I know I say this a lot, but music really is one of my greatest tools. It soothes me while allowing me to sing along and express whatever emotions are clogged up within me. Also, music varies, so there’s always something to fit whatever your mood. Rock is my go-to, but sometimes I can be found crooning along with something soft and slow.
*Distraction. Sometimes it’s scrolling Pinterest, sometimes it’s playing silly games on my phone, sometimes it’s trashy TV. The point is to find something to pull your mind from whatever is stressing you out.
*Writing. Journaling has become a great tool since I started therapy. I used to think that my journals had to be neat and edited, like my writing here. A good friend helped open my eyes to the wonders of scribbling. Now my journaling is just about getting the thoughts that are swirling around my head out onto the paper. And to be honest, there’s a part of me that feels a little better to just doodle and scribble instead of making it all neat.
*Creativity. Coloring or crafting, as long as it involves using my brain for something fun, it counts. Spilling all my mental energy into crafting new cards, scrapbooking, or even photo editing takes all the power away from the stressful thoughts. I can’t be worried about money while I’m coloring in Winnie The Pooh, it just isn’t compatible. Try it sometime.
*Talking. Just like writing, this works to get the thoughts out of my head. Talking them out with someone- a therapist, a friend, a family member, your spouse- can also often help you see a solution where there wasn’t one a moment ago. And even if you don’t need any answers, but just to vent, talking is still a great tool.
These are not my only tools, but they’re the five which help me the most. What tools do you use to combat stress and worry?