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What Are Your Favourite Stress Management Activities & Routines?

Friday

Moderator
What are your favourite Stress Management activities and routines?

- Things you do daily,
- To blow off steam as needed when life happens,
- Things you’d like to build into your life but haven’t quite gotten there, yet?

What grounds & centers you? Keeps you balanced? Clears your mind? Gives you strength? Energizes or relaxes you? Hits you where you live?

Do you deliberately try different things, or have you, to find what’s works best in different situations? Or did you arrive at best organically? Has anything surprised you (that it worked, or soooo totally didn’t work!) Have you had to make any drastic changes over time, due to life & your needs changing, or switching up from unhealthy to healthy (or healthier, cough) coping mechanisms, or any other major changes?

Lotsa Q’s, but we haven’t had one of these threads for awhile, & I thought it might be good to put our heads together & share our experiences.
 
Giving myself permission to rest is high on the stress management list. Eat something and listen to music. Distract myself for 10-15 minutes by watching the news, then listen to music/watch a music concert. I recently started going to a Buddhist centre for learning and meditation which is really good on so many levels. I used to do my own kind of meditation but learning about it properly is better. And I've made some good friends/contacts there which is awesome for my self esteem.


Going to the gym is great or even a cycle ride through the park to go get some nice groceries changes your mindset. Phoning the samaritans if I need a chat to someone not close to me that I can vent to is always helpful. Playing my sax makes me feel good.

All of these things are helpful to maintain a stressfree and balanced life.
 
Singing, badly, two notes at the same time, discordant to each other, falsetto, riffing the wrong notes at the wrong time, the wrong words, with gusto and a kinda Shirley Temple toddlerish conviction lmao.

Discovered during lockdown as my (what I now know to be Autistic traits) allowed themselves to unfurl 💃

Sadly I need to be in the mood for it, can't get there any old time.

A more reliable something I can access any time is listening / watching this

 
Baking, quilting, creating. Of course they’re also the first to go when life gets to be too much. 🙄

I love making things my own. So while I bake with a recipe, not sure I’ve ever just followed it. I like things that involve my whole being, brain, hands, heart. These are the things that can bring me out of a funk the fastest.
 
My best stress management routine has always been a combination of physical, shifting gears between activities by taking at least a few minutes to get my head in the game, & sensory or sensual. What that’s looked like over the years has changed a lot, depending on what’s available.

- Wake up, fall into a swimming pool (10 feet away)
- Wake up, shower, head to the lake or cut to row/scull
- Wake up, shower, drive to the beach to run 5mi up the beach & swim 5mi back
- Wake up, shower, head to the stables to ride
- Wake up, shower, go snowboarding
- Wake up, shower, take kid & dog to the lake for a 6mi loop
- Wake up, shower, play on the trapeze in my living room

^^^ All of the above & others ^^^ Come home & shower.
^^^ All of the above & others ^^^ range from 1-4 hours, (almost!) every morning

(Nearly!) Always something physical, daily, to start off the day… and showers are one of the many ways I both bracket my blocks of time, and that also reality-check me as being “home”.

The end of the day is usually physical, as well. Whether it’s the elliptical & a movie, sparring, sex, swimming, dancing, gymnastics, etc… followed by… taking a shower.

I usually work a physical job, so on average, that’s about 14hrs of exercise per day.

((I tend to lose my effing mind when I’m sick/injured and cannot be moving, and have a habit of just curling up in a sleeping bag and chain smoking out of the deck, reading/watching movies and trying not to throttle myself out of sheer frustration/boredom/despair. If I’m sick, instead of injured? Add a bottle of bourbon. Nope. Not healthy! In any variation. But honest.))

I’m usually awake 20 hours a day, so that still gives me 6 hours a day of downtime / sitting on my arse… as well as space to add an extra hour or two of explosive activity, if I really need to blow off some steam.

***

There are other daily/weekly/seasonal things, too. Cleaning, social & alone time, times away (on my own, or with others, usually during anniversaries … to keep my head here, instead of then), music, scents, limited decision making, etc.

But how I begin/end my days? Are probably the most foundational for me. Everything else Tetris’s about in between.
 
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the core of my stress/anxiety management is my morning meditation/inventory. i wake up an hour or so before the household so that i can perform this ritual uninterrupted in the calm of a sleeping household. i feel it all day long when i don't get my meditation hour.

whatever other tools i might use for the day depend entirely on what the inventory tells me. like @Teasel , singing is a tremendous tool i use continually. it is both channel and breathing exercise in one. unlike teasel, i am quite compulsive about it with an often callous disregard of who is listening. i have a speech defect which rears its ugly head on a routine basis. i can't always speak, but i can always sing. i leave the quality debate to the critics.
 
What are your favourite Stress Management activities and routines?

- Things you do daily,
- To blow off steam as needed when life happens,
- Things you’d like to build into your life but haven’t quite gotten there, yet?

What grounds & centers you? Keeps you balanced? Clears your mind? Gives you strength? Energizes or relaxes you? Hits you where you live?

Do you deliberately try different things, or have you, to find what’s works best in different situations? Or did you arrive at best organically? Has anything surprised you (that it worked, or soooo totally didn’t work!) Have you had to make any drastic changes over time, due to life & your needs changing, or switching up from unhealthy to healthy (or healthier, cough) coping mechanisms, or any other major changes?

Lotsa Q’s, but we haven’t had one of these threads for awhile, & I thought it might be good to put our heads together & share our experiences.
Listening and watching ocean waves; listening to nature's sounds like crickets, frogs softly croaking, and watching fireflies; isolating from crazy people; napping; watching fav programs; listening to R & B; talking with a very savvy friend, etc.
 
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- exercise, exercise, more exercise. All of it, weightlifting, running, boxing, riding, rowing anything to get my fix
- any sort of menial activity where I can see an immediate and satisfying difference. Power washing is a favourite
- raves. Sometimes the only solution is to dance until the sun rises. I can do it sober if needs be, but preferably with a good friend and some good drinks
 
Cats - playing with, petting, hanging out, taking care of them. Chasing them around is fun too. They love playing like that. Playing with the feathers on a string toy for hours, they get to practice hunting skills and play and run around, I'm playing keep away.
Cooking, cleaning, baking, it's self care in a way but busy doing stuff too.
Ride the stationary bike.
Computer stuff. In my house you need no physical media, but maintaining backups, adding media, keeping files properly named, adding meta data for personal pictures video etc.
Video games.
Cleaning. PTSD brain isn't good for keeping clean and organized so pick a place and work on cleaning and organizing.
Reading - pick the right book to help laugh or change mood.
 
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