Saturday, January 10, 2015

Hat trick

Three separate posts all within the hour.

Getting back to what I originally said, let's talk about coping strategies.  Going with my own versions of the tried and true methods of relax, take a break, exercise, do something you enjoy.  Those are obvious.  These go a little further.

1) Hide for a while.  I have taken this to extremes before.  I know that.  That's not a coping strategy that's well that's just hiding.  But taking a short time to just go in your room and watch TV or read or listen to music, make something, whatever is invaluable.  Something mindless OR something completely engrossing.  Taking a break from whatever is stressing you out is completely valid.  If what's stressing you out is something you can't stop thinking about, creating more stress, hide where you know it can't get you for a couple of hours.

2) Kick it's ass.  When you feel ready and able.  In the midst of a crying session is not the time to try and kick anything's ass, you won't be taken seriously.  Kicking the ass of a problem can include: getting on the phone to the person who can solve the problem (bank, electricity co etc) and speaking with them firmly until they have done something useful.
It can also be cleaning: everyone feels more stressed in a messy or dirty environment so clean that environment and eradicate the mess that is pissing you off.  Destroy that shit. In my case that happens a lot - a main source of stress is my three roommates' very different standards of hygiene*  So for me it's often more like 'clean some stuff...then make sure someone else does the rest because you're not the maid.' Ok that's making me stressed thinking about it so I will stop.
Moving on: physical activity can help you kick something's ass.  If you have a problem you need to fight, get in fighting shape.  Doing press ups helps me a lot especially if I'm having stress induced rage-like feelings.  I think that's probably some ancient instinct in all of us, it's like making yourself stronger so you can fight off predators or something.

*different from mine, I mean.  As in, I like my apartment clean and they don't know what that looks like.

3) Think about how great you are for a while.  I just did that, I posted a bunch of pictures of myself and talked about how much I like them.  I feel pretty great about myself at this time.  I also like to read back through my blog because it reminds me just how great my life is including the people in it.  This one is tricky if the reason you feel down is that you kind of don't like yourself very much at the moment.  If I'm having an anti-me kind of day then doing that cliched thing of 'look in the mirror and say three things you like about yourself' is not gonna work, shut up ridiculous unhelpful 'motivational' articles and books.  If you're able to do that good on you but I'm not.  If it's one of those days I either do number 1 on this list, or I remind myself that at least I'm not a moron like many other people.  That one's pretty solid and hard to argue with myself about.

4) Laugh.  This is my best one - my house comes with a comedian, his name is Jacob, he's very funny so pretty much every time I have a bad day he makes me laugh and I feel better for a while.  It doesn't solve the problem but it gives you some respite from the damaging effects of worrying.

5) Go to sleep.  If it's an appropriate time to do so, I don't suggest taking random stress naps any time things get tough.  In order to go to sleep with a tornado of worries ravaging my mind I have a couple of tricks: audiobooks or a comforting TV show as background noise give me something to listen to other than my own inner monologue, literally blocking it out.  I also alphabetise things in my head like films, songs, musicals etc.  Again, occupying my brain with this easy but monotonous task blocks out the storm.  Lately I've also started trying to name the 50 States...by about the 4th time round I've either nodded off around the Ms or I've named all 50 and have therefore learned something, so everyone's a winner.
But go to sleep somehow because sleep time is the time when everyone has to leave you the fuck alone, so if someone emails or texts you about something you're supposed to do next week or about what they need from you...you can fucking ignore it.  Honestly you can ignore it at anytime truly because your time is your own.  If I go to work, do my work and leave, I don't need to hear anything from work.  I will check before the next time I go to work in case there is information I need, but that should be like a once-a-week thing.  If I get an email or text at 11pm or at the weekend asking me where is this or when was that and no work-related discussion has been pre-arranged, I feel fully within my rights to ignore it.  But that's a separate topic.  Anyway night time is definitely a time to ignore that stuff safe in the knowledge that noone in their right mind would expect a reply.   Yay sleep time.

So these are fairly specific to me, not just what I do but how I do it.  These are also pretty winter-based ideas.  In summer there's a whole bunch of other stuff you can do because it's not sub-zero outside! I'll get to that in summer.  Which judging by last year will not be for maaaany months to come.  We just skipped spring last year.  Winter winter winter winter endless winter winter winter winter winter winter winter winter wintSUMMER GET YOUR SUMMER CLOTHES OUT IMMEDIATELY

Hmm I'm hungry I'm going to go and invent food made of who knows what's in the fridge.



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