Overwhelmed? Quick and Easy Stress Relief

Stressed out? Me too. This time of year becomes a whirlwind of caffeine intake, rushing from location to location, and an endless stream of tasks to complete before the end of the year.

My strategy? Take 20 minutes (30 minutes when I’m really lucky!) out for myself when I’m feeling particularly stressed and doing one of these activities instead.

1. Do something nice for someone

Bring someone you like a cup of coffee (even a free one from the work lounge- they’ll appreciate the gesture, or they’re a total ass and it’s not your problem) and compliment their shoes. It’s amazing how much better we can feel after doing something nice for someone else.

2. Coloring books

I love coloring. I am prone to carrying one of these with me everywhere. My favorite coloring book even made the cut into my blanket fort (no, not kidding). It’s a swear word one, and oh, how I love it. Carrying one, and an assortment of colored pencils or markers, provides you with a non-adulting opportunity that you can get to at the drop of a hat!

3. Tell a dog about your problems

Okay, so not necessarily the most readily available treatment, but they’re great listeners, really. So find yourself a pup, sit yourself down on the floor, eye-to-eye with this faithful creature, and blab away from 20 minutes. Petting, cuddles, and playing with toys at any juncture (as dictated by Dr. Dog) are required medicine.

You can try the same strategy with cats, but they’re assholes (loveable though they are), and they may try to kill you instead. Fair warning.

4. Create something, and do it badly

Draw a terrible stick figure picture. Write the absolutely worst poem of terrible poems. Scribble too hard and rip the paper. Stop expecting yourself to do everything masterfully. Fuck it up on purpose, and be proud!

5. Do something completely ridiculous

My favorite? The poop game. A $5 purchase from Five Below, it’s essentially a dartboard for in the bathroom. The idea is that whilst you are… ahem… busy, you can play a game of darts. Complete with point-assigned turds and a toilet-bowl jackpot, this game is just too stupidly ridiculous to leave me stressed after a few rounds.

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