The last time I was in great distress and anxiety had been the many many days following my mother’s admittance to the hospital a couple of years ago. Aneurysm. I was in Qatar and by the time I got back to Indonesia, she had been in coma for a while.
She didn’t make it.
Though the stress and anxiety I’ve had pulsing in the back of my head since last week cannot possibly be compared to the ones I had at the time of slowly losing my mother to aneurysm, the amount is still something I haven’t had for quite some time now.
It’s so bizarre, experiencing the level of stress I haven’t had since my mother’s death. I’m usually good in making myself good again.
I suppose it’s a different world we’re living in right now.
It’s difficult being cooped up in the house when we’re so used to going out and about unrestricted. Last week had been particularly difficult for some reason.
Amidst the sudden increase of stress and anxiety, I found 3 things that have helped me reduce my anxiety. And I’m going to share them with you.
#1 — Lie down and give yourself a good cry
I don’t know why but the day I did this, I’ve had a strong urge to just let myself let go. No inhibition.
I locked myself in my study, rolled out my yoga mat, blasted Dua Lipa’s Don’t Start Now on my speaker, lied down and just cried my eyes out.
It was cathartic.
I didn’t hold myself back, I didn’t give myself a time limit. I just released everything, however long I needed. All the frustration, the pent up emotions resulted from the situation we have all suddenly found ourselves in,
they were all out.
I felt spent after. In a good way. I would definitely do it again if the need arises.
Give it a go. We don’t have to lose someone to the virus to let ourselves feel immense sadness. We have lost many parts of the old world and our old ways of living. It might be for the best, it might be for the worse. However it turns out, we are living it right here right now and we are allowed to grief for what is lost.
#2 — Get lost in the pages
To my fellow readers, you are probably already doing this.
To those of you who haven’t been much of a reader, make yourself a nice cuppa (coffee/tea/hot chocolate, whatever float your boat), grab a book and get cozy on your couch (or bed).
Don’t like this world you’re currently inhabiting? Feeling trapped not being able to go outside?
Book is your solution.
There are hundreds, thousands of worlds to be explored, hidden in the spine of that book that has been sitting in your bookshelf gathering dust. Some are a little more exciting than our own world, some are downright magical.
Choose your escape and get lost in it.
#3 — Listen to Youtube videos / podcasts
I’ve done this for a while now. Some people find relief in listening to music while they go about their chores, I found mine in Youtube videos and podcasts.
Notice I had written listen and not watch. Watching Youtube might not be a good idea (it’s a blackhole that will suck you in if you’re not mindful), unless it’s at the end of the day and you’re winding out. Watching babies do funny things and people do silly things are actually very therapeutic.
Okay, enough laughing and stop clicking the next videos. And turn off that autoplay.
What I’ve been doing since a while ago, is to listen to stories as I’m doing my chores — cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, ironing, etc. The stories have calmed me down and they make going about my days easier, especially in this time of crisis where going outside is very very limited.
The things I’ve been listening to are true crimes and horror stories (I’m a big fan of both. Fancy myself a bit of a detective and a ghost hunter).
My current favourite Youtube channel for mystery:
BuzzFeed Unsolved Network
Welcome to BuzzFeed Unsolved Network! This is your one-stop destination for all things mystery, true crime, conspiracy…
My favourite podcast for true crime:
Serial is a podcast from the creators of This American Life, hosted by Sarah Koenig. Serial tells one story - a true…
Just like reading a book, the stories will transport you to another time and place. And it definitely makes doing chores you dislike more palatable.
Those are my top 3 stress reliever and they’ve been working wonder. It might work for you, it might not. Either way, if you’re trying to find a way to release your stress, try one of those. I hope it helps you as much as it helps me.