Good morning readers and happy Friday. We've made it to the end of another week. Sometimes life throws us a curve ball, and no matter what sphere of our lives that may be in, whether it's in our personal or professional life, it can knock you for a loop. Stress is something the current generation lives with at all times. We are a generation with instant access to current events, the good, the bad, and the awful. We live in the 'find out' times. Stress is constant companion, and that doesn't change the detrimental effects it has on our energy, our bodies, and our minds. April, among other things, is also Stress Awareness month and the act of de-stressing has become something we need to actively engage in to maintain our mental health and well being. An act that can sometimes feel insurmountable during the thick of a stressful situation.
Time for De-Stressing: Small Acts of Self Love
We spend so much of our day cramming in all the things we have to do and the things we want to do. The work and home commitments, the extra hustles we have taken onto ourselves, the things we try to squeeze in for an ounce of serotonin, be it reading or Netflix or video games. Rarely, do we give ourselves even ten minutes to unplug, unhook, and just be. To sit in silence and let our minds wander and wonder. Find those ten minutes, or thirty, or more, to let your mind truly unwind. Difficult at first, and no doubt, it might be where anxiety can creep up, but the more you do it, the more space you give yourself to breathe.
Listen, there is something to forcing yourself outside even for a few minutes. Take your morning cup of coffee and sit on the front step. Read a book on the front lawn or somewhere in the sun. Stand under an awning in the rain. Be it the vitamin D or the fresh air, that ten minutes outside away from your desk will help you reset.
Not All Hobbies Have to Be Hustles
There is a lot of pressure on our generation to propagate the hustle, down to the hobbies and pursuits we engage with that bring us joy. Now, this does not include the authors and artists who have to pull off two jobs because we no longer have a proper patronage system, but that strange pressure to also squeeze monetary value out of the things we do to relax. Crafty? Start an Etsy. Play video games? Why not stream on Twitch? Oh you do write as a hobby? Have you considered pubbing or putting it on one of the many serialization platforms. Bake? Why not sell your baked goods at the local farmer's market? Proficient reader? Why not take your reading platform to the next level and monetize your reviews? Sometimes, hobbies should be allowed to stay hobbies. Not everything needs to bring you monetary gain. Hobbies fulfill other necessary outlets and provide other compensation for the mind and body. Forcing yourself to monetize a hobby because you feel it might be wasting time sucks all the joy out of it and adds a whole new faucet of stress to the equation. Let your hobbies be hobbies.
Treat Yourself to Something By Yourself
Human connection is a wonderful thing and can often be a great de-stressor. However, in the act of juggling family, work, and other obligations, making plans with friends can be tricky. Plans fall through, things come up, and that much needed time away is suddenly off the table. Or is it. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself that much needed 'girls night out' even if you are flying solo. Take yourself to a movie. Treat yourself to a dinner. It's okay to be alone, to enjoy something by yourself. A night out, all by your lonesome, might be the exact thing you need to rebuild the buffer between yourself and everyday stressors.