We all get a little drained sometimes.
Sometimes work or life or circumstances can take a deep toll on your psyche, your creativity, and your energy in general. Another way of putting it that’s a little less New Age-y is: stress sucks.
There’s not much we can do to completely avoid stress. Some things are out of our control, and even things that are within our purview to change can sometimes cost us energy and focus. The best we can do sometimes is to deal with it. As I’ve been going through a bit of a time of stress in the past few weeks, here are a few ways to recharge your inner battery.
1. Spend time with a friend.
Even as an introvert, sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is get out of my own head and spent time with someone who really gets me. With the internet, it’s even possible to do that long-distance, with Skype or Google Hangouts. When I doubt myself or need to remind myself of who I am, I look to the people closest to me. In fact, my long-held tradition of long-distance movie nights with fellow Scribe Kristin McFarland are one of my best secrets to dissolving stress.
Whether it’s a day out of the house or a night on the town or an afternoon in pajamas, spending time with friends can help you relax, recharge, and get back to yourself.
2. Do something for you.
Been eyeballing a spa day? Dreaming about seeing a certain band? Sick of telling yourself you’ll go to that museum? Or hell, maybe you need to go to the shooting range and blow off some steam.
Whatever activities make you happy, do one. Or several. I’m not going to judge anyone for going to the shooting range before they go to the spa and the opera.
3. Block out some quiet time.
This can be a good exercise for introverts and extroverts alike. Giving yourself a set block of time where you will leave your problems outside can be a challenge. Curl up with a book or take a bath. Escape into another world for a few hours. Give your brain the time to breathe away from the constant stimulus of stress.
4. Make something.
You don’t have to be Martha Stewart, but creating something from scratch, be it a new meal or a painting, can help you feel a sense of accomplishment. Maybe you haven’t picked up your knitting needles in a while. Or you feel like returning to the joy of macaroni art. Or you want to build a birdhouse. When the stress in your life feels nebulous and out of control, doing something creative is a task you can finish and admire. Creating something uses different parts of your brain, and when you’re done you have something tangible. Plus, if it’s food, you get to eat it.
Exercise is good for a lot of things. It releases endorphins, helps your body, and can help clear your mind. It’s also another thing that can help your sense of accomplishment and adventurousness. When life is doling out things you can’t immediately conquer, taking to the treadmill or lifting some weights is a small thing you can do to take control. You’re only competing against yourself, and if you feel like adding another layer to it, picture that stress coming out through your pores as you sweat. Each burn of the muscle burning through an obstacle in your life.
None of these ways are magic elixirs that will restore you to 100% mana and health; unfortunately those tend to be limited to video games (video games can also be great stress release!). But making sure to take care of yourself and recenter yourself in times of stress can allow you to get through a day at a time with a little more woo-sah and a little less frazzle.
How do you refuel your tanks when life gets you down?