Misc

5 Ways to Combat Stress

Reading Time: 5 minutes 

What’s up guys – how y’all doing?

Hope everyone’s having a great weekend!

The days are slowly getting longer which means we’re coming through the back end of winter, as we limp forward through the second half of 2018.

How’s your year coming along? Hopefully it’s been productive and fruitful so far.

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It has been fruitful – here’s a tree to prove it.

If not – don’t fret, still some time left to get cracking!

Sometimes though, I have this feeling that I’m spinning wheels for the sake of spinning them as opposed to actually gaining any ground.

Know what I mean?

These days, there’s a seeming badge of honour to boast as to how “busy” we are.

For example at work, you want to portray a sense of “busy-ness”, of getting shit done, juggling multiple balls in the air and placing them exactly like so.

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Here’s Larry, Jeffrey and I juggling and getting shit done at work.

However whether any of that work produces “value” against any measurable yardstick is very debatable.

And on the weekends, you want to pack your schedule in with as much stuff as possible.

Catch up with friends, check out the new restaurant, participate in your local football team, rush to have dinner with the fam… and don’t even get started when you have kids!

Between all that – log onto social media and the latest glam glam shots to remind us what perfection looks like.

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“Let’s just check the latest insta…W…what?

On and on it goes, a forever turning wheel cycling through every week.

It’s expected, it’s how it is.

So I ask you, is it any wonder more of us than ever label ourselves as “stressed”?

Don’t just take my word for it – Medibank conducted a survey which showed the number of stressed Aussies jumped to 4.9 million…

Some of the key findings:

  • Number of Australians affected by stress in 2007/08: 3.7 million
  • Number of Australians affected by stress in 2016/17: 4.9 million
  • 44 per cent said lack of sleep was a key contributor
  • 39 per cent blamed work pressures
  • 36 per cent said they juggled too many things
  • 17 per cent said housing affordability was a factor
  • 12 per cent attributed some of their stress to social media
  • 11 per cent said the global political climate was a factor

And it doesn’t stop there, as “…the majority of Australians surveyed felt stress not only impacted their sleep (62 per cent), but their social relationships as well. Fifty two per cent admitted they became irritable with loved ones and colleagues, 36 per cent felt reluctant to take part in social activities, and 18 per cent felt they were unable to be ‘there’ for family members, due to the stress they were experiencing”.

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You know, the strangest thing – ever since I’ve moved here I haven’t been able to sleep very well…

What’s more – stress is one of those intangibles, one of those invisible illnesses which does not have the coverage and attention as other, more prominent ones.

Yet, it affects more people than any other – but is talked about the least. It is a leading indicator to more serious mental illnesses, causes relationship tensions, break-downs and physical deterioration of health.

But it’s not all bleak and darkness! Come on guys, there’s light at the end of every tunnel!

Here are some of the strategies that I use to combat stress when that ugly mofo rears its ugly head.

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Surprise!

Please note they all relate to downtime because I am a firm believer that there is too much stimulation in our lives as it is…

Meditation

When was the last time you meditated? Let go of all thoughts?

Some people meditate 5 to 10 minutes each day, others meditate for 20 minutes, some more an hour – heck if you’re just starting out, try it just for one minute.

See how hard it is – to be perfectly still and clear your mind. Go on, do it.

Not easy is it?

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Hear us oh mighty Eywa!

But I can almost guarantee that you feel better, more calm and more at ease with the world after doing so.

Build it into your daily routine!

Music

Music and song have been around for millennia and for good reason, good tunes connect with our subconscious and instantly makes us feel better (fun fact: similarly to the act of whistling and smiling).

Scientifically, music is good for our health, eases pain, helps us to focus and can even make us better drivers!

So put on that dancing tune and bust a rhyme.

Incidentally, after 8 years, I’m still impressing MrsFrugalSamurai with my smooth moves – she just laughs, so I must be doing something right…

Exercise

Healthy body, healthy mind.

But it’s not as if exercising is easy these days is it? I mean, after a long hard day, who wants to change into their shorts for a run or pump some iron?

It takes away precious time, it requires motivation and dedication.

COME ON, ARE YOU SERIOUS? The benefits of exercise has been talked about forever.

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Wow- that’s amazing!

With the internet and disbursement of information – you have no excuse for not picking up a short 5 minute exercise routine. These days you don’t even have to leave your house…

Games

I love games – board games, PC games, sex games, Twister

Anyway, doesn’t matter what game you’re playing – your mind instantly switches to how to win doesn’t it?

It’s a great bonding activity if you’re playing with friends as our many board games nights with MrsFrugalSamurai and her friends show (they’re a bit too competitive)!

And if you’re playing by yourself, then personally there’s nothing better than coming home, switching on the PC and pumping a few rounds of artificial lead into a multitude of bad guys as you embark to save the world.

Read

I love the feeling of holding a good book.

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Reading – you’re doing it wrong.

A true work of fiction – one which allows me to break free from reality and immerse into trying to solve that crime, or clearing the land from dragons and orcs, or better yet – rising from the peasant class to a member of the gentry through sheer guts, luck and triumph through adversity.

It’s escapism at its finest and a great way to relax and recharge.

~~~

There are plenty more ways to de-stress of course, such as:

Fishing – the calm and tranquility of sitting on a boat or shoreline doing nothing at all.

Your Nearest and Dearest – good food, good wine and good company anyone?

Netflix – bingeing on the latest captivating series? Yes please.

Social Media Detox – deserves a post on its own, social media is the biggest double-edged sword of the 21st century.

Sleep – even the most powerful machines need to be turned off once in a while.

But whichever way you do it, please take a moment to be grateful for who and what you are. Remember that there will always be another day and that “this too shall pass”.

Life’s too short to stress over.

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