11 Ways to Chill TF Out...Without the Woo
I solemnly swear...this won't involve oils.
I don't know about you but...my stress level is about an 11 out of ten most days. I operate on a level of intensity that is 100 percent NOT healthy for long-term wellness and is likely irritating to other people.
I don't chill well. I didn't inherit that gene, apparently. Add in some woo and I am like a snarky ray of stress-filled sunshine.
It's not like I haven't tried to manage my stress. I have tried. I have tried hard. I have gone FULL BLOWN WOO WOO into holistic health in an attempt to find ways to de-stress my life.
I have been to countless workshops, seen therapists with a variety of specialties, smeared oils on my body, read a metric crap ton of books and articles, gone to yoga classes, sat with religious leaders, chanted, stared at the wall, drank weird stuff, and listened to so many sales-pitches from the multi-billion dollar MLM "Wellness" market.
The three things people tell me the most are: "Do yoga!", "Have you tried this oil?", "You should meditate more." I love you for caring but SWEET MOLASSES I have done that. I have done the hell out of that. Observe:
I, like the majority of the women I know, own yoga pants. I decided one day to actually take them to yoga. #letsdothis
- It was full of beautiful people who make small talk sharing recipes on how to add wheatgrass to green smoothies and Instagram their rock salt lamps. I feel in my soul that these are likely not my people.
- The yogi-in-charge was so GD chipper, I legitimately started to wonder if she had a side gig as the Disney Princess of Patchouli. I am 100 percent certain that little birds help her with her laundry.
- The logistics of holding your body-weight in positions for any length of time is not exactly relaxing to anyone who is not in shape. I am not in shape. Holding your body-weight in positions while someone chirps at you to breathe is a technique one uses when you want to get information out of them. Telling said person to be calm does not, in fact, make them calmer.
Four words: Hot Yoga Fart Incident.
I can never return. Yoga will remain solely in my Instagram feed.
Ohmygod oils are everywhere. Do you have stress? A cough? Fingernail sensitivity? DO YOU DESPAIR AT THE STATE OF THE GOVERNMENT? There's an oil for that. If it's not an essential oil, it's probably CBD oil... or coconut oil... or the oil gently extracted from the potion of the tears of a wood-nymph and a free-range manatee.*
- Essential Oils. I tried them. I really, really did. I spent like $90 at a friend's "Business Party" and got myself a diffuser thingy and some roller balls of alllll the smelly goodness that was going to solve my problems. You know what I got? A flipping migraine and my kid asking me at TOP VOLUME why I "smell like fruity feet" in the middle of Target. This does not reduce stress for me. Pass.
- CBD Oil. "This will cure your anxiety, and bonus? If you put it in your ear you probably won't get the flu." -_- Despite the anecdotal evidence that literally everyone and their brother told me, in glowing terms, CBD oil did nothing for me other than make me have a weirdly oily ear and a heightened sense of irony. Pass.
- Coconut Oil/Oil Pulling/Oiling Myself Up: Question for the coconut oil Evangelists: have you actually tasted coconut oil? Why do you want to swish that nonsense around in your mouth? It tastes like sadness. I want to be healthy but not if it tastes like that. I cannot believe that smearing oil all over my body is going to make my life better. It certainly doesn't improve my laundry situation. Passssssss!
OK. I have mixed reviews on this. I do meditate for my ADHD but I meditate with a loud brain, not a quiet one. I meditate by giving my brain permission to free associate for a set period of time instead of emptying my mind of all thoughts. If meditation can be whatever we want it to be, then please—let's keep doing that. If it has to be the sitting quietly and pondering the white wall in front of you? Pass!
I am not compatible with woo.
If you are, I applaud you. Truly. Go forth and woo your heart out, friends! I support you.
Alas, I have had to blaze my own trail. A trail littered with failed subscriptions, pharmaceutical prescriptions, interesting life choices, and snarky comments. #millenialcopingmechanisms
Without further ado, I give you:
11 Ways to Chill TF Out...Without the Woo
1. Pet an animal.
Science tells us that petting a cat or a dog can bring down your stress levels. If your house is ruled by a cat—petition it for a cuddle or two. If your house has a pup, tell it what a good dog it is and pet them. If you are a pet free or pet allergic house...maybe go get one of those super fuzzy faux fur pillows to pet when the stress levels are high. It's almost the same thing, right?
2. Make a list.
I LOVE LISTS (Shocking, I know)! When the world is overwhelming you, go make yourself a list. I don't even care what it's about. Maybe you need groceries or a to-do list. Maybe you need to write a list of every person who told you the cure to your woes is to cut out carbs (those people should be unfollowed immediately). Maybe you need to make a list of lists that you need to make. Either way? It is surprisingly calming.
3. Help someone else.
When it's too hard to deal with your own shit, go deal with someone else's. True story. Service is amazing, calming and it is a productive use of your time. Instead of wallowing in the overwhelming stress factory that is your life, go give someone a hand in their stress-factory. It takes a village to survive this life, we should be in the habit of helping each other.
4. Mute your notifications.
Do you know how much freaking time you spend on your phone or social media or the internet? A lot. Go old school for a few hours and mute the notifications. Trust me, Instagram will still be there in two hours. Twitter will not have improved and our government will still be a disaster in many respects. Go take some time for you, sweet cheeks. The rest of the world will keep humming along.
Legally Blonde's Elle Woods famously said, "Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!" She ain't wrong. Go do something active. Maybe you can't or won't hit the gym, that's ok. Go for a walk instead, twirl in your kitchen, go dancing, go bunny hop around your parking lot, grab your honey for something rambunctious—be creative! It's good for your heart and your stress level.
6. Read something.
There are few things I enjoy more in this world than reading a good book. Go to your library, head to your bookshelf, or fire up your Kindle and dive into a new story for a few hours. Not a book person? Go read a magazine or a comic book. Just don't read the news or headlines. I promise you will feel a little less stressed. :)
7. Literally LOL.
You know what makes stress melt away? A loud guffaw or seven. Seek out things that make you laugh. Go to a Comedy Club, hit up a Netflix Comedy Special. Peruse the many comics on Youtube. Heck, go to a library and check out a joke book. Just get your laugh on. It lightens the soul.
8. Create things.
Maybe you are naturally artistic, maybe your ceramics teacher suggested you should try choir, maybe you are a world champion knitter. Whatever your outlet, go forth and create something!
True story, cleaning your space can absolutely make you chill out. For many people, disorders can wreak havoc on personal feelings of wellness. Cleaning up a space, even if it's just your kitchen counter or your desk at work, can be surprisingly soothing.
10. Brainstorm Solutions
Often the complex problems of our communities and our world can seem so distant and out of reach for us little people. We want to help create change but the enormity of the issues are easily overwhelming. Sometimes, though, it can be hugely beneficial to spend sometime playing with the "What if?" and coming up with a list of potential solutions. Who knows? Maybe the solution to one of the world's woes has been trapped in your brain, waiting to be let out! You never know until you try! Either way, engaging your mind in positive solution-focused thinking is good for you.
11. Find your level of physical touch.
For some people, not all, physical touch is soothing. When our stress levels are high, physical touch can help bring those levels down. Go get a massage. Ask for a hug from your friends or loves. Wrap yourself up in a blanket tightly and self-soothe or practice tapping. Whatever works for you. Find your comfortable level of touch and seek it out in your trusted circles.
Go forth my friends and conquer your stress levels, with or without the woo!
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