I’ve been given a little nudge by sunshinegurl with this stress-busting meme. Could it be because she’s intuited that I’m experiencing a terrific amount of work stress lately? Good guess. And meanwhile, here she is saying she’s going on a two-week vacation. Lucky girl!
Answering these questions made for a nice little breather, actually. Here goes:
What are the things you enjoy, even when no one around you wants to go out and play?
Watch a movie—by myself.
I like to go to the movies alone. I got into this habit in high school, when I would bribe the doorman at my dorm to let me in after curfew so I can catch the last full show. There are certain movies that are fun to watch with a group of friends, but during those times when I feel as though there’s a storm swirling around in my head, I’m not very good company. So I venture out alone in order to lose myself in 1 hour and 45 minutes (two if I catch the trailers, haha) of escapism. Works every time. When I come out the theater I’m human again. Although I remember an old boyfriend once told me I get in a bad mood each time we see a movie that turns out to be a dud. Very perceptive, that one.
Cook all day on the weekends.
This is a secret preoccupation. I’m known for being a feisty cook in very small circles. I can make a mean paella, concoct pasta creations from scratch, whip up dreamy lengua (white or brown sauce), do stir-fry dishes like nobody’s business. My son Jeremy, at age 1, already appreciates herbed pasta—as long as you wrap the strands neatly around a fork. Cooking is a form of therapy for me, and I just enjoy feeding people.
What lowers your stress/blood pressure/anxiety level? Make a list, post it in your journal, and then tag 5 friends and ask them to post it in theirs.
1. A good book. I can block most anything out when I see words scurrying across the page. For serious therapy, I smell the pages. Yes, truly.
2. The only sporty thing I can actually do: snorkel. It’s been a while though, since I’ve done that.
3. I sniff. Not contraband, haha. I have a small vial of a favorite scent and I take quick whiffs of it to clear the head and change the mood.
4. A 3PM coffee break. From our office in Cebu I can take a quick stroll through a small park to any of the coffeeshops nearby. I like it that you can take a break from nosebleed-inducing meetings or discussions and just chill with friends for a bit.
5. At the end of a long day, at bedtime when I cuddle up to my boys and hear their breathing, inhale their yummy scent, the stress just falls away. I can then sleep soundly, and maybe even have sweet dreams.