I admit, I get stressed easily. Comes with the territory of being an overly emotional, overthinking kind of person. I know, I know, I should not worry. It’s actually a command of Jesus not to worry!
The good thing is, while I get stressed easily, I can also de-stress pretty easily. Comes also with the territory of being a low-maintenance, mababaw-na-kaligayahan type of girl. I’m not saying a private beach or a stay at a five-star hotel won’t please me, but given that I don’t usually roll like that, I’m glad to find pleasure and serenity in seemingly small blessings.
Wikipedia defines stress as, “a person’s response to a stressor such as an environmental condition or a stimulus. Stress is a body’s way to react to a challenge. According to the stressful event, the body’s way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the fight-or-flight response. Stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition that can have an impact on a person’s mental and physical well-being.”
If your idea of de-stressing involves huge amounts of cash or elaborate preparations, this post is not for you. But like I said, I’m mababaw like that so if you are too, feel free to share your own list too. Who knows, we might learn a thing or two from each other. Also, this list is not exhaustive and some items may change from time to time, but right now, in this season in my life, these are my tops.
13. Write. Doesn’t matter if it’s a short Tweet, a lengthy Facebook status or a full post in this blog, or even just some scribbles in my planner and BB notepad which never gets published. Jotting down my thoughts and feelings into words never fails to calm me.
12. Sound-trip. I am rarely ever without my earphones, my phone or my iTouch, especially since I spend at least 4-5 hours commuting to and from work everyday. My antique first-gen iTouch has regressed into a Nano and I’m unable to put any apps in it so it is now a glorified MP3 player. If you put my playlist on shuffle mode, you’d get a mix of R&B, pop, 90’s boy/girlbands, praise and worship, OPM, OST’s and some dancey tunes. About 90% would be love songs. Yep I’m a total sap. My playlists are usually categorized according to month, depending on what my mood is on that particular month, so if you browse through the songs , you’d get a pretty good idea where I’m at (at least emotionally) at any given month in the last two years or so.
11. DVD marathons. Nothing like spending a huge chunk of my rest day vegetating in front of the TV and catching up on my favorites series, and if I’m in a movie mood, the latest pirated copy or rent some in Video City. I only watch movies that I really, really like in theaters. Otherwise, I much prefer it that I could hit pause so I can do a quick run to the restroom, the snacks don’t cost a fortune and most of the time, they have subtitles.
10. Massage. I don’t need a really fancy schmancy spa (though the occasional visit is highly appreciated) to get my massage fix. I discovered this cheap place which cost half of my home service masseuse.
9. Jog. One of the great things about living inside the UPLB campus: unlimited access to fresh air, wide spaces, greens and greens galore. Just walking around Freedom Park is enough to clear my head of worries and my lungs of acrid city pollution.
8. Comfort food. My most favorite ones are buko pie (or young coconut pie, which I had today! I posted a pic of it in my FB account and it elicited a lot of envy. Sorry guys! :)), binatog (boiled sticky corn kernels with grated coconut and salt), ginisang monggo (Gosh I don’t know how to translate that? Sauteed little green beans? Haha!), and a hefty bowl of summer fruits (watermelon, mango, pineapple and melon never fail to refresh me).
7. Hot sweet tea. For the longest time, I was a black tea drinker, but I recently started on green tea. Jasmine is my favorite, not just because my name came from it, but because its fragrant aroma and mild taste is a balm to my frayed senses. Chamomile is also fast becoming a favorite.
6. Lemongrass-scented oil. I pour a few drops in my little ceramic burner, and the smell of it filling up the room makes me feel awake and fresh and invigorated.
5. Go on little solo trips. The last time I was really down, I did a little city exploring and went to Paco Park. I like discovering nearby places I normally would not notice or visit. Our sojourn in Chinatown few weeks ago was also supposed to be just me, but I did enjoy going there as a group. Though I’m now thinking of going back alone to also satisfy my solitary muni-muni cravings. And get some tea, too.
4. Look at baby pictures of my daughter and her cousins. I love to marvel at how times flies so fast and how adorable they were back then as babies. Of course, I still adore them now, but with puberty and teenagehood, I miss those sweet milky-breaths, toddler giggles, endless hugs and kisses and begs to come play lutu-lutuan or Barbie.
3. Friends and family. Where would I be without my truest, frankest, craziest friends? My dysfunctional yet ever-dependable family? ‘Nuff said. (By the way, those not in this pic, you know who you are 🙂 ).
2. The beach. Still my ultimate, no-fail go-to place for some serious de-stressing. Something about the sand, waves, sun and anything inihaw is better than any store-bought remedy.
1. Pray. Before, I used to just pray when I want something from God, or to thank Him for a wish come true. Praying was reserved for Sundays at church, or thsoe brief moments before eating or going on a trip. I’m glad He broke that mindset for me. Still, finding time to have real quality quiet time with Him is a challenge at times, but I’m glad He’s everywhere. Now, I find myself praying even when I have nothing to say to Him, just trusting that He knows the desires of my heart and the cries of my mind. Whether he answers me right away or keeps silent for a while longer, pouring out things to Him I wouldn’t dare say to another human being is a huge, huge comfort.