Noelle Powers, Charles Village, and Michele Clark, Reservoir… (Kim Hairston )
Baltimore was recently named the second angriest city in the country by Men’s Health Magazine. Second! Wow, Baltimore, what's going on? You want to talk about it?
I find myself harboring some rage myself from time to time. We young people nowadays put more and more pressure on ourselves to do more and sometimes we’re multitasking to the extreme. (Thanks, smartphones). We feel overwhelmed by our overflowing inboxes, our commitments to friends and family, our student loans, and our bosses asking us to work extra hours. Well, I think we all deserve some relaxation time.
Ways to de-stress and refresh:
If you have 5 minutes
1. Stop whatever you’re doing. Get up. Change environments. If the weather’s nice, get outside.
2. Stretch. You’re probably not aware of it, but you’ll notice just how tense you were after you’re done stretching. How to stretch at work.
3. Breathe. Breathe in slowly, hold it for four seconds, then exhale slowly, repeat. Seems so trivial, but try it.
4. Wash your face. I don’t know what it is, but this always calms me down.
5. Say "no." I have a hard time saying no and end up overcommitting myself a lot. Sometimes just turning down one commitment can bring relief. Look at what you need to do and what's not so pressing. Try to trim the optionals down until you get down the essentials.
If you have 10 minutes
1. Drink a cup of tea.
2. Make plans to go out with friends. Having something to look forward to helps you get through whatever tough task you’re dealing with. It’s like a light at the end of the tunnel.
3. Sketch, doodle, make a list of things you are thankful for. Things that don’t suck. Remind yourself that the end of the world is further off than you think it is. Maybe...
4. Indulge in a piece of dark chocolate.
5. Take a quick walk.
If you have 30 minutes
1. If you can, go for a longer walk. Take some relaxing music with you. I’m a fan of Andrew Bird for these purposes.
2. Go to a web site you love. Gossip, humor, shopping, a certain blog, ahem...
3. Write a note. When you’re stressed out, sometimes all you can think about is yourself. Write someone you care about a little note to let them know you’re thinking of them. Handwritten. Yes, and you should mail that. You’ll feel good that you brightened up someone else’s day.
4. Hit the gym, ride your bike, yoga, pilates. Yes, you can do it in 30 minutes.
5. Take a bath or hot shower.
6. Try some of these foods to beat stress.
If you have an hour
1. Go get a manicure or pedicure if you can afford a little luxury, or do it yourself.
2. Get a haircut. If you look good, you’ll probably feel good too.
3. Call a friend, or mom, or dad.
4. Read a fun magazine.
5. Have lunch or grab coffee with a friend.
6. Bake cookies. Warm cookies from the oven always make everything better. Lazy? Just break and bake. No one’s judging you.
7. Go for a drive. In every city I’ve lived in, I’ve been prone to driving when I am most stressed. A couple of laps through Rock Creek Park or through the hills of Birmingham with the music turned up seemed to do it.
8. Enlist a boyfriend/girlfriend to give you a massage.
9. Try some natural stress remedies.
10. Plan a spontaneous weekend retreat. Go hiking, canoeing, have a picnic, see a historic monument, whatever makes you smile. Do it, you deserve it!
Alright, Baltimore, go for it. Let’s try to be a little less angry.