I work with people who are anxious and depressed. Many are victims of violence. Some are suicidal. Here are three things I do and one thing I avoid to keep myself balanced.
1. Confide in my cats, Target, Tic Tac and Inkie. Talking things through with the furry ones is pawsome because they don't gossip.
2. Cook. Actually, I want to write more but when work is really tough, I don't have the mental stamina to work on my fiction. Instead, I am creative in the kitchen.
I chop rainbows of veg and trying out lots of different dried herbs (simple and cheap!) so I get pretty and flavourful as well as lots of vitamins.
Plus, the chopping helps me get out some of the stress. It's amazing how restful it can be to dice an onion while muttering about idiotic politicians
3. Analysing all of my "shoulds" and dropping the ones that make no sense.
Many of the things we do are not really necessary; we do them out of habit.
Like, I was checking my neighbour's place every day because I used to look after her cat. Now the cat gas been relocated, it's a crazy waste of time.
I now go after it rains only. Saves me 10 minutes a day which doesn't seem much but it's 5 hours every single month - I'm investing that half a day in hanging out and having fun :-)
The one thing I absolutely avoid is mindfulness. Some people like that technique and find it useful, but others find mindfulness sends them into a dark spiral. I'm not spiritual and I spend enough time with my thoughts during the day, so I practice distraction to manage my stress.
If you have stress-busting habits you enjoy, feel free to comment.<- takes you to my FB post