Help me deal with this stress!
June 20, 2012 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Help me deal with this stress!

I am going through a stressful time due to family/health issues/work stuff. My dad (who I live with) just broke the news that we might be homeless within a month so I am getting on finding a flat ASAP. I am also starting a new job on Monday. I am stressed as all hell and I am looking for ways to chill because my usual coping methods (videogames/podcasts/sleep/long walks/cute animal pictures/making lists and/or journaling) just aren't cutting it any more.

Preferably new ways to reduce stress will cost nothing as I have to save every penny to get the hell out of dodge. I will also have no internet except on my phone which has a 1GB cap from tomorrow. Please help me stay sane over the next month!
posted by daysocks to Grab Bag (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Vigorous exercise.

In my experience, it's like magic for stress. One hard 20-minute run per day does it for me.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:27 AM on June 20, 2012 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I find it easy to decompress in my local library. It's cool, quiet, and neutral ground. Switch your phone off. Take a book or borrow one, or just find a chair in a sunny window.
posted by workerant at 10:35 AM on June 20, 2012

Best answer: Volunteer?

Download some mindful meditation?

Make a game out of cooking only food that's already in your pantry for the next little bit? Supercook is great for that. There are also probably cookbooks in your library that you could comb through for pantry recipes.

Research ways to make a little extra money? Babysit, cater waiter for events on weekends, dogwalk, things you could do while also keeping your regular job.

Purge! Take unwanted clothes to a consignment store; clean out your bookshelves and take to a used bookstore. This will help with the upcoming move and might also get you some $$ or credit.

+1 to exercising really hard. This helps me fall asleep which is often hard for me when I'm stressed. And if that still doesn't help there is medication for that, tired + stressed is the worst.

Good luck. I'll be thinking of you!
posted by stellaluna at 10:38 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Running and mindful meditation seconded. Both are quick wins with amazing benefits that I still can't comprehend the magnitude of, after doing both for years and years.
posted by kcm at 11:41 AM on June 20, 2012

Best answer: Goodness, that is definitely a lot to cope with at once. As a person that tends to get stressed about those kinds of things easily, I'll give a couple of tricks that I try to use when I am feeling over extended like that.

- Take care of the things that are under your control. i.e. finding an apartment and getting things ready for that.
- Work on parts of this that, under other circumstances, you may look forward to! Like.. deciding on what color you want to paint your room, or other things that you want to decorate your walls. Make some stuff even for your new place.
- Don't knock day dreaming, and looking at things that you could do or have in your fantastic future
- When all else fails I use my go to coping mechanism for when I am so stressed I can't think or do anything else. I will share my secret with you. Although it probably only means so much to me because its helped me calm down for some many years. In my head I sing a small part of the Beatles Abbey Road Medley over and over and over again until it consumes me (particularly helpful when I am trying to sleep and can't clear my head) "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, all good children go to heaven"
posted by Quincy at 11:51 AM on June 20, 2012

All good suggestions so far. The only thing I will add is that stress can make things seem overwhelming at the best of times, and you have a lot bearing down on you at once. Keep reminding yourself: put one foot in front of the other. Small accomplishments lead to big ones. You'll get through this, and things will even out. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.
posted by LN at 12:07 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

put one foot in front of the other

Walk. Its a good way to exercise both your body and your brain. It can give you time to process your thoughts, or it can give you a distraction from them.
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:21 PM on June 20, 2012

Try to spend some time with nature.
posted by Perodicticus potto at 2:13 PM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Broke + stressed meant an hour or more of running/walking. I found I need at least 5 miles to think out things. I always went a few hours before bed, as it helped my brain to wind down, and sleep is much needed when stressed.

Also, I got rid of a lot of random crap I had accumulated. It made me feel more in control, to evaluate what I had, and why I needed it.
posted by shinyshiny at 4:39 PM on June 20, 2012

Best answer: I was undergoing a period of extreme stress a few months ago and my key go-tos in this time were:
- funny, mentally un-demanding TV
- drawing a line under the worries of the day at a certain time of the evening. For me this was 8pm. I'd be like "OK, I've spent the entire day dealing with this stressful issue, now I am just going to switch off."
- getting more sleep than usual. I am normally a night owl. But during this period I made sure to be in bed for about 11pm. Having 8 hours a day made me feel refreshed and better equipped to handle the stresses of the day.
- regular exercise.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:26 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

More deadlifts
posted by tiburon at 10:12 PM on June 23, 2012

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