We’d an interesting discussion on the show today about stress and how different people manage it (you can listen back at www.96fm.ie).
Aisling, a childcare worker, contacted us to ask could we make people aware that stress can have physical manifestations like fatigue and memory loss. We had other people contacting us about their own symptoms, things as varied as pins and needles, migraines and IBS. It’s a hell of a stressful world out there and it’s so important each of us does whatever it takes to manage stress in whatever way is appropriate for us.
People suggested meditation, painting, yoga, and exercise of all kinds. Here are a few of my own suggestions:
1. Reading has always been my great escape. It takes you out of your own head, sometimes the greatest gift you can receive!
Some great books I’ve read recently:
Anne Enright’s The Green Road
Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies
If you’re not a reader, the latest big thing is adult colouring books. I got one as a gift recently and I have to say, it works! Having to focus inside the lines is a wonderful way of clearing your mind of other things. It also feels nicely childish, and it’s a handy way of being creative for people who are not at all creative!
Exercise of all kinds is great (if you can do it – my mobility is limited so I have a lot of restrictions on this) but yoga is calming, meditative, a good workout, and crucially for anyone who sits at a desk, it helps you to open up your chest and shoulders to breathe properly. It will give you better sleep than anything else. Himalaya Yoga Valley Cork is like a second home to me at this stage but there are plenty of great classes and teachers around. The key is finding a teacher you like and a studio that doesn’t feel like a punishment to visit.
There are other aspects to yoga too, such as using Ayurvedic products. I love a good herbal tea and I’ve recently been sent a bumper package of Yogandha Oils to test (I will blog more about them when I’ve tried them all, but so far I absolutely love the Yogandha Salute grapefruit and bergamot roll-on perfume, and the Yogandha Muscle Soothe Body Oil was just the ticket for sore muscles after a rehabilitative Reformer Pilates class yesterday).
Just being beside a body of water has a massively calming effect on me. Ideally the sea, but a river will do. In the absence of nearby water a good forest will do it too! When I was doing my Leaving Cert I used to go for walks up the woods by myself and just walk off all that stress. I can’t do as much walking any more but I really find being in nature is hugely effective as a stress reliever.
4. A cuddle
If you don’t have someone to hug, get a pet! Vimes is always happy to oblige and sometimes just having another living thing to cosy up to is all you need.
I’d love to know what you do to de-stress?