How To 'Decompress' Yourself This Long Weekend

Photo: Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

The unfortunate truth is that we’re all going to deal with hard times, whether it’s reliving trauma, losing a loved one, dealing with a physical illness, suffering from depression, and on and on. So, what are your strategies for dealing with times of high stress or anxiety? It could be things you’re doing this week or methods you’ve used in the past to overcome hard times.

Mine are fairly straightforward: I take walks, work out (running, spinning, stretching), bake (this weekend: Cranberry scones), and disengage from people for a while (aeroplane mode helps).

I’ve also been finding some peace amid the chaos in podcasts: The Forever35 podcast talks about self-care and improvement in an accessible and empathetic way, and the Longform podcast’s most recent episode with New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz is truly inspiring, no matter if you’re into fine art or not.

Lifehacker managing editor Virginia Smith says she has been watching horror movies because “a controlled scare is very cathartic when real life is super stressful (I’m probably gonna watch Creep this weekend)”, and enjoys exercise and quiet time with her cat, Tuna.

And Lifehacker health editor Beth Skwarecki suggests turning your notifications off.

Checking in with friends and loved ones is important, whether for your own mental well-being or theirs. Even if you don’t know how help lessen someone’s pain, remember that simply listening is often enough. Remember to nourish yourself.

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This thread by NPR’s Linda Holmes also offers some suggestions if you find yourself tense and unable to focus on anything but stressful situations or memories:

Let us know how you decompress in the comments.


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