How Do YOU Relieve Stress?

Ok, don’t mention that one, you perv.

I think a large part of my migraines might be due to stress. I have an abnormal amount in my life, even for me. So I’m up for ideas. Please, if your answer is “exercise”, be more specific. (Again, not that, sheesh keep your mind out of the gutter!)

Thanks in advance. 🙂

25 thoughts on “How Do YOU Relieve Stress?”

  1. I’ve told you this before Shawn, exercise is one of the top forms of stress relief. 🙂

    I’ve ALSO told you, that you have to find the exercise that YOU like. 🙂

    I walk. Because I like to walk. Because putting on music and moving in time to the music works for me.

    I got Michael a Wii and the Wii Fit for his birthday. It has all different kinds of exercise programs and games, including Yoga.

    Stretching also works for me to some small degree, especially after exercise.

    The biggest thing is you have to just DO it and not think about the time you’re spending or what else you can be doing. Because once you do that you’ve failed at relaxing.

    Find something you like–preferably something involving Donna or your offspring, and make a habit of it.

    Here’s a list of possible suggestions:
    Get a Wii Fit
    Get two treadmills, and place them side by side.
    Use the treadmills to power the TV (no treadmill, no TV)
    Take a Yoga class
    Take a Tai Chi class
    Take a dance class
    Take Donna dancing on a regular basis
    Take a marshal arts class (any flavor)
    Take up boxing
    Have jump roping and hula hooping contests with your family
    Take a cooking class
    Take a pottery class

    Basically find SOMETHING and do it on a regular basis. Put it on your calendar and make it inviolable (I’m sorry, I can’t do [whatever] because I already have plans.)

    No excuses.

  2. In times of greatest stress, I find a lot of comfort in healthy routines — sleep, exercise (mostly yoga and walking, for me, but the occasional dance-a-thon with the preschoolers works, too!), and loads of really healthy food.

    Sometimes yelling at the top of my lungs helps. (I play “monsters” or “dinosaurs” with the kids, roaring and running around a bunch.) Or watching a funny movie!

    Know, too, that the stress won’t last forever! Sometimes it’s hard to see past the awfulness of right now.

    I’m really sorry about your migraines! I couldn’t imagine having migraines daily or several times per week. Please consider going to see a chiropractor. Visits are often covered by medical insurance, and if not, they are still pretty reasonably priced.

  3. I second Random Michelle, Food Snob’s suggestion sound like good quickies, like stress relief sprints. And, uh, step away from the computer, phone, laserlight, nintendo, microwave… Before your eyes melt.

  4. Accupuncture. No lie.

    Note: I’m not sure I believe that accupuncture actually cures anything, but I know when I was having back problems, it fooled my body into relaxing enough for my chiropractor to actually make some headway. Before that, I had tied myself up into a pretzel.

    Obviously, I don’t know who is any good in your area, but I’m sure there’s someone.

  5. Wait, the question is how do I relieve stress?
    I usually chew my fingernails ’till it hurts, then I watch an episode of “The Dog Whisperer” and daydream of my next dog. Amazing show on Nat Geographic. Says alot about humans,
    I play Gplanarity, or them other puzzles.
    I shop, at the second-hand store.
    I actually do the house chores I’m supposed to. (last resort)
    I take my bike everychance I get.
    I USED to Tai-Chi, throw pottery, and Tango dance, and smoke (some) pot, ’till we moved away from all that into a bigger house. I had nicer hands then.

  6. I do a lot of things – I guess it depends on the stress, really.

    Sometimes switching projects is enough, whether that’s working on something for myself or just different work-work. Vegging out on occasion is nice too – I like to watch cartoons, because they don’t require high-level thinking.

    Exercise definitely works, but Random Michelle hit it on the head: It’s got to be *your* exercise. I swim every day (though I haven’t recently) and it makes a nice stress break – it’s more of a routine thing for me, though, than an “I’ve got to get out of here.” Right now, if I had 10 seconds that I wasn’t sick or unconscious, my “I’ve got to get out of here” would probably involve four little wheels and a lot of padding.

    There are only two sure-fire ones for me, though. One is to drive: back roads, rarely-traveled country lanes – anything slow and meandering. It’s probably incredibly dangerous, because I’m so lost in my thoughts that I have no clue what I’m doing or where I’m going, but I do feel a lot better after a nice long drive. (Like, hours on the same streets, sometimes.)

    The other, until recently, was a long visit with Grandma, because she listened as long as I rambled, and offered incredibly wise advice as needed. The advice part is noticeably absent (at least until I start hearing voices) but I’ve been by the cemetery at least once a week of late, and she still listens as long as I ramble. To be honest, I’m due for a visit, even though it’s 10°.

    Hope you find something that works for you. :

  7. Have you ever tried learning meditation? And then practiced it regularly for a period of time (weeks?) 20-30 min a day helps relieve my stress – and manage my migraines and insomnia. It doesn’t have to be all Eastern-y – and can even be mindful – just needs to be time when the mind is at at rest and the body is relaxed.

  8. Or you can identify and remove all the sources of stress that are unnecessary in your life. That might help too. 🙂

    Also, Nathan: massage will relax you right out for the chiropractor too. It’s what I used to do. I suspect that might be easier to find than good acupuncture in Shawn’s area (with Dr. Colon Cleanse >.>).

  9. Shawn, I hate to break the news, but happiness (and lack of stress) lies in two things: Getting enough sleep, and getting enough exercise.

    For me personally, I use the evil machine of torture (the elliptical). To help with the I’d Rather Take My Own Eye Out Than Exercise problem, I record some of my favorite shows on the downstairs TiVo, and I allow myself to watch them ONLY when I’m on the elliptical.

    The big issue (of course) is discipline. You have to have the discipline to carve out the time for the exercise, and then you have to follow through. Your health and well-being are worth 2.5 hours a week.

    Or I can pull on my Catholic guilt heritage, and say that if you don’t do it for yourself, then do it for the lovely Donna and the kids. They need you to be happy, healthy and long-lived. Which means you need to GET ENOUGH SLEEP AND EXERCISE.

    Sorry dude. Just because you keep asking the same question hoping for a different answer doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Michelle and I can nag you daily, if you wish.

  10. MWT,

    I tried the massage routine before I tried the accupuncture. I was doing what’s called “guarding”…you have pain and you tense against it. Massage didn’t work.

    Accupuncture did.

  11. Tai Chi works for me, it allows me to just relax my mind as much as my body. I also like riding bicycles for stress relief, but; with any exercise I shut off or remove my self from the presence of my electronic gadgets, especially my cellphone. I got to feeling like I was jacked in all the time.
    Good luck Shawn I hope you find something that works

  12. Wow. So many healthy methods. I usually pickup a video game or go online, and blast anything that comes across my crosshairs. Even better if it’s not against AI but online multiplayer.

  13. Sigh, yeah — I figured most responses would be exercise. (No matter HOW many ways I ask, Janiece, lol)

    I do, from time to time, shoot zombies in Left4Dead. I find it stress relieving.

  14. Shawn,

    Stress relief and dieting and very similar–there is no magic pill you can take to make everything better. You have to be willing to WORK to affect the changes that will help you reach your goal.

    There is no magic pill that is going to make everything better.

    You have to be willing to set aside the time to make the changes you need. You have to be willing to change your life, to turn everything upside down and do the work necessary to make things better.

    No, it’s NOT easy.

    But it is the only thing that works.

    And as Janiece says, if you can’t do it for yourself, then do it for your kids. You do want to see them graduate from high school and get married, don’t you?

  15. Shawn, stop watching the news. I find that reduces the stress in my life by a large measure. More time with the family, too. That’s worthwhile even if you don’t have lots of stress, 🙂

  16. Shawn:

    Do you truly ever take a break? I don’t know how many people work for you, but it sounds like you’re a one man band with student help. You cannot reasonably do all that and everything else.

    I am the last person to encourage you to exercise. I need to, and I did so much sustaining engineering on the collection system that I don’t need to walk back and forth between the high school and town hall, one of the chief sources of exercise.

    Your job for Indian River cannot be less stressful than for my boss, who inherited CTO of the school district job and our department (town) and has the job of merging school and town. (Hercules turned that job down for cleaning the stables. 🙂 ) Given budget cuts, that job is more important than anything else, and …

    Of course, I am one of the people who wants you to be Shawn Powers and live through you vicariously, but I’d rather live less vicariously than have you burn out.

    Best Wishes, and at least in Boston, there is a bad headache flu/cold going around.

  17. Ditch the caffeine. I know you don’t want to hear that, but that helped me a lot. I still have a soda here and there, but my drink of choice is water now – and lots of it. I still get stressed out, but not as badly as I have in the past. Yes, exercise – if I’m really stressing out, boxing on the Wii will do it – but you gotta really go for it LOL

  18. Nothing will make you feel better quickly than eliminating high fructose corn syrup from your diet. You’ll even feel more rested. I stopped eating or drinking anything that has that in it last spring and I’m not falling asleep at my desk after lunch anymore. Not to mention your body can’t process it right and it’s like taking a sledgehammer to your pancreas.


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