How Do You Relax?
Besides screaming into the abyss, of course.
How does your body respond to stress? Does it affect your digestion? How about your sleep? Do different muscles ache? Do you grind your teeth? Does the physical reaction depend on the "why" of what's stressing you?
Before I get into the topic of how we deal with stress, please accept my gratitude for your part in easing my own fears and bringing joy to my life. I appreciate all Substack subscribers to SARATONIN. Paid subscribers in particular make it possible for me to take time to write and create what I love.
Through all of you, I also get to be in community with other folks and feel a bit less lonely as an artist.
I really appreciate you. Sincerely.
I want to talk about stress relief techniques because I'm feeling stressed today! I hope the comments will be a place to share your own healthy de-stressing techniques. Maybe it'll be a grounding experience for those of us who feel comfortable sharing. There's no pressure to share, of course - in reading others' stories, we bear witness to them and often grow in our own ways.
Saratonin is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
For me, today's jumble of "whys" is actually full of blessings and good shit. I'm getting ready for a family event, doing job stuff, and cleaning a bunch of things out of my living space. I've been gathering estimates for home repairs, prepping for an upcoming trip, and trying to do The Things That Help Me (meditation, prayer, meetings, etc.)
I'm also doing my budget numbers, which I do every day, and sometimes I feel good about that and sometimes I don't. It requires me, every day, to confront shame, guilt, fear, gratitude, and even moments of success. Today, as you may surmise, I am feeling some fear.
Finally, I'm prepping to knock out a freelance piece ASAP.
How different is this than times in my past when I was stressed because I was wildly depressed or incredibly anxious? VERY DIFFERENT. In re-reading that list I just gave you, I find myself thinking, "Shut the fuck up. You're complaining about problems that aren't problems."
Comparing one's regular stress to one's rock bottom is not always useful. We still get to be stressed about regular life stuff. When we share it with others, we open ourselves up to judgement, but we also open ourselves up to empathy.
I have heard many times that the fastest route to getting one's head out of one's own ass is to be in service to others. It isn't meant to be a codependency type of thing. It just puts shit in perspective. Anxiety is an energy, right? Using some of that as fuel to help somebody else is bound to change my perspective a bit, even if I'm still worrying about my own crap in the back of my head.
Anyway. What's that photo up there? I shall tell you now!
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial