I think this is the most difficult areas to describe for me.
I’ve never really sat down to think about the different ways I manage my stress levels. I think one of the most obvious ways for me to handle my stress is, and has been, through running. Last week, when I was out running 4 miles, during my warm up, I thought about everything that was stressing me out and used that as a fuel to get my miles in. Even now, I can remember a time when I was in Okinawa, I went to the gym to burn off steam by getting on the treadmill and running. Running has truly shaped and molded me in a lot of ways, and it saddens me to think that I could have had this when I was younger, but despised the way it made me breath heavily and sweat profusely.
As a kid though, and even as an adult, I used art as my escape goat from stress. I remember asking my mom for new sketch books, paper, pens, watercolors; a plethora of different things almost weekly. Drawing allowed my brain the freedom of creativity while also allowing me some quality quiet time. I’m sure there were times when drawing felt more like a task, and perhaps felt more stressful than relieving at the time, but all I know was that I spent a lot of hours as a child lost in creativity.
Another thing that I did a lot as a child was play video games. Although I believe this is something that played a major role in my weight issue as a young adult, I think it was another way for me to relieve stress. Instead of having to spend time thinking about social problems, I spent a lot of my time lost in video games. Interestingly enough, I think it’s very similar to the way Americans have handled the recession. Although we have been in a recession for a few years now, the sales at the box office have been significantly consistent if-not higher than before. Rather than being sad or depressed by the things that are constantly going on around us, I believe that quality time (even if it’s an hour and a half to two hours) spent watching a movie, or even playing video games, can help us feel better or lower our stress levels.