Let’s talk about STRESS baby
Okay so, it’s no secret that EVERYONE gets stressed out – I mean if you say you’ve never been overwhelmed, lets face it, you’re a liar. I consider myself a pretty positive and rational person, and hopefully I portray that part of me to the work … but that doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days … of course I do!
I don’t think happiness, positivity or even lack of stress is solely driven by luck or circumstance, but more state of mind. People will always ask me why I’m always so happy, and I usually respond with “I’m not, no one is … but I don’t have much to be upset about”. And its true. I have my hardships like everyone else, but the biggest things on my plate are 1) running a business, 2) suffering from chronic illness and 3) taking care of my french bulldog, Waffles & managing his paralysis and health issues. So no, those things aren’t ideal, but when compared to some of the issues others face, I’m pretty lucky and have no reason not to be happy. As a result, even on my most stressful days, I try to push through and handle things with grace, dignity, acceptance, respect and a sense of humor … ehhh eventually, but sometimes I take some not so nice pit stops along the way.
Okay sorry, I strayed a bit there – but incase you haven’t gathered this post is about stress, and more so how to deal with it in a somewhat healthy way. I do want to share that I am not a doctor, and have only sought professional help once as a child (we were in a plane crash one upon a time, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds I swear) so all of this is what we’ll call the CMC Method – Completely Madeup (by) Courtney, or the Color Me Courtney method, whichever floats your boat. None of this has been verified by anyone of any medical standard, it is just what works for me, and hopefully it will help you too!
So here we go – 5 ways I deal with stress
A Good Ole’ Shower Cry – I’m not a big cryer, unless I’m watching Harry Potter or a Disney Movie you won’t see a tear from me, not in Titanic, not in ET and not in the Fault in Our Stars (although Paris totally did). I would just rather yell at a screen than cry at it, and it’s always been the case. If I’m hurt or stressed or heartbroken, I usually pull an Abby Lee Miller (sorry dance moms reference) and save the tears for my pillow … but actually, my shower.
Nothing relaxes me more than a good shower cry. When I’ve had big fights with my boyfriend, or my favorite TV show ends, or when nothing is going my way, the only thing that can make me feel better is a shower cry. There’s something safe about crying in the shower, it’s loud and you’re protected, plus its like already raining so you can really let it all out and make a sloppy mess of yourself and its NBD. Sometimes I shower cry when I’m not even sad, just because I want to be able to capture that “I’m invincible” feeling you get after you’ve let it all out in the shower only to come out new. So when I’m overwhelmed, I you want to try the cry, the music section is key – put on a power ballad by your favorite Diva so you can ugly cry followed by a slow song where you get yourself together a bit and weep (Nora Jones is always a good go to) and finish strong with something uplifting (can’t go wrong with Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield) and boom, you’ll feel wipe those tears away to leave squeaky clean, shiny & new.
Write a mean Email – At the moment, I’m not signed by a blog agency which has it’s pros & cons. One pros is I’m in control of my own destiny, but a con is I am always the one deal with the client and I really have to advocate for myself. As a business, it’s really easy for big brands to try and take advantage of smaller brands (like moi) and thats just the way it goes. I’ll explain issues I have with brands to my non blogger friends and they are amazed at how I’m often treated, but hay it’s okay, every job has it’s ups and downs. ANYWAYS there are many times where a brand is trying to screw me over, and I want to let them have it. Bottom line, brands can be bullies; and if a person was treating me or saying to me the things being said by the brand/client/other party IRL, I would have put them in their place. BUT this bully has a board of directors and stake holders and bosses on bosses on bosses they need to please, which doesn’t always justify the behavior but might rationalize it. So although I might be responding from a very emotional and perhaps even justified state, me going off on this branded bully would more often than not, hurt more than it hurt them … because for me, it’s personal.
Enter the mean email. After sending a few too many hot headed responses, and learning from my mistakes I started the mean email. The mean email is a response to an already very very mean email, and is usually quite provoked from the bullies end. Instead of mouthing off at my bully, I write down everything I ever wanted to say to them in an email, and never send it. Hours or even days later, once I’ve cooled off I write the real email, keep it professional, keep it brief and clearly state what you want, and why you’re unhappy in hopes of coming to some sort of revolution. So instead of being stressed or angry about a situation, I get mean well fake mean … and that helps me deal.
Dance it out – I can’t take total credit for this one, because although I’ve been doing it since I was 3, I didn’t realize why until Grey’s Anatomy. Think to yourself What Would Meredith Grey (oh & Cristina Yang) Do when they couldn’t crack a case, pass their boards or lost a boyfriend? Two words: DANCE PARTY. It’s really really really hard to be sad when you dance, at least the way I do it – jumping up and down failing around, booty popping like there is no tomorrow. If you can shake your hips and be sad, you’re special and you probably should find a way to monetize that talent… but most of us, give a little cha cha slide and you’re smiling because its fun! So when I’m stressed, I literally shake it off, dance it off, twerk it off and everywhere in-between. Physically removing the threat even in a metaphorical way can really help me gain closure and prepare for whatever else is waiting for me.
If those 3 don’t work for you, here are two others to try.
Take the Stairs – After I’ve had a bad day, I reaaallllly just want to go home, lay in bed and watch bad TV but that usually doesn’t make feel any better. To release some of that stress I spend the days taking the stairs, up and down at my apartment or even to a meeting, getting that little bit go exercise helps me calm down – and in the end it feels a lot better than wallowing.
Donate Clothing (or anything really) – Cleaning out your closet can be crazy therapeutic, especially when you feel like you’re helping someone. After something doesn’t go my way, I like to dig into my wardrobe and shed some unnecessary stuff. Then I walk it down and donate it, or sell it somewhere like Crossroads. This can also work for makeup, where you can donate the unused unopened cosmetics to women shelters.