It’s been a while since I last blogged using words and not included such phrases like “Ah, fuck a monkey!” as most of you who read my stuff would remember. But occasionally I stop monkeying around (see what I did there?) long enough to actually provide quick shards of useful information.
Today’s topic is how to deal with stress, and how appropriate given that I have been stressed out for most of the 2 months consisting 2014, for a myriad of reasons. But who cares about the source? Stress is stress, and I hope to provide some evergreen advice that helps you calm your shit down, before you can tackle the source of the problem.
So here’s how I do it:
The Unhealthy Way:
- worry and let it fester – Stress is a virus; and just like an alien parasite it takes control of you until you swear you could see ninjas on the lawn. It will replicate in your head, keeping you up at night, making you send copious amounts of email to your publisher or people that matter in your life, until they tell you the shut the fuck up and go to bed. An additional side effect is that you’ll feel like you’re about to crumble so you think it’s better to fold now and quit, rather than refocus your efforts and solve the problem.
- Bad sleeping hours – now given that most people I know are night owls I really have no say in telling you what time to go to sleep. But sleep is important and not just for the biological reasons. Sleep gives you a time out, and trust me, after being knocked out for a few hours, you might wake up with a newer perspective.
- Bad eating habits – we all love chocolate. And ice cream. And cookies. And CAKE!!!! Seriously, if you don’t like any of that, get off my fucking blog and rethink your life. You haven’t lived until you have eaten so much ice cream and get bloated so much that you feel like you’re about to give birth to a mutant ice cream child. However, as fun as that sounds, please keep in mind that this should only be done rarely, and regular visits to the gym will be needed, unless you want to be buried in a piano case.
- Overcompensation – people who have everything to lose and everything to gain (all or nothing guys) tend to do this a lot. Let me give you an example: On the month an January I wasn’t seeing any sales (which turned out not to be true. I just wasn’t seeing social media traffic). So I decided to learn how to market myself. I looked up ways to get on platforms and improve them. I got hold of probably the best marketing book in the world: Write. Publish. Repeat. by Sean Platt and Johnny B Truant and studied that like my life depended on it (which in a way it does). I started not one but TWO podcasts (that may change though) and to top it all I more than doubled my workload and story generation for 2014. All this in the span of a month. That’s overcompensation.
The Slightly Healthier Way:
- Lists – these are your best friends. Sit your ass down and make a list of your problems (the relevant ones). You’ll suddenly notice that it’s only just 2 or 3 issues and you can tackle them one at a time.
- Take a day off – JUST ONE. We all need a break. Tell you voices to go away for a day and go play with puppies or something. Give your head a break.
- Routine – stress has a way of sending you up a wall and then back down, and then back up again just as you’re not looking. So if you have to write, make sure you write. If you got to go to work, go to work. Keep that routine and your worry would decrease, letting this thing called reason to come back.
- Distraction – there’s a reason why some people make a living doing funny shit on YouTube. Just make yourself laugh for a few minutes and then tackle your problems. A smile is sometimes the best of cures.
- Engage the problem – all of the above has no value whatsoever unless you solve the problem. So instead of running away, stand your ground and deal with it. If possible share it: enjoy other people’s suffering too (Hi my name is Satan and I’ll be your host this evening). Seriously though; sharing helps lighten the load, and who knows, someone might actually provide an actual solution.
- Let it go – sometimes stress is just a perception. Yes, do work to solve the problem. When I was stressed I engaged by making my Facebook page look better, I updated my Site, I reached out to audiences and, best of all, I stabilized my podcast material. But after that, JUST LET IT GO.
Stress is a state of mind, only living in your perception. So, smoke a mental bong (or a real one) and just chill.
Hope this helps,
Till next time.