Stress relief.
June 13, 2010

Today I sent out the following Twitter SOS:

OK tweeps. I’m feeling anxious today. Suggestions on how to mellow out in short order?

I thought it was worth sharing the array of responses I got:

get outside in nature and do some yoga!!!!

in my place we have some chamomile tea with honey or passion fruit juice. it calms you down. i also like to run.. helps unwind.

Make a Maca shake! Calms me right down

 

breathe, chamomile tea, more breathing, chocolate (thanks, Mara)

 

a few yoga poses? a small nap? reading a chapter of a good book? call me? haha (c/o Jacquie)

kombucha? works for me. (Alas, Bitt, the carbonation doesn’t agree with me)

I listen to my fave music and jump around to it!

1) Turn off twitter 2) find a book 3) find a bench in Central Park. Works for me….

kava tea for instant relief!

And my personal favorite came via direct message from a friend who suggested, in so many words, hot, hard sex.

All of these suggestions were great, but some of them demanded a little more time than I had. So in lieu of a stroll to Central Park with a book, I decided to go for a little power walk, get a ten minute chair massage, and make this:

I’m gonna call this one Pinkberry soft serve. A reader recently mentioned that she finds my regular soft serve a little too sweet for her taste, and is there anything I can do to cut it? Why, yes. You can add a tablespoon of lemon juice to my regular soft serve recipe. The result? The ‘soft serve we all know and love, but with a hint of tartness. A raw vegan spin on Pinkberry, if you will.

It was hard to stay anxious after this:

Not chocolate. And not sex. But pretty good anyway.

Also good for staying calm is a nutrient dense salad of the week:

That’s a homemade sunshine burger over massaged kale. Quintessential comfort food. Lauren, it made me think of you!

Definitely not good for anxiety is staying up too late on a Sunday before the work week. So I’m outtie, friends. But first, tell me — what are your quick tips for keeping stress at bay?

xo

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    52 Comments
  1. This post caused me to experiment with massaging greens and I made the most delish salad ever last night!

    SugarFemme23.Blogspot.com

    I call it Rice and beet salad, my wife calls it Rice and beet delight!

  2. If “hot, hard, sex” is not available (and lets face it, it never is when you really need it), I like trashy romance novels. The trashier the better. Also, I like to Google hot, young actors. Ogling a stock photo of Henry Cavill is usually enough to interrupt a stressful thought pattern.

  3. I’ve gone through phases where I’ve dealt with a lot of anxiety. It can be very frustrated! I ended up cutting caffeine almost entirely, as it got to the point where even small amounts would send me “over the edge.” Now I find I do okay on occasional, small amounts…but I guess my adrenals just couldn’t take the full dose anymore!

  4. Lately your posts about fitting in your workouts and recipes for stress reducing foods make it so apparent that you are working your tail off these days. I hope that you are getting a little time to relax and breath. During times of stress I find our bodies crave sugar or fat. I find a little natural fat like avocado very grounding. I would eat some greens with a good amount of avocado for the perfect settling meal.

    sex and laughter are also good remedies for anxiety (not at the same time though)

  5. What great tips you received Gena. I definitely agree with most…kombucha gives me more of a buzz (almost like caffeine) so I probably wouldn’t want it when anxious either! I love that you went with a chair massage…haven’t had one of those since last time I was in the philly airport. The sex one…ha…probs true though.

    The nutrient dense salad with the sunshine burger (need to make yours!) and soft serve both look great. Hope you had an easier Monday lady!

  6. Hi Gena, I want you to know what a wealth of information I find your blog to be-so very glad I stumbled upon it. I always seems just a little late in my responses, but I did want to tell you how very much my family and I enjoyed the sunshine burgar recipie. It will be a staple in our diet for sure. Do you have any ideas on making vegan lentil burgars? Most of the recipes I find include eggs.

    Thank you-I hope you have a great, stress reduced, week.

  7. Loved everyone’s tips for ya! Glad you were able to get some relieve…being stressed is no fun. I like to listen to music and dance, or sometimes I just like to sit and do nothing. But listening to music (although the type of music I listen to is not what most people probably listen to).

  8. Aside from some of the ones already mentioned, a long, hot shower. Hot cocoa. Hand sewing. Snuggled up on my bed under blankets, reading blogs. Cookies or brownies. A walk. Making food. Making tutus while reading blogs or watching a movie. Massages. Et cetera.

  9. I’m so sorry that you’re feeling anxious! I have really bad anxiety problems and a few things that help are running/walking/some form of physical activity to raise endorphins, yoga and/or meditation (you can listen to a guided meditation tape), acupuncture (this isn’t a quick, on the spot kinda thing, but if you have chronic anxiety, it’s worth making an appointment). Also, there is a homeopathic medicine called Rescue Remedy which is helpful.

  10. i hope you are feeling better, gena!
    hot, hard sex does indeed help but there’s nothing like some solid alone time. have you ever tried banana soft serve with a squeeze of fresh orange juice and some freshly chopped ginger? delicious.

  11. Aww I’m sorry girlie!! I’m sending you calming energy… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Generally when I’m stressed I like to get outside. Running, walking, it doesn’t matter. The important part is to be proactive and put yourself in a more soothing environment and for me a quiet spot in the park is just the place. I try to journal to get to the root of things and practice on slowing my breathing.

    I also always feel instantly better when I start doing sun salutations and try to concentrate on the feeling of love. That might sound silly, but I like to think of things that I love so that instead of dwelling on the negative I try to intensify my positive feelings and focus on things that warm my heart.

  12. 1. Walk on the beach, wade in the water. (Come visit SD!) It’s hard to remain anxious with an expanse of beautiful ocean is before you.
    2. Get tickled. Runner up: watch this on repeat: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXXm696UbKY
    3. find a way to cry, and get it all out. write everything down or talk with someone. then take a nice shower.

    Food is a common recourse when I’m anxious but I’m not convinced it helps at all. Often it makes the problem worse. I’m great at internalizing things but I’ve learned that it’s the externalizing actions that actually help.

  13. I breathe, do some yoga, watch Gilmore Girls (they always make me feel better), read something, and use my mantras “it is what it is” and “I am what I am”, I tell myself over and over, and they usually do the trick.

  14. wait a sec. did you get a new digital slr camera??

    i’ve actually started taking ginseng to deal with stress levels as of a few days ago, and it actually works almost like magic. it’s like an hour of super-focused yoga in a mug.

  15. If I’m in the office and I have no way to get outside, I do some crazy jumping jacks until the anxiety goes away. But if I’m home, all I have to do is go out to my garden, pull a few leaves, run my hands over my oregano or lavender and then smell them. I swear my garden keeps me sane.

  16. Did you make “tweeps” up? It made me laugh! Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I am making the cooked version of your Sunshine burgers tonight! I am super excited! I am in love with all things sunflower right now.

  17. By biggest stress reliever is running, for sure. I’ve found that the best way I relieve stress is by doing something physical (like going somewhere, exercising, cursing…) rather than listening to music or “breathing.” But different strokes for different folks!

  18. I start off with deep belly breathing or alternate nostril breathing + relaxing music. Then I’ll talk to my sister or Mom. I may try to read a book, or watch a funny show like Friends or The Proposal. ๐Ÿ™‚ If I’m still super anxious, like panic attack level, I’ll take an L-theanine. I’m sure you know that theanine is a non-protein amino acid found in green tea that can decrease anxiety. It works like a charm! I’m not one for taking pills of any kind, but the odd time I get reallllly bad, it’s fabulous to have!

  19. I make banana ice cream all of the time. It is delicious! I haven’t tried adding lemon yet, so I will.

    Sorry you were anxious. I was too yesterday. And, yes, hot hard sex is a great tip, but unfortunately not always readily available! A good brisk walk is good medicine, especially for those off-the-wall anxious moments. Also I find getting in the kitchen and whipping up something helps me–I don’t even eat what I make! I just enjoy creating things in my kitchen. It is calming.

  20. Ohhh my gosh that comment made me crack up. Too funny.
    Sorry you are feeling anxious. I can relate a lot…I have suffered from anxiety my whole life and it can be hard to deal with. I love that you made soft serve…! I have never had Pinkberry before…is it a tart?

  21. OMG i was so happy when i say my suggestion “made the cut”, haha. ๐Ÿ˜‰ i almost did a little dance – which reminds me that dancing also helps a lot ๐Ÿ˜‰

    its great to see you’re feeling better!! i can’t wait to try the soft serve with lemon (and guessing also adding some pomegranate seeds or berries with the lemon would just add a fantastic flavour, hummm)

    Have a great week, lovely Gena.
    ;*

    (p.s.: Its a shame you don’t like your whole name. I love it. its gorgeous.)

  22. Sorry to hear you were getting a bit stressed out, but it sounds like you were able to overcome it ๐Ÿ™‚
    Whenever I’ve hit my stress limit I try to work through it. First, I take a 10-15 minute break. I walk away from everything that’s causing the stress. I’ll make a cup of tea, take a hot shower, maybe do some yoga poses- whatever it takes to clear your head. Then, when I’m back in a better mind-set, I make a list of everything I need to do. I look at that list and prioritize- what is it that needs to get done today -then I’ll make a plan of attack. Sometimes I’ll throw in a big GM for a boost of energy. Hope you feel better and are able to start your Monday on a positive note! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Haha, thanks for the mention! That salad looks amazing! I’ve got to add your burgers to my menu next week! ๐Ÿ™‚ Stress relief? Hmm, a hug! ๐Ÿ™‚ Always works for me. Or some good music, dance around to some Gaga! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. If I’m feeling stressed or anxious, first I try to figure out what it causing it. Most likely, improper self care. I ask myself whether I’ve been proactive about managing my emotional state — vital given my family’s mental health history (strong medication, institutions and suicide).

    Have I been sleeping at least seven to eight hours every night?

    Have I been exercising every day? (Some may say, of course, that every day is too often but given that I’m essentially taking it as preventative medication, daily it needs to be.)

    Is my body well nourished? Or has the 90-10 ratio of supremely healthy food to food that is somewhat less nutritious blown out to a ratio not conducive to good mental health? (A few days with too much high Glycemic Index food and the irrationality sets in.)

    Have I been spending enough time with people who are happy and make me laugh?

    Have I taken time out from family life to do something just for me?

    Had to ask myself these questions this past weekend, when inexplicable feelings of stress and anxiety escalated until, after two ugly farmers’ market incidents where people yelled at me for bringing a stroller and being in the way, I had such an unseemly public meltdown that my favorite organic veggie guy gave me most of my produce for free. And a lot of hugs, which helped.

    And after an inventory of my past week’s mental-health-promoting habits, the answer to all five of the above questions — a resounding no on each count. Plus, wildly unstable hormones from (at the risk of sharing TMI) having just had my period return after three years of nursing.

    And that’s an instant de-stresser — to know that after a couple of early nights, a couple of workouts, more greens and beans, and a cup of tea with a favorite friend or two, the stress and anxiety will miraculously disappear.

    But, of course, there are interim measures that act as something of a reset and bring me closer to my happy place. A few of them:

    Hug my son, make him laugh and take him out to do something he thinks is extremely exciting because his joy is infectious.

    Share some extortionately priced but fabulous organic dark chocolate with my husband.

    Walk outside for at least an hour.

    Make some green tea and take it to a park bench for a spot of people watching.

    Play some favorite upbeat music.

    Play some utterly maudlin music and cry until I can cry no more. Amazing how getting it out can restore equilibrium.

    Put on my housecoat and take to my bed with a compelling read or favorite black-and-white movie.

    List 10 things I’m grateful for.

  25. 1. Cuddling with my son (when he lets me, which now, at 14 months, is rare)
    2. Cry
    3. Talk to someone and get everything off your chest. Can be in conjunction with #2.
    4. Listen to meditation podcast and lie on yoga mat. Since I’m on my mat, it counts as exercise, too! =)
    5. Go to coffeeshop and people-watch. I also go to a place where I used to work, so that means there are usually people working or coming in that I know and can chat with for a moment. I like that human connection.
    6. Write in the journal I started for my son after he was born. It’s nice writing to someone other than myself, as much as I’ve always been a proponent of journalling. Of course, you have a blog…
    7. Get away from electronics. Put my phone on airplane mode and do some stretches.
    8. Scrapbook
    9. Play with my son. Note: This is all about mindset. Sometimes this goes in the “Stressful” category when all I want to do is sleep.
    10. Smile. Just the act of smiling can help with making you feel better.

  26. I’m rather predictable- doing some yoga, going for a walk and watching an episode of my fave comedy sitcom. Laughing’s such great stress relief ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. i know i wrote the kombucha but walking also helps me calm down. i do it outside, so you are getting out in nature. anything distracting also works. looking at cuteoverload.com works for any bad mood. or any site that will make you laugh.

    and the sex would be good too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. I’m still giggling over “hard hot sex.”

    I watch really horrible reality TV and somehow that makes me feel better.

    Hope this week is easier for you!

  29. I like the hot hard sex tip. Omg classic ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stress at bay…ummm just telling myself this too shall pass and when it’s over, I can have an extra sweet extra hot extra amazing cup of coffee. I bribe myself with coffee. Hey, it works.

    Hang in there my friend!!!!!!

  30. I’m loving those suggestions! I’m not sure I am too qualified to suggest any ideas, as I am often needing them myself, sometimes getting myself so wound up, so I think I’ll just try some of these out for size. Still loving your blog and your softserve ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. hahaha love those suggestions! I almost bought sunshine burgers today, but then realized I could make them on my own so I didn’t. I totally forgot that you just made them! I’m excited to try ’em out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. I’m sorry you were feeling anxious honey! i saw your tweet but didn’t have time to reply. current stress relievers: book, pool, sun. and walking. ๐Ÿ™‚ via some recommendations from someone awesome ๐Ÿ˜‰

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