3 Activities to Cope with Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Looking for a way to refocus negative energy? Here are some of the things I’ve been doing.

1. Crochet

People typically think of grandmothers in rocking chairs when they hear the word “crochet” but trust me its an activity for all ages. In fact, I learned the very basics (chain stitch and single crochet) at ten or eleven years old. Not long after I gave up, finding other things worthy of my time (The Sims anyone?). Recently, I decided to return to the craft except this time I was determined to actually learn how to create things .It’s only been a couple of months but I’ve made a scarf for both me and my spouse, a hat, slippers that weren’t exactly in pairs, (a post on that adventure soon, ha!)a case to hold my hooks (pictured above), a basket (pictured above). I have quite a bit of work ahead of me but so far I’m enjoying myself.  There’s something incredibly relaxing about finding a project, choosing a yarn, and going through the hand motions that are required of needlework. In fact, Kathryn Vercillo wrote Crochet Saved My Life: The Mental and Physical Health Benefits, an anthology of healing through hooking. So before you write it off as an activity for idyll people, go to your nearest yarn and/or craft store and give it a whirl.

2. Writing

Writing has always been my mode of release. As a preteen I wrote several short stories about quirky teenage girls with messy family dynamics. By the time I was a teenager, my life had become so complicated that I think it killed a great part of my imagination (I think graduate school almost offed the remaining bits, ha!).  As far as I was concerned the only story that mattered was my own so I wrote like crazy in my journals, recording every thought that I could. I still enjoy journaling, especially since I realized that I am so uninhibited and honest that its a clear picture of my emotional state. In November 2015, I hit rock bottom and knew that I needed to connect with other people before I became imprisoned by my thoughts. So I created this blog. Finally, I bought a writing prompt journal (pictured above) to retrain my brain to think and write creatively.

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3. Exercise

Of course I had to include the ‘ultimate’ way to cope with stress, anxiety, and depression–exercise! Since I am fairly new to working out more than three times a week, I can’t speak to having an exercise addiction. However, exercise reminds me I’m still here even when my spirit is weak.Even in the midst of emotional turmoil, my body’s survival mechanism kicks in and propels me forward. Last week while browsing on Youtube for mind-body-spirit kind of workouts, I stumbled across a beginner Pilates workout. Unlike some videos it really is suited for amateurs. Look out for my future post on Pilates.

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