Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stress Management 101 - My Style

This is the time of the year where I get stressed a lot. There's my thesis, my experiments, my team project, a competition, Dutch lessons... and then sometimes stress comes just from handling relationships with certain people. Or from the bipolar Dutch weather. Stress can annoying, and it's even more annoying when you can't do anything about it or talk to someone about it. But hey, at the very least, you can try to reduce it by doing something you like.

Here are my top 10 list of stress relieving methods:

1. Eat instant noodle

Oh dang, it's unhealthy, loaded with salt, MSG and fats. Are you suicidal!? Well, no, basically I run for my comfort food. Instant noodle gets ready in 3 minutes, yummy and warm. There's never any moment of "I don't have an appetite" when it comes to instant noodles. Unless I just went for a binge eating session at some buffet restaurant. That being said...

2. Binge eating
source: blog.timesunion.com

At times I would splurge anything available in my fridge or cabinet. That's why sometimes it's good for me not to keep too much food in stock. But nevertheless, keeping food stock at home has already become a habit. Prepare an umbrella before it rains, so an Indonesian idiom says. Luckily, I rarely go binge eating these days. And by the way, sometimes the unhealthier it is, the greater the 'healing' effect is. And I don't know why.

3. Cook

Cooking is a great distraction because I typically don't think when I cook. Just put ingredients and seasonings together according to instinct and see if anything good comes out of it. Luckily, I only have to feed myself. If it doesn't turn out well, it's a good reminder to stop doing stupid things and move on. If it turns out good... my tongue is happy, my tummy is happy. In the end, it's a win-win situation.

And I especially like to decorate my food. Pretty food makes me happier, even if it's just omelette, sausages, broccoli and ketchup (yep, I made that omelette 'flower' in the picture).

4. Post something on my blog
source: cakechooser.com

One of the greatest reason why I'm keeping my blog is because I write something not relevant to my problems. In a sense, it's a type of avoidance. It doesn't really solve the problem, but writing helps to let out my thoughts and sort them out nicely. Like what I'm doing right now.

5. Write a song
source: haru-otaku.blogspot.com

When things get extremely annoying, I tend to channel all my negative thoughts into a song. I mean, why bother getting wrinkles when you can produce something productive that also entertains other people? I love it when YouTubers leave comments like "this is so me!", because... hey, I know I'm not the only one in the world who feels that way. For sure.

This is a song I made to dedicate my love for Wikipedia. Every academic researcher knows that all professors don't allow you to cite Wikipedia, but nevertheless, I still find it very useful and informative. Sorry it's in Indonesian, no English translation.


6. Karaoke
source: madlyjuicy.com

One of the things I most from Asia is a karaoke box where I can sing alone as loudly and as off-tunely (is there such a word?) as possible. Let it go out loud. Especially when I was in Japan, where I could book a room like the one in the picture above just for myself. All for around 600 yen (~US$6).

When I was in the US, I did a karaoke session in my apartment once, and I got a warning note from my neighbor. I guess the walls were too thin, or... I just don't sing that well (sorry!).

7. Drawing/sketching

Sometimes all I need is to vent up some excess energy that is not supposed to be there. I'm not particularly good at drawing or sketching things, but it gets my brain away from the problem. Again, it doesn't solve the problem, but it helps me to calm down and think clearly.

8. Surfing the Internet

Images of cute animals just make my heart goes... full of love <3

And sometimes you just find something so stupid it makes you laugh so much because it doesn't make sense at all. Watch this morning exercise song:

And you'll think "Thank God I'm not the stupidest person in the world".

9. Rolling on the bed
My bed isn't large enough, but at least it's enough to lie down and roll back and forth. And then I imagine myself as this:
source: paintingsbygretsky.blogspot.com

source: www.knaria.com

source: kidztrainer.com

And then I go back being happy again :)

10. Playing games

One thing that you cannot take out of my life is gaming. I'm not as hardcore as I used to be, but I always like the challenges I get from playing a game. I'm typically not satisfied with low-standard results, and when I can't perform so in real life, it helps to know that I have good acuity and motor skills. And problem solving skills, too, because I can - most of the time - handle games that have no instructions.

I was told once that playing games is apparently quite... an antisocial behavior. But I think I just have to be in the right pool of people when I play games, because sometimes conversations can start from talking about games. Like when my brother sent me a screenshot of his Flappy Bird score.

How do you vent your stress?


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