Yesterday on Facebook a lot of my academic friends and I worked ourselves into a panic at the realization that, OMG, it’s August!
August 1st means that the wondrous expanse of uninterrupted time that we always (wrongly) imagine the summer to be — full of huge swaths of hours at a time where we can write brilliant papers and get our new classes all set — is about to come to a screeching halt. Like, really soon. Like, too soon to finish everything that looks so eminently do-able back in May. Even June.
People have all sorts of ways of coping with stress. Commiseration is one outlet. But as I discovered yesterday, it can add rather than help at times. Collectively we can get all frenzied. But then at a certain point, it’s helpful to bring it down a notch.
The reality is, these commitments are not about to go away. I could really identify with a couple of people who felt that the very idea of making a list just intensified the panic. Everyone handles things differently.
In honor of August, in which every day seems to collapse, like dominoes, more and more quickly into the next, I’m providing two different lists of things to try. Top Ten Stress Relievers: The Best Ways to Feel Better suggests, among other things, breathing exercises, meditation, guided imagery, and yoga. If those are not your style, then sex, exercise, music, and “getting organized” are also options.
23 Science-Backed Ways to Reduce Stress Now repeats a few of the “top tens” (breathing, meditation, yoga, sex, music, guided visualization) and adds some more: aromatherapy, tea, laughter, massage, naps, doing art, walking, kissing, hugging, journal writing, and hanging out with your pet.
No one talks about cute animal pics and videos. But I know these to bring a smile to my face and that, in turn, lowers the intensity of my stress. I’m not likely to have a melt down while watching the 10 Cute Animal Videos that Will Light Up Your Day or looking at these irresistible baby animals: