May 18, 2015

Six Not-Pinterested Approved Ways to Cope With Stress

As every millennial knows, part of "becoming a real person" in this generation includes a rigorous conditioning to stress. The stress of crippling student debt. The stress of finding a job post-graduation. Even the stress of an appropriate social media presence. Stress, adulthood, and wine... we grow up and learn that it all goes hand in hand.

So like a lot of us, normally I'm okay with stress; it's a familiar pal who I can handle.

Cross country engagement? Complicates the logistics of wedding planning (in addition to literally everything else) but nothing I can't handle. Abnormally hectic phase at work? A little caffeine and I'm good to go. Project due and I'm on oxycodone from my wisdom teeth removal? Spaghetti rainbows dance like golden ham... Then detox and get sh*t done.

But sometimes I'm not okay with it.

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I panic ostrich-style and stick my head in the ground, pretending that my stress doesn't exist. I mean, not literally; really, I ignore my work and listen to music or read a book. Or sometimes, I look at a wall. Or sometimes (most of the time), I fart around on Pinterest while I avoid life.

Unfortunately, as every millennial also knows, Pinterest is stress's right-hand man.

Because Pinterest is the only place on Earth where every one of our unobtainable dreams are gathered together for us to scroll through at our leisure. Workouts we'll never do, recipes we'll never make, wedding center pieces we'll never hot glue, and parents who are so good at parenting that their babies' poo smells like lilac.

And then, just when you think you've found something that might actually help ("Five Ways to Feel Less Stressed and Be Happy"), you find yourself being told by Lauren Conrad to stretch for half an hour before your morning journaling session.

Now, don't get me wrong: journaling and stretching sound like very good things. But frankly, half the time I'm running out the door with wet hair; 45 minutes of stretching and reflecting just isn't happening.

So I've decided to take this into my own hands here, and post a more Nicole-appropriate guide for handling stress. Please direct any questions to the hole in the ground where I've stuck my head.

1. Complain to someone who likes you.
I choose either my mom or Derrick. My mom is genetically obligated to like me and Derrick... well, I don't really know what happened there. But either way, complaining to someone who likes you means that you'll probably be allowed at least a little self pity.

And a little self pity can go a long way.

2. Complain on the internet.
If no one likes you, complain to the internet. 98% of the people will wish you would stop and 1% will try to one-up your misery, but there will always be that 1% who sends you a kitten meme for your troubles.

3. Kick things that's won't kick back.
As we all know, your level of adulthood is directly proportional to the number of pillows on your bed. I am very adult, so I have eight pillows... about seven more than I need. This means that I usually have seven pillows strewn around my bedroom floor at any given moment, which are incredibly satisfying to charge through, legs flying, when things get tense.

4. Watch Grey's Anatomy.
Because good lord, at least you'll be able to take a little bit of comfort knowing that Shonda Rhimes isn't scripting your life.

5. Listen to this song.

If you can stress out during this song then I'm sorry, but you have reached a point where there is no hope.

6. Blog
It's like journaling, just with your whole high school watching. Am I doing this right, Lauren?