Author Topic: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?  (Read 3991 times)

cbee6390

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 25
Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« on: September 26, 2017, 05:37:05 PM »
Hi Mustachians,

What are good and free ways to blow off some serious steam (work stress/frustration)? I've got that "I need a bourbon" (or two) feeling but prefer not to have a drink. Have already exercised but spent whole session (high intensity cardio) dwelling on aforementioned work stress. (Thoughts/conversations running through my head, replaying, anxiety, etc.)

Anyone have tips?

(Am starting to think I need to take up boxing...)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4547
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 05:46:02 PM »
I personally enjoy a nice plate of pasta and a romance novel from the library. Technically the pasta costs money. But I was going to eat anyway. I do have a glass of wine with it, but just the one.

I also read somewhere that making a to-do list before leaving work helps people decompress afterwards. YMMV.

Raenia

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 06:07:14 PM »
I also read somewhere that making a to-do list before leaving work helps people decompress afterwards. YMMV.

Anecdote, but I try to do this whenever I've got something important or convoluted going on at work, and it does seem to help me not think of it when I get home.  When I forget to make the list for the next morning, I'm much more likely to go home and keep thinking about the things I need to do the next day.

andreamac

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 75
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 06:10:47 PM »
If you can go somewhere where someone can't hear you and scream or scream into a pillow? lol I heard this can help!

be_free

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 2
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 06:21:54 PM »
I have a bunch of gym equipment at my house that I work out with.  Yes, the gym equipment cost money upfront, but it will last for years... maybe even decades.  I find working out to be the best way to blow off steam!

StockBeard

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 638
  • Age: 37
    • How To Retire Early?
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 08:14:06 PM »
I also read somewhere that making a to-do list before leaving work helps people decompress afterwards. YMMV.
Brilliant! I'll give this a try. I constantly think of work related stuff at home, writing a to do list before leaving would help me to free my mind before leaving.

to answer OP: I decompress with a drink + snacks + video games or movies. All of these cost money, but I already purchased the movies/video games anyway (and technically they can be borrowed from a library).
Drawback: I think sport is healthier and probably much, much better to release the adrenaline, than video games (which in some cases just contribute to build it up?)

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3015
  • Age: 81
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Typical Ghoul Next Door
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 08:37:11 PM »
I really like exercising when I'm pissed off or upset now. Channel the antsy, angsty stuff into something productive... but if that's not cutting it, maybe something sort of contact sport like? I love racquetball and tennis (smacking the holy shit out of a ball is great) but boxing could TOTALLY be therapeutic too.

Singing. Loudly. Usually in the car. To super loud rock/punk stuff. Something about yelling and jamming out to music I love anyway tends to help me feel a bit better.

Video games. The more violent and crazy the better. Currently replaying the Bloodrayne series and it rocks.

Sex. Fun for all participants and should feel MUCH better afterwards.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8931
  • Location: Canada
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 09:15:32 PM »
Yoga.  To make it free, do it by yourself with appropriate music.

Gone_Hiking

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 218
  • Location: Arizona
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 09:18:58 PM »
Have you tried a vigorous walk around and checking out a nearby park?  That and weekend hikes in the mountains surrounding the town helped me a lot when I was dealing with a layoff - talk about something that is on one's mind all the time!

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6492
  • Location: Sydney, Oz
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2017, 03:58:58 AM »
I read the MMM forum.

Usually there is a story on here that reminds me I've got it good.

Freedomin5

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2077
  • Location: China
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2017, 05:02:26 AM »
Ask yourself: Does it help me or the situation in any way to be thinking about it right now?
If the answer is "no", then ask the follow up question: What would be more helpful for me to think/do right now?

Similar to the to-do list, some people also set a 10-minute "worry time" per day, and when you find yourself dwelling on unhelpful thoughts, tell yourself, "Now is not the designated time to think about this. I'll remember to worry about it during my worry time." For some people, by the time they get to the worry time, it's no longer such a big deal.

NeonPegasus

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 374
  • Location: Metro Atlanta, GA
    • Neon Pegasus
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2017, 08:28:37 AM »
Go on a walk while listening to music. It doesn't even have to be vigorous. Just getting outside is helpful.

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2125
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2017, 08:33:29 AM »
Crank up the tunes in my workshop and start tinkering on something.

Imustacheyouaquestion

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 259
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2017, 08:44:50 AM »
Take the dog for a walk, lift weights, heavy manual labor (think yard work).

formerlydivorcedmom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
  • Location: Texas
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2017, 08:55:46 AM »
When I'm extra stressed, I clean the house.  Like, on my hands and knees with a toothbrush scrubbing baseboards.   There's something really satisfying about the effort (much more than just pushing a vacuum) and the result.

*This works for work-related stress and marriage-related stress.  My husband and I mostly confine arguments to the bathroom so that I can put the negative energy into scrubbing something instead of yelling at him.  It is very weird, but it works for us.

I also exercise regularly.  If I don't get my minimum 3 cardio sessions a week, stuff bothers me that normally I would shrug off.

CNM

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2017, 08:57:24 AM »
HIIT doesn't relax me.  It's something I do when I already feel positive and high-energy.  What I do instead is go for a long walk, usually with my dog and family.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8898
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2017, 09:02:54 AM »
Really stressful? Like, anxiety spiral status?
-Long walk, preferably through neighborhoods I don't walk very often.
-Vigorous cleaning, as mentioned by someone else. Only works for weird/occasional tasks- washing windows, or dusting all the lights in the house, or cleaning the tops of cabinets.
-Decluttering. (Doesn't work as well now that there isn't "low hanging fruit" to cull)
-Canning, if it's summer.

Regular stressful:
-Putter in the garden if it's that season
-Watch a TV show or movie. Something easy but interesting, like Parts Unknown or a Pixar movie.
-Walk or jog, then a hot shower.
-Skype a friend.

Samuel

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 339
  • Location: the slippery slope
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2017, 09:38:12 AM »
Yeah, for me it's either a long walk (preferably in the woods), a bike ride, stretching, or some intense cleaning. The singular focus of deep cleaning and the satisfying results are a great counter to feeling anxious and out of control. TV feels like it should help but doesn't really, I find part of my brain is still chewing.

But it's also good to work on reducing the anxiety and stress upstream. I find organization and prioritization are key. If you can develop a "trusted system" to capture all those work thoughts and know that they'll be available to you at the appropriate time it really helps in being able to leave work at work (this is GTD talk, by the way) and not have work concerns bouncing around in your head all evening. I also always leave work with a post it on my keyboard with the 1 main thing I need to do the next day written on it. That's my button to the workday and it signals the transition to me time.


tinkertailor

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 9
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 08:00:15 AM »
I had this issue recently (particular awful customer at work).  Cross-training/yoga wasn't stopping me thinking about it, so I picked up a cheap punchbag and some gloves on ebay.  It felt MUCH better doing an impact sport, and really going for it meant that I was exhausted in about ten minutes flat, so it solved any insomnia issues. 

Lying very still and listening to some inspiring music on headphones can also help a lot.  REALLY listen to it, focus on picking out the different instrument tracks, vocals etc.  It's very immersing, almost like meditation.  Tracks that build up to a crescendo work particularly well for me and it can be any genre.  My stress playlist includes classical, techno, pop, acoustic singers, piano instrumentals, dance etc.

I'll also listen to songs and work out ballroom dance choreography for them. I know nothing about ballroom dance outside of watching Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing With The Stars by the way, but I find that just focusing on coming up with a creative routine in my head can be very repetitive and soothing.

Or, get a good book.  Nothing stops me thinking about something faster than getting dragged into a great story. 

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8898
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 08:12:08 AM »
Lying very still and listening to some inspiring music on headphones can also help a lot.  REALLY listen to it, focus on picking out the different instrument tracks, vocals etc.  It's very immersing, almost like meditation.  Tracks that build up to a crescendo work particularly well for me and it can be any genre.  My stress playlist includes classical, techno, pop, acoustic singers, piano instrumentals, dance etc.

Good EDM (electronic dance music, a subgenre of techno for those who don't know) does this for me. When I'm really anxious, focusing on the buildbuildbuild before the drop, it's like a catharsis. Something that I feel as much as I hear. I can do the same with certain bluegrass and classical music, but I find EDM is easiest as a "sure bet" for me.

Recently started a run to "Savage" by Whethan, and then did a google music station for the song after that. Felt great by the time I was done.

JayKay

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 59
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2017, 08:23:34 AM »
If you haven't tried blues harmonica, it's a fun, cheap, and portable hobby.  For about $20 you can get a reasonable instrument. Then youtube has a lot of lessons as well as good blues backing tracks to play solos to.  Very cathartic if you're feeling frustrated or down.

Or, hang a used heavy bag in your garage, get some wraps and gloves and go to town.

Schaefer Light

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1199
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2017, 01:04:45 PM »
It's not free, but I like to hit a bucket of golf balls.  Golf is a game where you have to be totally focused on the task at hand if you want to hit a decent shot, so it almost forces you to stop thinking about other things that are happening in your life.  I think the fact that it's as much a mental game as it is a physical game really helps.

mamagoose

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 357
  • Location: FL
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2017, 01:43:41 PM »
I run the fastest when I'm mad at someone, so exercise.

I also stress clean.

But the best way to take my mind off something is to put it towards something else, like a hardcore game of Monopoly or writing in a journal / blog.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2017, 01:48:42 PM »
sex - with contraceptives.  otherwise this could not be free.

Bourbon

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2017, 01:55:48 PM »
Split some Firewood?

Schaefer Light

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1199
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2017, 02:03:16 PM »
sex - with contraceptives.  otherwise this could not be free.

That's a good one, but it requires another willing participant and thus isn't guaranteed to be available.

stashgrower

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 348
  • Location: Australia
Re: Blowing off steam after stressful day (free)?
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2017, 01:15:39 AM »
MMM forum.
Long walk.
Music.

I like the list idea, FP.