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Question #89407 posted on 04/21/2017 5:32 a.m.
Q:

Dear 100 Hour Board,

I overeat from stress. A lot. Step one would be to fix what it causing me stress. That much I know. But I do have the question . . . What ways besides eating can I deal with stress (that don't involve spending money)?

-Stress

A:

Dear Stress,

I generally like finding some hobby that I can spend some time on, like singing or playing an instrument. That kind of thing is always great, and helps me to de-stress better than anything. I also really really like walks, they're especially cathartic for me. Pretty much everything that Alta said is really good. Just find some simple activities that you really enjoy and spend a small amount of time on. I also like writing spontaneous thank you notes to people. Those are just a couple of ideas!

Keep it real,
Sherpa Dave 

A:

Dear Stressed,

  • Find a form of exercise that you like, be it yoga or weight lifting or running or whatever else works for you, and then do it
  • Write down everything that's stressing you out and then burn those pieces of paper
  • Set something else on fire (within a contained area that won't spread, and something that belongs to you. I'm not advocating arson here, just something like throwing a pile of old homework onto a bonfire)
  • Go to the temple
  • Take a hot shower
  • Make a list of at least ten things you're grateful for
  • Accomplish something, no matter how small, and then cross it off your to-do list
  • Get a punching bag and beat the heck out of it (for a free option, just punch your pillow)
  • Pray
  • Read the scriptures
  • Listen to whatever type of music you need 
  • Talk with a friend
  • Force someone (preferably someone you know) to hug you for at least ten seconds
  • Go for a drive
  • Take a study break and watch one episode of your favorite TV show
  • Rant in your journal
  • Write a letter/email, either to yourself or to someone you can trust, about everything going on in your life
  • Take a nap
  • Find an anonymous way to serve someone else
  • Find somewhere private (a secluded place in the mountains, your car, etc), and then just scream or cry or whatever else you need
  • Get a priesthood blessing
  • Make a list of the things you're really good at, and take some time to appreciate how awesome you are
  • Find something that makes you laugh
  • Go out in nature
  • Practice meditation techniques (here are some good ones)
  • Drink more water
  • Make a to-do list, and then cross off everything you finish (include some low-hanging fruit that will be really easy to cross off)
  • Take a moment to reflect on the best parts of the past week
  • Have a crazy dance party in your room

These are all things that I've done before that help me when I'm feeling particularly stressed out, so hopefully at least some of them help you. It's okay if you need to do multiple, or if something that usually works for you doesn't work this time, or if you don't like everything from this list. Just keep trying, and eventually you'll find what works best for you. Remember that it's okay to take time for your mental health; if you don't take the time to be well, you'll definitely take the time to not be, so it's better to try to keep your stress levels under control from the outset.

Good luck managing your stress, friend. You've got this.

-Alta

A:

Dear Eu-stress Antonym,

You might be interested in reading through Board Question #89119 and Board Question #87959. These questions discuss different methods for coping with stress related issues.

~Anathema

A:

Dear Stress,

Two things:

  1. Find things to do away from where you keep your food. 
  2. Find things to do that genuinely fill your attention.

I snack. A lot. I try to do healthy snacks, but, well, I'm human. And female. And chocolate. But I have found that if I can do those two things, I can go hours without snacking. It amazes me every time.

For example: When I am at home, no matter how busy I keep myself, if I'm near the kitchen, I will find myself in front of the pantry or fridge, staring at food, no matter if I'm hungry or not. However, if I keep myself busy upstairs, say, cleaning bedrooms, doing laundry, crafting, or writing up Board answers for Alumni Week, I will completely forget about food.

Another example: I can tell how good of a day I had at work by how much I eat. The days I am bored and dislike my tasks, I snack a lot more, and yet still feel hungry. The days that I have actual human interaction, feel like I have something to contribute, and my brain is actively engaged in solving problems I am equipped to solve, I will go home with 90% of the snacks I brought.

That said, today I have already gone through half of my snacks and it's only 9:30 am. Any guesses how my day is going? It's my own fault for going to Nicaragua and missing two weeks of work. (I only work 1 day a week.) So now I'm slugging through all the problems that built up in my absence, using not-enough resources, because I wasn't here to ask for them when they became needed. Also, I'm closeted in my office alone, with very little human interaction. So... hi! (Also, I am legit waiting for thousands of cells to paste into a Google Doc while I type this. Don't judge me for Boarding at work.)

~ Dragon Lady