5 Tips for De-Stressing in a Public Setting

By Felicity, OnYourMind chat volunteer

Stress is all around us. We each have our own stressors, and sometimes these stressors are unbearable. However, we have the power to make the triggers tolerable! 

Before we delve any further, it is important to note that everyone has different stressors. In brief, stressors are anything that makes us feel stressed. Stressors can be positive or negative (such as marriage or a break up), and stressors can also have different levels of severity (such as tests or moving to a new place). We not only have different stressors, we also have different responses to the same stressors. That being said, if you would like to learn more about stressors, has this insightful post.  

I speak of these tips from my experience in high school and work. These tips aren’t to be used in every situation, but I hope these will help you the way it helped me! 

Get Away from the Stressor

I’m sure you’ve heard of this tip many times. I definitely did, but I didn’t take it to heart until this following incident at work:

There was this one really busy Saturday at the bakery where I work. Two customers came up to me with different requests. I was almost done with the first request when Bob, my boss, came out. He kept telling me to finish the second request first, so I finally gave in. Bob ordered, “No, you can take a break now. You don’t know what you’re doing! Just go!” I walked away and went to Starbucks.

When I reflect back on what happened, I realize that going to Starbucks was necessary and helpful. If I stayed at my workplace, I would’ve been sitting and stewing in my own anger.  

Some may view this method as “walking away from your problems.” I disagree with that view because dealing with the stressor can lead to more harm than good. For example, if I had confronted my boss, he would’ve yelled at me, or maybe even fired me for my “attitude.” I still don’t know exactly what I had done wrong, but walking away at that moment let me cool down and reassure myself that I actually didn’t do anything wrong.  

If you feel bad for “walking away,” just know that getting away from your stressor definitely gives you time and space to “cool down” and reflect on whatever stressful event just happened. Of course, this way of dealing with stress is good if the problem is a temporary one. If the stressful event is long-term and recurring, this tip is only a temporary fix.

A from-above shot of a person's hands rolling out an oval of dough on a floured surface.

Come Up with Your Own Pep Speech

Here’s my pep speech: “I am clever, I am persistent, thus I am amazing!”

Your “speech” can be however long or short you would like it to be. It sounds silly to be giving yourself pep talks, but it can serve as a confidence boost. I typically use this method when I am taking a test (like the SAT), and it makes me feel better. 

Another thing about these pep talks/ speeches: try using adjectives to describe yourself. Like writing a paper, don’t use general adjectives like “good”. By being more specific, you are reassuring yourself of your uniqueness, which will help you feel more positive, thus a little less stressed.

Give Yourself a Treat

“Treat yoself!” – Parks and Rec (NBC TV Show)

 Watch this 25 second clip for the above quote reference.

Honestly, after something really stressful, I talk to my friends (or whoever is willing to listen to me) and rant. Ranting really lifts the stress from my shoulders, but there are other things you can do to! 

For example: eat food, get a drink (tea, coffee, whatever is available!), splash some water on your face (it’s refreshing), listen to your favorite songs, etc. Doing these simple treats helps you de-stress, and having a variety of treat options is always helpful too!  

If you don’t have time to “treat yoself”, you can also remember to do that later. Sometimes before a test, I tell myself that I will go get some good Japanese food. Knowing that I will get a treat makes the whole experience seem worth it (and less stressful) because I get a reward after.  

Treat yourself— you deserve it! 

Don’t Take Things Personally

I find this method to be especially challenging to follow sometimes.  

In my psychology class, I learned about this defense mechanism, displacement. Basically, one places their emotions (especially anger) on an object OTHER than the causation object. Upon learning about displacement, I suddenly realized displacement would explain why some people would get angry at me for no reason sometimes.  

Do your parents get mad out of nowhere? Are your teachers in a bad mood for no reason? They may be showing signs of displacement… just keep in mind that other people have bad days/ nights, or they are going through their own challenges. They may not mean to take their stress out on you. Therefore, it’s really important to know not to take things personally. By thinking this way, it helps you practice being a more empathetic person. Whenever I utilize this technique, I find myself feeling a lot better about myself! 

Have Determination 

This technique is my last resort because it means that I can’t do anything other than wait. When I’m stuck in a tough situation and cannot think of any way to cope, I tell myself that I just have to push through.  

It really be like that sometimes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

But if you managed to be patient with the situation, then you have some serious determination.  

Do you have tips for de-stressing too? Share them in the comments below! 

I’m still learning about healthy ways to deal with stress, and I would love to hear tips that have worked for you!

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