Ada screamed at the Danfo bus conductor. “It is you that is crazy! Just look at the Fifty Naira you gave me. You fit collect this kind of patched money?”
“Abeg, dey go.” The bus had already begun to move away from the curb, where it had stopped for Ada to alight. “Madwoman!” He shouted after her as the bus sped off.
Ada fumed, staring after the bus that had left in its wake thick black smoke. She chucked the badly patched naira note into her bag and stormed off to the Diner just by the bus stop. It was past eight at night, she was stressed from a long day at work, and with all the pent up anger, thinking about the awful things she could have said to the conductor to put him in his place, she knew she could not go home yet.
So, she walked into the diner. She picked her favourite booth far at the back, away from prying eyes. She closed her eyes as the relaxing soundtrack of the animated movie, ‘Narnia’ washed over her through the speakers. She breathed in and slowly released her breath. Aah, this is why she had come. This was her way of taking the edge off and unwinding. What is yours?
The Stress We Go Through
How do you overcome the stress of the day? The loud machines running non-stop at that ‘chin-chin’ factory, the sounds of generators running at almost every store. The students telling one tale or the other and making the lecture hall utterly rowdy. We can go on forever, sighting examples, but how do we handle these stressful situations, bearing in mind that they can lead to anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, body and headaches, fatigue and even depression.
How To Ease Stress
As we do not want any long-lasting effect of these stress-induced symptoms which can be damaging to our health, we have to pick what works for us just as Ada chose soothing sounds.
1. Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine
In an article by skillsyouneed.com, it stated that Alcohol is a depressant when taken in large quantities, but acts as a stimulant in smaller quantities. Therefore, using alcohol as a way to alleviate stress is not ultimately helpful. The same goes for coffee and nicotine. If you are trying to reduce stress, then stay clear of them.
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It is that easy. If you have been burning the midnight candles trying to make sure you pass ‘Bus 401’ or killing extra time at work, your body is sure to rebel at some point. Do not ignore the tell signs, go to bed and sleep.
3. Pick a relaxation technique
Just like Ada, you pick one or all. You don’t have to be a music person, there’s yoga, reading, swimming, noise-free environment, even skilful dancing, the list goes on.
4. Talk to someone
Remember it is what works for you. Talking can either help solve the problem at hand, you know, like sharing your burden. While on the other hand, it can just aggravate the whole thing. Imagine you’re talking about it and you are just getting even angrier. If it’s not for you, pick another.
5. Manage your time
Isn’t there always something to do? Most often than not, we burden ourselves with a lot of tasks. Money to make, classes to attend, courses to read, seminars to attend, jobs to complete, cooking, cleaning and so on. In order not to be stressed out, we need to prioritise. Attending that lecture is of utmost importance, but do you have to make that cake for Salewa’s birthday? Delegate duties and create time for yourself.
Are you always stressed out? You should adopt some of these methods and tell us what you think.