If you are reading this article, you are a survivor. It’s easy to forget that living a stress-free life was once a secondary goal, an it-would-be-nice for those too busy to self-improve. It’s easy to forget that it’s only been six months since those simple times. But those times have changed, and we survivors know that keeping our stress levels low is the only way to live a safe, healthy lifestyle. Remember that the cure is coming, and these past six months will soon be nothing more than a bad dream. A terrible dream.
With that in mind, it’s important that we also remember the basics of stress-free living. We at Stress-Free Life are committed to ensure we all survive, even if our loved ones haven’t, and our advanced guides can start to look overwhelming if you forget these simple steps.
Step #1: Avoid Unnecessary Stress
This one seems obvious, but it can be hard to let go of stressors when we know how important they were before things changed. If your phone is alarming you, turn it off. If work is proving too challenging, don’t go. Your boss will understand. Turn over all the photos of your fiancée, and wash the bed sheets so you don’t smell that vanilla and rose oil scent when you wake up in the morning. Remember that you’re in control of your life, and you can choose to avoid your challenges, alter your situation, and adapt to change.
Step #2: Manage Your Time
Put that to-do list on hold. Pretty soon you’ll have the rest of your life to accomplish those goals. The cure is coming! Cut down on projects unless they fulfill you. Accept that you can’t do everything at once. If you’re thinking about getting married, don’t start planning. Survive first. You have to survive, even if you don’t want to sometimes. Keep yourself busy enough to move forward, but don’t get overwhelmed!
Step #3: Do Relaxation Techniques
It’s vital to relax whenever you feel overwhelmed or out of control, no matter where you are. There are many techniques to relieve stress! Try to find what works best for you. Here’s a helpful list of options:
- Do breathing exercises
- Perform some stretches
- Take a bubble bath
- Get a massage
- Call a friend if you have any left
- Get out of your empty house and go for a walk in this empty world
- Watch kitten videos online
As you can see, there are many things you can do when the pressure starts to build. Pick one, turn off all capacity for regret, and relax relax relax!
Step #4: Learn to Say “No”
We all need help sometimes, but don’t let someone dump their stress onto you. Being able to say “No” will reduce your level of stress, and help you gain self-confidence. Just remember to say your “No” with a smile. Rest your hand on her freckled shoulder, and look into her desperate eyes while her nose bleeds and your heart breaks. Keep your tone even. Try to laugh instead of cry. Stressing others is a good way to stress yourself. You’re going to get through this! It works fast. She’ll be out of your life in no time, and you won’t ever have to say “Yes” to her again.
Step #5: Be Active
Physical activity is vital to reducing and preventing the effect of stress. What’s more, it keeps you away from your thoughts! Don’t sit in front of the news for hours and hours waiting for a cure. Don’t even turn the news on! When a cure comes, you’ll hear about it. No need to start noticing how the lead researchers are changing every other day. No need to wonder if the burden of discovering a cure is preventing researchers from surviving long enough to synthesize one. Just play some non-competitive tennis!
Step #6: Talk to Someone
Even though most therapists have retired from their profession or life, there are plenty of survivors out there to engage with socially. Just telling someone how you feel does wonders, even if the only output you have is through list articles on a self-help website. Talking with others can either distract you from thoughts of regret, self-blame, or survivors’ guilt, or it can release some of that tension by talking it through. Even if your loved ones are gone, there are always more fish in the sea! Get out there and make some friends! Just remember not to get too attached.
Step #7: Get More Sleep
A good night’s rest does wonders! Unfortunately, stress tends to keep us awake, our minds locked on thoughts of our fiancée and the way she died stuffing stress-relief pills into her bloody mouth while you sat there and laughed. And when we finally do get to sleep, there are the nightmares, of course. Try to take those sleeping pills, even if they remind you of your fiancee’s bloody mouth and the way those tablets spilled from her lips like teeth while she lay there unmoving. Remember how you laughed. Try to laugh now. Try to laugh.
8 Keep a stress diary
Some people avoid this because it reminds you of the things that stress you out, but it can be useful for discovering which parts of your life you need to get control of. It would have been better to do this months ago, but it’s understandable that you don’t want to think about her. Or about the diary she wrote in every night with the same pen you tried using to make your stress diary until you saw the chew-marks she left on the end and you were sure this was it, that your nose would drip red onto the page any second, but somehow it didn’t and you’re still here writing these fucking guides.
Number 9 Don’t read her diary
Not yet. She didn’t want you to read it back then, and you know it’ll bring back so many memories, so many perfect little memories. Or maybe it’ll make you happy again. Maybe you’ll remember how to be happy for real, and not laughing to relieve the stress of your fiancée stressing herself to death over YOUR wedding that YOU didn’t want to wait for a cure to
Step 10: Remember that not all nosebleeds mean the plague has manifested
Stay calm. Sometimes the air is dry, or you’re at a high altitude, except your house is in the prairies and it’s raining. Don’t even think about it, the way it itches down your cupid’s bow, the metallic taste. Take your pills just in case. Try to laugh. Ignore the specks of blood on the screen. You’re fine.
You’ve only got about three minutes and then you’ll know if you’re not fine.
It’ll be over quickly. But there’s still time to
STEP 11: The Only True Way to Be Stress-Free
Everyone panics when their noses bleed. They know it’s over and they waste those last few minutes praying or crying or screaming. It’s kind of beautiful, isn’t it? All this wasted time trying not to think, just funneling pills into our fucking faces so our hands have something to do. Then suddenly the blood is there and you’re free to cry, to SCREEEEAM, to do whatever you ever wanted to do. This is the best part. The world is made of eggshells and we’re all watching our step. Then one day we trip and crush a dozen and oh no, oh no, what happens next? Suddenly you realize you can step on a dozen more. Why not? You can dance, you can skip, you can roll around and make eggshell-angels and you’re free! You’re finally free. All those pills and kittens and laughter and nothing relieves your stress more than the moment you realize the stress has killed you.
I miss you, Lynn. I’m so sorry I couldn’t say anything when
Lynn, I love
Day 212’s three random prompt categories were, “Clickbait,” “Dystopia,” and, “An incurable disease with no name.”
I’ve GOT to make it a priority to write an optimistic story…