Disability Humor

How To De-Stress When You Can't Walk It Off

22nd October 2017

How to de-stress when you can't walk it off.As part of my own self-care for anxiety issues, I read a lot on things to do to de-stress.  A lot of these lists that I find rely heavily on running/walking/hiking/getting into interesting yoga poses.

To that I say fuck you whatever works.  My point is, all that outward-bound shit doesn’t work for me as a wheelchair-user.

Here’s what does:

Writing.  With a pen.  A list.  A letter. A novel.  A postcard.  A blog post.

Reading.  A book.  A short one to finish in one sitting.  Or a longer one to live with for  awhile.

Coloring.  Now. I have this thing where if I get in any way artistic I call it 4 O’Clock in the Day Room.  But I do like coloring.  I got postcards to color in last Christmas.  And I have actually sent them to people.  Not a lot of people, but they are out there.

Emailing my friends who live in different timezones.  Because it isn’t 4am in the Southern Hemisphere.  Or New York.  Except, y’know, when it is.

Drinking warm drinks.  Like wait for it, hot chocolate.  Bonus points for marshmallows.

Laughing.  With Isla.  With Neil.  With Sophia Petrillo.

Doing laps around the house.  Like from the living room to the kitchen.  Or along the path around the house.

Lifting weights.  Like hand weights.  Or dumbbells.  Or Isla.

Netflix and chill.  And sometimes, actually y’know, doing it.

Planning a trip.

Planning someone else’s trip.  To visit me.

Switching off from social media.  And doing everything else on this list.

What works for you?


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  • Reply ellenbest24 22nd October 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Wow you have a lot of tools in your box… and an Isla!
    I drink tea while I write, talk, walk, Read, write, watch a movie, cuddle The husband, cry , write about crying, phone a friend, laugh out loud write about laughing, I love and do it the best way I can. I practice positive thinking and occasionally give myself permission to wallow. This happens while marshmallows popcorn and fizzy sour things find their way… (with permission of a lovely writer who thoroughly understands me,) into my mouth.
    P.s. said writer lives in the bathroom mirror. I am convinced if you look, you will find a good one too in yours. ?

    • Reply Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2] 22nd October 2017 at 9:39 pm

      Thinking of something else is always an excellent tool, as the brain can not think of two things at once, so I have been told. Colouring in is a fascinating, relaxing tool. Though I became frustrated with going over the lines. 🙂 Writing is great, as I grow fixated entirely on it and all else leaves my conscious. At the end of the day, whatever works!!

      • Reply ellenbest24 22nd October 2017 at 9:44 pm

        Totally. A good post, and My hope is that you will stress less frequently because you write and smile more. X happy Sunday.

        • Reply Suzanne [globalhousesitterX2] 22nd October 2017 at 9:49 pm

          Right back at you Ellen 🙂

          • ellenbest24 22nd October 2017 at 9:52 pm

            Thank you.

          • Lorna 23rd October 2017 at 9:54 am

            I take your point, Ellen. But smiling doesn’t help anxiety levels. Can’t just slap a smile on everything and make it OK. Telling people to smile more, however they get to, just reinforces the use of fake happiness to cover up real issues.

          • ellenbest24 23rd October 2017 at 10:23 am

            No, the smile will be there when the stress is dealt with. I know as i wore one like make up for many years. X

          • Lorna 23rd October 2017 at 10:36 am

            Mayhaps we should do lunch. Good vibes to you. xox

          • ellenbest24 23rd October 2017 at 10:52 am

            Any time x i am in UK Bury St Edmunds Suffolk ??

  • Reply Carol 22nd October 2017 at 5:06 pm

    Frustration stress usually results in pouring it out in words and making it public. Poor public. Otherwise, aromatherapy helps, walking with my Shasta dog , the sound of ocean waves, dreaming of a trip to somewhere I’d like to go which is pretty much anywhere but where I am at that moment. Later in the day, wine. Wine and quiet. As much wine as I want, because there is no one around to criticize me.

  • Reply Losing the Plot 22nd October 2017 at 5:13 pm

    If I need to vent, I write – but by hand in a notebook. T’internet is already full of bile, it doesn’t need any more from me, so I don’t make that public. Fresh air sometimes helps, but it’s not always appropriate, like this morning at 5am when I woke with anxiety and my mind racing, so breathing exercises helped – a lot!

  • Reply anhistorianabouttown 22nd October 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Currently I’m finding it’s just removing myself from wherever I am. If at all possible, getting outside to sit for a few minutes in the fresh air makes a huge difference. Seems to reset my brain!

  • Reply Reflections of an Untidy Mind 22nd October 2017 at 11:18 pm

    If it is sunny, I like to sit on my back verandah with a cup of coffee and my pooches. I also like to go for a drive to the country. I have a singalong to my favourite music in the car and have coffee at a nice cafe when I get there. Once I get over the procrastination thing, I also like to do mosaics to de-stress.

  • Reply Book Club Mom 23rd October 2017 at 2:06 am

    These are great solutions and a reminder that not everyone can go for a run or a walk. When I was in high school and college, one way I de-stressed was to play the piano. There was nothing better than knocking out a song and not caring what it sounded like. I wish I had a piano now, but maybe someday. I also love to color to help me focus on what really matters and laughter is the greatest.

  • Reply amindfultravellerblog 23rd October 2017 at 4:32 am

    I love colouring. I have a few adult colouring books and I have seen the ones with the postcards as well. Great therapy indeed. 🙂

  • Reply caffeinatedcarly 23rd October 2017 at 12:02 pm

    One of my favorite ways to de-stress is taking a yoga class and putting my whole self into it. Really losing myself in the moment, focus on my breathing, and try to put everything else aside! Love your tips!

  • Reply Shailaja V 23rd October 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Hugs to you and I must say I enjoyed the authenticity in this post. Not everything is rainbows and sunshine, is it?

  • Reply ashleestuart 23rd October 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I have been facing quite a bit of stress from work and just life in general. I have been doing everything that I know to combat those issues, but I forgot about coloring! I have a couple of different books that I use, and I never thought about them as a form of reducing my stress. I am going to pull those books out tonight! Great tips!

    Ashlee | http://www.ashleestuart.com

  • Reply Lisa 23rd October 2017 at 2:47 pm

    I take breaks throughout the day and focus on some deep breathing, relaxation techniques from my yoga classes. Yoga really melts away my stress.

  • Reply How To De-Stress When You Can’t Walk It Off — Gin & Lemonade – jetsetterweb 23rd October 2017 at 2:52 pm

    […] via How To De-Stress When You Can’t Walk It Off — Gin & Lemonade […]

  • Reply arwen1968 23rd October 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Laughing sounds the best way to me but I have to say it’s also the hardest when you’re stressed!

  • Reply TheStyleWright 23rd October 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Thanks for this reminder! I definitely need the reminder as I am super overworked. Lifting weights/going to the gym and reading seems to help when things get to overwhelming, and so does playing with my dog!



  • Reply Cathy Lynn Brooks 23rd October 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Great advice, I love walking. It’s the best thing, beside writing for me to de-stress.

  • Reply HarmonixChiq 23rd October 2017 at 5:20 pm

    While I’m not wheelchair bound, I suffer with RA and scoliosis among other related conditions. Firstly, thank you for writing posts like this! The things I find comfort in include crocheting, sketching, and singing, but I use almost all of yours as well!

    • Reply Lorna 23rd October 2017 at 5:24 pm

      I’m not wheelchair-bound either. I already use one. But thanks, and you’re welcome.

      • Reply HarmonixChiq 23rd October 2017 at 5:25 pm

        My apologies, I think I misread! Posts like this give me hope though, because I do know there is a wheelchair in my future not too far off and it helps to find inspiring posts like these!

  • Reply Dorry 23rd October 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Sitting meditation might be an option?

    • Reply Lorna 23rd October 2017 at 5:37 pm

      I have a three year-old, ha.

  • Reply josypheen 23rd October 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I love that you included Isla as one of your weights to lift! 🙂

    I love the idea of colouring to de-stress, but I have never actually tried that. It’s especially cool that you coloured postcards and then sent them to people! Maybe they’ll frame them and add them to a wall, so you are officially now an artist as well as a writer!

    I find cleaning the flat quite good as a stress reliever. It’s like washing away dirt can wash away stress. But that might just be because that also ticks things off my to do list.

  • Reply gemmaorton 23rd October 2017 at 7:47 pm

    Great list. As a fellow wheeler I totally get this. Although I won’t be lifting any weights either! I read, I craft, I too colour. I rant to friends.
    I’ve also always wondered what it feels like to slam a door…..

  • Reply Nicole 24th October 2017 at 12:57 am

    Chocolate. (I didn’t say it was a healthy coping mechanism. But I gave up all my other vices, and deep breathing only takes me so far.)

  • Reply crowdedmind 24th October 2017 at 7:53 am

    I love this post, the honesty of it. Hmmm to answer your question, I write!! a given I guess but I usually look at something under a large microscope, it is so absorbing I forget the stress. Maybe I am just a nut ball and not the person to ask!! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply crowdedmind 24th October 2017 at 7:56 am

    …………..a large magnifying glass or,,,,,,Hahaha, nut ball, told you

  • Reply thenafranssen 24th October 2017 at 12:21 pm

    Great post, destressing is key. We all have to have that healthy outlet for sure. Mine used to be wine. 😉

  • Reply Meghan 24th October 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I definitely need to find ways to de-stress more. I like the Netflix and chill option. Sometimes its just good to zone out.

  • Reply Emma// Curlygirlabroad 24th October 2017 at 5:01 pm

    De-stressing is exactly what I need right now (exam coming up), usually for me the fresh air works calming as well as a nice cup of tea! (although hot chocolate with marshmallows will do too)

  • Reply Miriam Joy 25th October 2017 at 12:17 am

    I stress-knit, but it’s only possible on days when my hands are working, which they aren’t always. (They were fine today until I sprained my index finger and now my left hand is pain and I can’t grip anything…) So when they’re not I read, and take naps, and dance (if other pain allows).

  • Reply risakerslakewrites 25th October 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Oh my gosh… So many of these. Reading has always been my go to. To get lost in another world. Writing is huge for me too, and I’m even getting back into weight lifting to strengthen my body and it’s actually done wonders for my anxiety.

    • Reply Lorna 18th November 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Hello, kindred spirit. Ha!

  • Reply Wendy 25th October 2017 at 2:08 pm

    These are great ideas. I love coloring! I am going to have to try that!

  • Reply Kasia Mikolajczak (@KasiaMikola) 25th October 2017 at 5:45 pm

    It’s hard to de-stress when you can’t get out of the house. In winter I find it so much harder because I can’t get out for a nice walk. So making a cup of cocoa or my fave cardamon latte is very soothing. Yes I do yoga too but sometimes I just don’t have the time. Thanks for the tips.

  • Reply Mandi Em 25th October 2017 at 11:22 pm

    I love this list. Your authenticity is contagious!

    • Reply Lorna 18th November 2017 at 12:52 pm

      That’s a good thing, right? Stay tuned for more! <3

  • Reply nadaliebardo 26th October 2017 at 12:52 am

    Generally focusing your attention and energy elsewhere is a great help. For me I enjoy listening to a certain genre of music depending on the mood. I will resort to nostalgic music that I haven’t heard in a while to bring back happy memories and sing along to them.

    • Reply Lorna 26th October 2017 at 5:08 pm

      Music was in last week’s stress-busters 😉

  • Reply aileenluib 27th October 2017 at 12:27 am

    Reading, warm drinks and Netflix… my favorite things to do to destress, but I always feel so guilty doing them!

  • Reply drallisonbrown 29th October 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Your post highlights a really good point, which is, we all must figure out what works best for us and our bodies. As a counselor, I try to provide my students with stress/anxiety/depression busters, but they have to try them out and see what works. I do find that creative endeavours (writing is mine) can help. Creativity connects us to Inspiration, which helps us think outside the box – perhaps coming up with answers to the anxiety-provoking issues. But, there is great variety in those creative pursuits. For example, with regard to coloring, I waver between finding it relaxing and stressing over making it perfect!

    • Reply Lorna 29th October 2017 at 5:45 pm

      No, my post highlights that people run too much. Read a book.

  • Reply annabellefranklinauthor 29th October 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Laughing works for me. And switching off social media – when I actually do it. 🙂

  • Reply Amy Braswell 2nd November 2017 at 2:55 pm

    You had me at Sophia Patrillo 🙂

    • Reply Lorna 18th November 2017 at 12:48 pm

      Love them all! <3

  • Reply Rachel McAlpine 6th December 2017 at 8:46 pm

    This is so good, it de-stressed me in a twinkling. I’ve always been a reader, but only yesterday I noticed how blissful it is to just sit and read. In fact, I’m about to become a mindful reader, aware of my position, my breathing, my skin, and the sheer physical joy of being swept away by the words of a great writer. Thanks, Lorna.

  • Reply Ophira 21st January 2018 at 9:54 am

    Most of these work for me. I need to try coloring too! I have heard it’s very relaxing. Great ideas!

  • Reply thebeasley 21st January 2018 at 10:02 am

    This is a perfectly timed post for me to read. My body doesn’t want me to move today, but I have a lot of pent up energy. I find listening to loud music helps me somewhat, but then I want to dance to it, which I can’t do when I’m like this. Talking helps me though. Whether I’m chewing the ear off my husband or friends, I like to talk ha.

    • Reply Lorna 21st January 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Talking works for me too. However I sometimes forget that Isla isn’t really 35. Can I interest you in a letter or postcard from me in February? xox

      • Reply thebeasley 21st January 2018 at 4:35 pm

        Absolutely! I love receiving post. Thank you I so much darling ?

  • Reply Graeme Cumming 21st January 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Is this why you planned a trip to London in May? Looking forward to meeting you and Neil at the Bloggers Bash

    • Reply Lorna 21st January 2018 at 1:05 pm

      Actually, it was! Looking forward to meeting everyone at the Bash. However, I’ve decided I can wait for May, Isla is four in June and I already can’t handle it, ha!

  • Reply Hannah R. 22nd January 2018 at 4:04 pm

    I do handwritten letters to friends and it helps SO MUCH! I also color. Like a five year old. It’s the best.

    • Reply Lorna 22nd January 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Hi Hannah, yep I love handwritten letters. I’m doing InCoWriMo in Feb. It’s a thing where the idea is to send one handwritten letter/card a day in Feb. More info can be found here: https://incowrimo.org. P.S. Want a card from me?

      • Reply Hannah R. 22nd January 2018 at 5:16 pm

        That sounds awesome! Maybe I’ll try it too! And I would love a card!

  • Reply Shailaja V 22nd February 2018 at 10:39 am

    Writing, reading and tv works for me too! Plus catching up with good friends.

  • Reply Phil Taylor 22nd February 2018 at 12:29 pm

    Listening to my favorite music loud in the car and singing along!

  • Reply rachaelstray 24th July 2018 at 9:42 pm

    Reading curled up with a hot chocolate snuggled in blankets. Perfect. Just not in this weather. It’s hotter than the sun ☀️

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