My 8 De-stressing Habits that Keep Me Sane and Happy

One of the important things I learned in life is that there will be a cause of stress everywhere we go, in whatever we do, whether at work, at home, at the road…wherever, whenever. To wish for a stress-free life is just wishing not to live at all. What I’ve accepted is that I either change the way I look at the things around me or my life will be unhappy and stressful.

I’m actually quite surprised to meet people who just choose to focus on the bad and stressful things rather than counting the good things they have. Work will always be tough and full of challenges especially when you’ve reached a certain level of position where you hold heavy responsibilities. I believe that there’s always a choice for everyone. If you don’t want to accept this set of duties that also come with some causes for stress, then there’s a choice for you to either leave that job or take a lower position. But complaining about everything to your colleagues or friends or relatives can become pointless if it becomes a daily habit. 

The world wouldn’t change for us; we can only change ourselves. I choose to be in control of my life as much as I can, and I don’t want stress to be on top of my daily life. I’ve had my share of stressful years and I’ve realized that it’s just impossible to be happy unless I change or improve myself. So I am pleased to share 8 useful habits that I’ve developed through the years. Hope these can be useful to people facing a stressful life, especially working mothers like me:

1. Read.

Reading is a great way to take my mind off from the daily challenges of work while at the same time, gives me additional knowledge that I won’t get from just spending more time on ‘stressing’ myself about work.  I cannot imagine what my life would be if I don’t spend time reading. It doesn’t have to be reading novels or thick books at all. I regularly read Female magazine and Women’s Weekly where I get the latest beauty and fashion buzz. Of course, I don’t want to miss the celebrity articles and health news. And although I am not in the beauty industry anymore, I am still inclined (or hooked) to finding out the latest beauty products and reviews. 


I also read Archie books! Well, you might say, ‘grow up!’ but Archie comic books are one of those classics that you won’t mind reading. When I was younger, reading an Archie comic book is already a luxury since I cannot afford to buy one. I have these 2 thick books recently sent to me by my sweet sister from Philippines.


I read books as well. I was a total bookworm since I was 8. I used to borrow several books from the library and I’m probably the only kid who manages to fill-up the entire library card in a few months. I read, read, and read everyday. So here are some of my books at the moment: Between You and I (something that I picked up for only RM15!), Drink Me (a wine book), and the Wrinkle Cure (by Dr. Nicholas Perricone who has a superb line of beauty products).

2. Take care of your skin.

I’m surprised when people keep saying that they don’t have time to apply beauty products everyday. Taking care of your skin not only serves the purpose of maintaining its health but also a great way to de-stress. Spending a few minutes in front of the mirror just applying toner, serum and moisturizer gives you time to think of yourself and off from those stressful issues.

3. Blog.

I’m not talking about becoming a full-time blogger. If you are someone with a lot of things going on in your mind, having an outlet such as a blog can prove to be fun and relaxing. Try doing it for fun and share your thoughts about the things you enjoy, your experiences and maybe your knowledge. You’ll be surprised at how it can make you feel better and you’ll even meet wonderful people who blog as well and be a part of a social community.

4. Take photos.

You don’t have to be a professional photographer. Just simple ways such as using your phone or normal digital camera will do. Paying attention to moments captured with your camera is a great way to learn how to appreciate time, colors and more. How do you feel when you look at your past photos? Those throw-back Thursday pictures? Don’t they remind you of happier days? That silly hair or silly get-up?


5. Spend quality time with your children.

Or with your nieces, nephews if you don’t have your own child yet. Taking time to color those drawings, learning letters, numbers, painting will give you a sense of happiness that will ease your mind. Those people who spend time with their relatives’ children and take care of them amaze me. You will notice that they tend to be warmer, kind and patient in the working environment. So go ahead and try to spend time with a kid or two. You’ll be surprised at how long your patience can be extended! 

6. Play games.

Maybe some of you may find it silly but having a few games on your phone can be helpful as long as you’re not addicted to it and you don’t make your daily life revolve around those farms, candies or whatnot. When you find yourself angry or frustrated at work or anywhere (this does not apply to driving frustration, by the way), take a few minutes during your break to play a game.

7. Exercise.

This is great for health AND de-stressing. I’ve been engaged with a quick daily workout for several weeks now and I found out that it’s liberating! Start with something simple if you haven’t done exercising for quite some time. I downloaded this app called the 7-minute workout and it does wonders. You only need 7 minutes daily, follow the steps and timing from the app and you’re done! Trust me, this can get you sweating within those few minutes. And my tummy has become firmer in just 2 weeks.

And if you are not ready to do daily exercise, try doing something every weekend. Maybe running every Saturday morning or evening? Give it a try. It gives you good time to clear your mind.

8. Accept that life is not fair.

At a young age, I’ve learned that life is simply not fair. The moment you are born, you will have certain sets of privileges or difficulties already laid out for you. You will have certain benefits and challenges that will be different from another person. Or if you are very unlucky, you will be struggling from the moment you were born. This is the way life is. I don’t believe that life will ever be fair. Somewhere, somehow, there are people having a harder or better life than us. Don’t compare or ask why some have so much money or why that person gets a higher pay than you do. Do not expect that your desires will be laid out in front of you to pick. Do not think that just because people have more money means that they don’t have problems. Each person has his own challenges to face and accomplish.


Some people also think that their bosses have an easier life than them and tend to do self-pity, and this leads to stress. For me, I don’t think that bosses have easier lives. In fact, they are carrying a very heavy burden especially if they own the business. Imagine the daily pressure of making the business profitable enough to pay for our salaries? Who gets cursing from the top management or directors when objectives are not achieved? Is it you or your boss? Some employees don’t look at it this way, leading to unhappy work life. We all have our own challenges, whether you are an employee, a business owner, CEO, or a housewife. I’ve accepted that life is not fair which means I have to depend on myself to get the things I want in life. This thought has liberated me at a young age and has since worked hard for the achievement I desire. And it has been really great! What better sense of fulfillment than what you achieved on your own, right? Life is not fair but life can be good!    

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