Your Very Own Emotional Support Peacock
In our Quick Guide to Beating the Winter Blues, we shared ways to pull yourself out of a funk. Now let’s talk about what to do when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. And yes, it involves our gorgeous feathered friend.
We do what we have to in order to reduce the effects of stress in our lives. Some of us like a glass of wine with dinner, or a piece of chocolate in the afternoon. For others, the best solution is a relaxing bath, or an evening out with friends. Or, you can always pack up your emotional support peacock when it’s time to fly to LAX.
Wait … you don’t have your own emotional support peacock? Get your very own peacock (coloring page) right now!
In all seriousness, we live in a stressful time. And we need strategies to help us reduce that stress. So if you and your emotional support peacock just got booted by an airline, or if you’re finding that your daily yoga and meditation are helpful but just aren’t cutting it, we’ve got some suggestions for taking the edge off of the stress of dealing with the world that (probably) won’t get you kicked off your next flight.
If you’re searching the internet for ideas on stress reduction, there are almost certainly a few ideas you’ve already heard. But … I’m going to mention them anyway, just in case. Meditation, focused breathing, exercise, sound sleep, balanced nutrition, and time with a good circle of friends are all reliable stress reducers. Listening to music can take the edge off the stress, too.
And, when it comes to stress, laughter really IS good medicine — enjoying something fun and lighthearted can do wonders for your mood and your mentality. Bring on the cat videos! Lookit the cute little snuggly face on Indiana University-Bloomington’s Lil Bub.
But you’re in the mood for something other than what you’d find on Web MD’s top 10 list of stress reducers, right? We’ve got you covered, friend …
Taking your emotional support peacock on your flight may end up being more stress than relaxation. But there is a lot of benefit to spending time with animals. Caring for an animal can shift your focus from the stress of your daily life to the immediate, concrete needs of your pet. Being able to focus on something simple, like a walk with the dog, or refilling your cat’s water dish, or even cleaning out your pet snake’s bachelor pad can be incredibly grounding. And, of course, there’s always the prospect of fluffy snuggles. Maybe not so much with your snake, though.
Don’t have a pet of your own? Offer to walk a friend’s dog, or care for a neighbor’s pet while they’re out of town. Many animal shelters are in need of volunteers, as well. My dog thinks I am the best person in the whole world. And it’s hard to feel overly stressed or down when someone thinks the world revolves around you just because you’re the Queen of the Dog Biscuits. Which is how you may all address me from now on.
Maybe all of this zen, quiet, meditative yoga isn’t doing it for you. If trying to calm the beast inside isn’t working, try letting it out instead! Though it may not make you very popular with your dorm-mates, venting your stress, anxiety, or frustration with a good old primal scream may do you some good. In college, we had a Scream Night during exam prep, and it worked pretty well! Sore throats notwithstanding.
Try Something New
Learning a new skill can force us to focus on what we’re actually doing in the moment. It can also distract us from other stressful things in our lives. For best results, this should be something you do just for fun, and something with relatively low-stakes. Trying a new sport — or learning how to play a card game you’ve never tried before — are fun ways to change your focus.
Taking up a new hobby like baking, painting, or pottery can also provide a great distraction, and they all yield a tangible result at the end. But, please, make sure you’re not going to take it too seriously. Turning on our perfectionism while we’re learning something new can create more stress, rather than less, so judge for yourself whether this is a good idea for you.
We all need a little Emotional Support (Peacock) sometimes …
If you’ve read this blog EVER before you are going to be exactly 0% surprised that we’re going to remind you that, in addition to the other fabulous ideas we’ve listed here, COLORING is an amazing source of stress relief! And that’s not just our idea — science agrees! Coloring has been shown to help people relax, focus, and alleviate their stress. And coloring with a friend (or a group of friends!) offers the added benefit of building strong social interactions.
Don’t wait to get started! Download our special emotional support peacock coloring page (for free!) and make a few copies for your friends … or maybe your seatmates on your next flight! No one gets kicked off the plane, and everyone arrives a little less stressed — it’s a win-win!
So, now that you’re feeling a little less stressed and a little more zen, show us what you’ve got! Color in your best emotional support peacock, and share it with us (email it, post it on our Facebook page, tag us on Instagram or Twitter) and we’ll share our favorite creations! We always love to see what inspires you!
If you really do take him — or her! — on your next journey, share with us where you went, and let us know if it was less stressful to travel with your coloring page and a pack of pencils than it would have been to try to talk your way on board with a real peacock.
Thanks for being part of our coloring community!