6 small things I do to deal with stress

Here at Preen, we’re fully aware that adult life doesn’t always go as smoothly (and look as beautiful) as curated Instagram feeds. We all face challenges amidst all the good things. Meet Mikka Wee, a former food editor-turned-working gal in Singapore, who’s about to share all the ups and downs that come with adulting and living. Welcome to Bless This Mess

July has been one of the craziest months so far. Lately, I’ve been balancing a week-long collaborative event with a big beauty brand, another event tomorrow for kids (which is also the last day of mentioned collaborative event), and the cherry on top is moving apartments.

I took the Strengths Finder test, and it showed that two of my strengths are Positivity and Self-Assurance, so you could imagine how this combination would play out, especially during a challenging yet exciting period such as this one. I know somewhere, there’s this part of me that recognizes that I may have bitten off more than I can chew, but the bigger part of me just keeps going, and is giving myself infinite pats on the back and words of validation that I am doing okay (even when my colleagues say I look half-dead). I am enjoying myself anyway, and I love the hustle. But when is it the right time to hit the pause button and take a break?

My body knows when it is under stress and pressure, and despite my chirpy mood, they are manifested in the form of eczema and other skin conditions, which are indicators that I need to slow down and relax. I also feel my brain start to shut down, and this results into a lethargic mood. I’m the type of person who is quite anal about her to-do list, so if I don’t finish a task, it haunts my brain, and it becomes the last thing I think of before going to bed. However, I’ve learned to ease up better and find balance between taking a break and trudging on.

Take a bite-sized Netflix break

When I know I’m going through a busy season, I don’t like watching heavy shows and movies because I easily get affected, so I end up just getting weighed down. Lately, before going to bed, I would watch a couple of episodes of Friends on Netflix to get my mind off the busyness and relax.

You have no idea how immensely thankful I am that all 10 seasons of Friends are on Netflix. The show has been a great way to wind down and put my brain on a lighter mode.


I’m still much of a journal junkie so I pour all thoughts into words. I’ve also started doing Morning Pages as often as I can.

Doing Morning Pages is really helpful because you start the day freely writing your thoughts—you simply don’t think; you just write. And I find this to be quite therapeutic because I can just throw out all my qualms and anxieties for the day, as well as write down my plans on how to overcome challenges. I also write about how I am feeling, and it feels really soothing to get these thoughts down on paper.

Listening to Music

The great thing about having music playing in the background is that you get a sense of fun while doing tedious things such as laundry and chores. I’ve been devoting a lot of time to packing, and without music, I might’ve lost my mind trying to sort everything out, taping boxes, and labeling them.

Doing the laundry is also my least favorite chore, so I usually get cranky when I need to hang the clothes or fold them back into the dressers. However, when I play music, it lightens the mood, and I end up focusing more on the songs rather than the time spent.

Reward Yourself with a Snack

I like giving myself a little “milestone gift” in the form of a snack when I do 45 minutes to 1.5 hours of work straight. It could be a cookie, square of dark chocolate, or a piece of granola bar. I often get pretty hungry especially when I am on work mode so, a little snack gives me something to look forward to after a long stretch.

Jump Up and Down

Now, I know this might seem weird, but when I know I’m stressed, and I need a break, I go to the toilet, lock myself up, and jump up and down while flailing my hands. Don’t feel ridiculous doing it because it really helps.

My healer taught this technique to me, and I’ve found it to be such a good way to loosen up and get my energy flowing again, especially during a busy day.

Take a Peek at Your Wish List/Bucket List

I love lists, and apart from the list of goals I want to achieve, I also have a wish list and a bucket list. My wish list contains items I would like to have, such as maybe a new lipstick, and my bucket list contains more travel-related goals such as saving for a ticket to say, Paris.

Whenever I feel bummed, or I am in dire need of a push, these lists help me get back into shape because they help remind me about why I do what I do. Passion part aside, it helps to have a sense of where you pour all your efforts into since too much work can mess up with your disposition and your mental state.

Learning to cope with stress looks different for everyone. Before, I would be quite careless and just take a break and head to the beach without really thinking. Things are different now, and it’s been actually great because I am learning to deal with stress and not run away from it anymore. These tips have taken some time for me to discover on my own because they are attuned to what I like, as well as what I am interested in. It may look different for you, depending on your interests, but what I believe to be true is that, just like a machine, maintenance is necessary in order to create a healthy working atmosphere and routine.

Don’t forget to share your ways of dealing with stress in the comments section below because it’s always fun to try out new things.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Preen.ph, or any other entity of the Inquirer Group of Companies.


Art by Marian Hukom

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