Cars honking incessently, grey exhaust fumes all around, and the glaring heat of the Sun.
The slowly moving train, the uncomfortable postures, sitting ramrod straight (if you get a seat that is) and the gyrating, tightly-packed bodies around you.
If you live in Mumbai and have travelled in rush hour, you must have encountered either one or both of these situations. Travelling in rush hour during Mumbai is hectic, frantic, and, above all, stressful. Here is, however, a list of ideas that might help you de-stress yourself:
- Music — This is one thing that always helps me de-stress. When the crowd is too oppressive, when the heat is unbearable, or when I am overwhelmed with a sense of claustrophobia in the crowded train — I simply plug in my earphones, close my eyes, and imagine myself far away from the chaotic reality. It works wonders! Now my travelling hour every day is better known as music hour 😛
- Books — When it comes to unwinding after a stressful day nothing can be better than a book. The magical power of well-written words transports you from your mundane life-problems to a magical world where dreams become a reality. I love skimming through the pages of my favourite novel after an especially hectic day at college; and imagine myself learning magic spells at Hogwarts, or battling Greek monsters with Percy Jackson, or simply marvelling at the rustic lifestyle of Malgudi.
- Chocolate — Is there anything better (or more fattening but who cares?) in this world than chocolate? A scoop of chocolate ice-cream always helps melt all my troubles away and smoothens my ruffled feathers. You can read my earlier post extolling the many wonders of chocolates here. You can keep all your honey, manna and dew. Just give me chocolates!
- Take A Walk — Sometimes when nothing else calms me down, I go and take a solitary walk. The brisk exercise and the fresh wind helps me clear my mind, and I ask myself, “What is the worst that can happen?” So the conversation goes something like – I haven’t studied for my exams – what’s the worst that can happen? – I will fail – then what – then I will have to give the retests in April – then what – then I will pass…but I probably won’t fail now. If I start studying from today, I can manage to pass with average marks. And if I don’t I can always give the retest right. It always helps me. This mental conversation. Once I know what’s the worst that can happen and made an action plan for it, I am much calmer.
- Friends — Talking (or rather ranting) about your troubles to a sympathetic friend is a wonderful way to destress yourself. Here is an account of a conversation I had with my best friend, a few days ago, when I was particularly stressed out over a group project.
Me: I am sorry for bothering you with all of my troubles. You are a sweetheart for putting up with my rants so calmly.
My Friend: Nah, it’s alright! It’s probably for the best. If you don’t rant to me, your head will probably burst, or you will end up murdering someone! Or you will start screaming at your team-mates, and better I hear your rants than you screaming at some innocent person.
I love my friends! They understand me so well!
Tell me your favourite way to de-stress yourself in the comments section, and you may win gift vouchers from Parachute 😀