Staying Chill and Feeling Hopeful — What’s Your Method?

I’ve been through a lot of shit. We all have. I have been especially hard hit regarding mental health issues, but lately, many other stressors have been dominating my life. More responsibilities at work. Family conflict. Writing projects. Financial worries. You get the picture.

When I feel like I’m coming undone I usually turn to meditation with my mala beads. However, I feel I need some new ideas and I want to hear from you. How do you stay chill? Do you have a relaxing activity that you enjoy? Is there a breathing exercise that works for you? Budget-friendly ideas are a plus.

I’ve noticed I’m watching a lot of TV in my free time. I need to find a way to relax that doesn’t involve binge-watching shows on Prime and Netflix. While laying on the couch and watching TV can be very relaxing, it often comes with some guilt – like there are a million other things I could be doing. I know it’s okay to watch TV sometimes but this is too much and I feel it may be fueled by my recent bout of depression.

How do you relax yet stay motivated?

Another question – are you hopeful? Despite my mental health struggles, I’m usually a positive and optimistic person. It’s been waning a bit lately but I know it’s still inside me. I always feel something better is in the cards. Even on my darkest days, I realize that almost everything is temporary. 

So tell me – how do you stay chill and hopeful?


  1. sonofrojblake says

    Lists. Make realistic lists of stuff you want to get done. Make or administrate the list while binge watching Netflix. Ensure items are small chunks achievable within an hour or three. e. g. “paint the house” is a bad goal. “paint the North Wall of the dining room” is better.

  2. Katydid says

    This is a great time of year to look at changing leaves and everyone’s Halloween decorations; can you go for a walk? Take your daughter or go by yourself, put on a pair of sneakers, and off you go! The fresh air and exercise will oxygenate your blood and spike your metabolism, with any luck easing your depression. If you take your daughter, you can talk as you go and find out what’s going on in her life: I used to take a walk with my kids when I wanted to know what they were thinking.

    Alternately, if you’re home alone, you could find some exercise that catches your attention on Youtube…or check them out of your public library. Peggy Cappy does a gentle yoga appropriate for pretty much anyone. David-Dorian Ross has a great series on tai chi–some of it seated. Lee Holden is another tai chi person whose classes are completely appropriate for even beginners. Or meditate with Jon Kabat Zinn on Youtube.

    The crazy of coloring seems to have passed, but a lot of stressed adults found comfort in losing themselves in the creativity. That’s not a free activity, but it’s low-cost.

    Another low-cost activity is a magnesium bath (magnesium can calm you and help you sleep): there are lots of recipes on-line for scented soaking. Each bath needs a Epsom salts, a little olive oil, and (if you want) a couple of drops of some soothing essential oil such as lavender or rose (there are many recipes online–some call for a pinch of baking soda and sea salt). If a whole-body soak doesn’t appeal to you, you can just soak your feet after your walk (add peppermint oil for an energy pick-me-up). Just make sure to rinse off afterwards if you have dry skin. Essential oils can be pricey, but you use very little at a time. I add a few drops of essential oil to the laundry to add a hint of a nice smell–for example, lavender oil in the bath, lavender oil in the washer when I’m washing the bedsheets.

    My hope for you is that you find something to boost your spirits and feel better.

  3. Katydid says

    Be careful of lists if you struggle with anxiety. If it stresses you out when you can’t complete a list because of interruptions, don’t make them. On the other hand, if you find them challenging and exhilarating, go for it.

  4. John Morales says

    I didn’t want to be the first to comment and derail the thread, so I waited.

    “So tell me – how do you stay chill and hopeful?”

    I never bothered to try, not feeling that need.

    I’m not particularly chill nor am I hopeful, but that doesn’t bother me.

    (Obviously, I’m not typical)

  5. brightmoon says

    I dance, listen to music , design stuff- currently quilt patterns on graph paper . I even do the quilts if I have fabric . I sew by hand so the main expense is fabric but I keep it around so that’s not currently an issue. I read , read webcomics , watch movies . Currently watching Tinker Tailer , soldier Spy on YouTube

  6. Katydid says

    I have always wanted to learn to quilt. I’ve seen some shows about it on PBS and what people can do with fabric can be stunningly beautiful and creative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *