Post-Hustle Relaxation Roundup
Written & compiled by Ashlie Johnson Coggins
The least fun part of the hustle is the inevitable stress that comes along with it. The scariest part of the hustle is that stress is a major contributor to mortality rates in American women. One of my favorite questions we often ask featured Babes is “what helps you wind down and manage stress?” It may seem trivial, but given the staggering health statistics and the societal pressures women face to keep it all together, relaxing is actually very serious business.
Being someone who’s not exactly a creature of routine, my personal stress relief has taken different forms at different times in my life. In my early twenties, I wrote bad poetry and kept a journal filled with cut out pictures from magazines. After one particularly painful breakup, I rode my bike obsessively around the streets of Savannah while listening to music on an iPod. In my mid-twenties, I wrote fervently in a journal and started writing short stories here and there. (I still try to now that I’m in my early thirties, but with considerably less success.) I also picked up photography and would wander around taking pictures of my feet and street signs. I also went through a period of consistent yoga practice, which I recall being particularly effective at relieving stress and centering me during a tumultuous time in my life. In my late twenties and up until last year, I liked to walk for long distances, listening to music, chatting on the phone with someone or just letting myself daydream.
Now in my early thirties, my best stress relievers are being physically close to my partner and doing something creative. Last year, I went through a painting phase, and then an illustration phase, and then back into a personal photography phase. (And if I’m honest, shopping has always been relaxing for me though it often leads to more stress later when I spend more than I planned. Oops!)
As I was reading through past interviews, all the answers resonated with me and the various ways I’ve untangled myself from a bad day, or an intense emotion, or an unkind email or a bank account in the red over the years. Read on for a roundup of post-hustle relaxation tips and insights, as told by some of our past babes—and I’m sure you’ll see plenty that will resonate with you too.
Katyana Vert-Pre Kirk, fishery scientist
“Swimming is my best stress reliever.”
Izzi Gomez, professional SUP surfer
“I love yoga and foam rolling, which both play a huge role in helping me manage stress.”
Zoe Gallina, creative director at Botanica International
“Weirdly, strolling through stores like HomeGoods or Marshalls by myself with no agenda. Ha! I could be in the worst mood and after an hour of browsing, I’m a totally different person. My husband calls these stores my happy place. Not to mention, who doesn't love a good deal?”
Connect with Others
Stefanie Keeler, owner, Stefanie Keeler Photography
“Hanging out with my amazing support system. My family and friends are incredibly supportive of what I do.”
Unleash Your Creativity
Jo Franco, YouTuber and blogger with Damon and Jo
“Writing with good ol’ pen and paper is my way of rebalancing myself. I need to take that moment, with incense, good jazz music and maybe a glass of wine (or three) to remember that it’s all simple at the end of the day. It’s all about doing what you love.”
Miran Kaleigh Kim, violinist with the Metropolitan Opera House
“I’m someone who needs to be creative constantly. I love practicing my calligraphy, making illustrations and blogging on the side. These things really help me de-stress from the day.”
Diana R.A. Morris, writer and compliance coordinator at Vanderbilt University
“Music, books and art are always my go-to. When completing my last two moves, the first things I set up in my apartments were my bookshelf, gallery wall and stereo system. I have a running list of concerts to attend, art museums or events to enjoy and books to read or listen to.”
Get Out of Your Head
Olivia Wilson, senior publicist with X Games/ESPN
“I look forward to my 40-minute drive home every day where I listen to podcasts, zone out or talk to my mom. If I’m feeling frustrated, I usually just need a distraction to remind me that PR isn’t brain surgery and at the end of the day, I did my best and that’s what counts.”
Emma Bates, head of global marketing at Away
“A glass of red wine … doesn’t go astray.”
Ashlie is a digital marketer and creator living in Jacksonville, Florida. She’s particularly fond of cats, karaoke, sharing good meals with friends, building community through the arts, and looking up at the sky. Follow her on Instagram at @ashlie_elsewhere or visit her repository for all things creative at heyashlie.com. Find her other contributing story here.