Hey Friends! How’s it goin?
As busy and stressed as I was this week, I managed to take some time to book my ticket home and I immediately started dreaming about all the stress-free days to come while I’m in Trinidad.
I’m generally a lot less stressed when I go back home, and I always put that down to being on vacation. I’ve been ‘on vacation’ in Canada before though and the stress just kind of stays with me anyway. But, As soon as I even get a glimpse of Trinidad from the plane, I can feel my worries drifting away. Even when I know I have weeks of Christmas shopping to fit into one day, or a report to finish before I got back to school, I’m instantly at ease.
Why? Cuz it’s a cultural thing.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that all Caribbean people magically know how to deal with stress. But Caribbean people, in general, have a more laid back approach to life that doesn’t really lend itself to being stressed out all the time.
There are these little things that Caribbean people do naturally, that just make it easier to reduce stress everyday. They may seem completely obvious, but coming from someone who lived it for 18+ years and was all of a sudden thrust into a completely different lifestyle and left floundering, they help a lot.
How to Reduce Stress the Caribbean Way
1. Surround yourself with people you love (or at least like)
This one seems like a no-brainer but it’s pretty easy to overlook. At home I’m so used to being with my family all the time and just sitting around laughing and talking. I never noticed how much that family time helped to reduce stress but losing it was pretty hard to get used to. ‘m pretty sure I Skyped my mother multiple times a day when I was in first year.
Now I’ve got my family of friends to turn to when I need that connection. But, it’s important to remember that you don’t need all. the. friends. Being around people who annoy you or ask too much of you all the time will just make you even more stressed.
2. Give yourself a break
It’s so easy to get bogged down by all the things we have to do, all the people who depend on us etc. But it’s important to take a little time for you. You could go for a walk, hole up with a book, relax with a glass of wine – whatever. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you do something you love to do that will help you recharge and reduce stress.
3. Listen to music to relax
Music is one of my favourite ways to reduce stress. It’s easy to fall into the trap of listening to ‘tabanka’ music (sad/love-dovey music for the non-Trini readers) when you’re sad, upset or stressed. But honestly it usually doesn’t do anything but make you more sad and adds to your stress. So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed try some reggae music or some groovy soca and let the music just take your troubles away.
4. Have fun wherever you go
Like I said before, being around people you like help reduce stress – but only if you’re enjoying yourself. So if you ever find yourself out and bored to tears, you bring the fun and make it interesting. Find a pack of cards, or some dominoes, or a board game or just sit around telling stories from the ‘ole time days’. Trust me, it makes for a much better time than stressing about how bored you were or all the things you could be doing elsewhere.
5. Relax and don’t worry
And my personal favourite: Don’t sweat the small stuff. There’s always going to be something you CAN’T control. So why not just let it be instead of worrying about it endlessly and getting even more stressed? Sometimes you just need to go with the flow and see what happens. If it was meant to be it will happen, and if it doesn’t you can usually deal with it another time.
Bonus: Go to the Beach
Probably not the best time of year to mention this, especially since many of you don’t live in tropical islands, but it wouldn’t be a list of Caribbean relaxation tips if a trip to the beach wasn’t included. Sometimes the only thing that can take your stress away is an hour or two or even a day at the beach. Sand beneath your feet, sea breeze in your hair and the sound of the waves to calm your soul. Sounds like paradise to me.
What about you?
How do you reduce stress in your life? Are there any more stress relief tricks you can find in the Caribbean lifestyle?
Share in the comments below!