When it's all getting a bit too much and life is throwing way too much shade at you. Take a moment to breathe, smile, grab some chocolate and relax.

Handy for anyone getting pre-Uni jitters, going to a job interview or wanting an excuse to have more sex!

1) Breathing

It sounds silly as we do it automatically every few seconds of every day. I guess because if we didn’t then we wouldn’t have any stresses at all to worry about! Though I still often hear the phrase, “don’t forget to breath” and why because when we panic we take short little breaths which can make us feel tight and agitated. So when you find yourself in a stressful situation do two things for me. One – Close your eyes. Two – Take in a deep breath to at least the count of six or seven, then control your out-breath to a count of ten or eleven. Then repeat. IF YOU START TO FEEL DIZZY STOP! The closed eyes will allow you to focus on your breath and your breathing will help slow and calm the body allowing you to regroup to tackle any problems.

2) Go for a walk

If you’re in the office then leave your desk and take a walk around the office, be it to the coffee machine or to the toilets. If you’re on a lunch break then try to leave the building. Fresh air and a different surrounding will really help to take away any work-related stresses. Even if you have a deadline approaching a quick five mins walk can help save more time in the long run when you come back refreshed.

3) Hot Bath & Candles

Sounds like a cliché but really can do the trick. I love a hot bath filled with your favourite bath oil or soak. Light a couple of tee lights and turn the lights off. Breath in for six and out for ten, let your mind be free to wander. Breathing. In and out. Stresses of work, relationships, family will try to take over your clearing head as you breathe in and out. In and out. The best advice I was ever given was, when a thought enters your head don’t worry about it appearing, just let it drift away as it drifted in. Breath in and out. Let your thoughts evaporate into the steam of the bath. In and out. You have no worries. You have no stresses. You are enjoying the simplicity of life. Enjoy.

4) Ditch the phone

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Having yourself available for contact 24hrs a day is not good for your health. You need ‘you time’. Switch off the phone for an hour in the evenings and treat yourself to spending some time with yourself or a loved one. When a phone is switched off you don’t have to worry about life outside of you. If it’s important they can leave a message. I also urge to ditch the phone whilst sleeping. Turn it off and leave in another room, or if it’s your alarm clock then put it as far away from you in the room. Give the brain some time to relax from the positive energies of the phone that still engulf a room when not in use.

5) Drink

Most of us like a good drink now and then. If anything we all think we may drink a bit too much. I know I do, yet I try to convince myself it’s to help me unwind, to help me relax. True, in moderation! If you’re drinking a bottle of wine a night then it’s likely you won’t be getting a good nights sleep and feel groggy in the morning. Tonight why not ditch the bottle and have a peppermint tea instead? It has no caffeine so won’t keep you awake!

6) Sex

gay men having sex, gay couple
CREDIT: ©-Lopolo-Depositphotos

Yes, it can be a great relaxant. A good steamy session or even some quality alone time can help muscles to relax and relieve some tension from the body. However please be careful as sex can also cause a lot of stress to your life if you’re having it unprotected and with people you don’t know. A trip to the GUM clinic is not going to help you achieve a more relaxed you!

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7) Chocolate

Yes I know I said chocolate and fizzy drinks are bad, but only if they are replacements for your main meals. A little nibble of chocolate (though for me if it’s open, it’s gone!) can give you a little life buzz. It’s these little buzzes that help us to enjoy life.

8) Smiling

It’s true! If you smile you instantly feel better. Go on try it now and prove me wrong. Think of anything that makes you smile. For me there’s a whole bank of ‘smile moments’ in my life, mostly at the expense of family members, sometimes at myself, such as the time I walked into a glass door whilst trying to enter a bar in NY. I may have had a bit to drink and missed the sign that said push but nose-first I left an imprint like an owl does when it’s hit a window at night. My eyes were certainly as wide!

9) Massage

CREDIT: Wavebreakmedia-Depositphotos

Having someone else rub oils all over your body and rub all the built-up tension dirt from inside your muscles away is fantastic. I love it. Then again I just like being touched and It can sometimes be a great lead up to tension-busting tip number 6. However not everyone is as free with their bodies, so if you hate the idea of someone else’s sweaty palms prodding you all over then try this. Take a tennis ball and place it on the back of a chair and roll your back over it. This also works for rolling your feet over it to relieve any foot stresses.

10) Eating

CREDIT: mythja-bigstock

What are you eating and when? Try not to skip meals like breakfast or lunch. Starving the body means it will fight for your attention and when you have a boss fighting for your attention also you don’t need the extra stress of a flagging body! When you do eat try to have something balanced. A good bowl of fruit and cereal for breakfast then a pasta lunch will do you wonders. Don’t replace meals with fizzy drinks or chocolate snacks as they’ll give you a five-minute rush then you’ll feel more tired than you started.

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11) Self Love

silhouette photo of man leaning on heart shaped tree
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

If you can’t have sex with someone else, or that just isn’t yourself then turn to masturbation. There’s a lot of research to show that having a handy shandy can relieve a variety of ailments because it boosts endorphins, reduces stress, improves sleep, improves immune system functioning, and can help with menopausal symptoms.

UK sex therapist Kate Moyle, for LELO told us,  “The function of pleasure is to make us feel good; and self-pleasure and masturbation can have positive benefits for our health in a variety of ways, including the release of the hormone oxytocin which can lower cortisol levels, getting to know our bodies better, and building sexual self-confidence.

About the author: Agony Uncle
The resident Agony Uncle for THEGAYUK.com with over seven years of counselling experience with the LGBT+ community.