The Twenties Club’s Guide To Managing Stress

Twenty-something’s are no strangers to stress. Whether it’s a bad week at work, an argument with your partner, too many late nights (blame Netflix) or struggling to pay the rent, we’ve become accustomed to feeling just a little bit off.

Stress manifests itself differently in each person, but for me it expresses itself in the form of anxiety, and more specifically, feelings of panic and worry that I simply won’t cope with the challenges that lie ahead. So over time I have developed a few healthy habits that help me to slow down, find a moment of calm, and ease that sour taste in my mouth when life hands me lemons…*cue Beyonce*

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Watch Amy Schumer

I’ll just say it now: this is the best piece of advice on this list.

They say laughter is the best medicine but I think a more accurate statement is Amy Schumer is the best medicine. Schumer has built her success on being both outrageously funny and completely unapologetic. She doesn’t care if you like her. Period. Which makes her the perfect cocktail of comedy when all you want to do is scream into a pillow. If you are so stressed you could cry, then why not laugh so hard you cry instead? Her appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is a good place to start.

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Eat Pana Chocolate

I eat this when I’m happy, I eat this when I’m sad. I eat this when it’s 2pm on a Tuesday and I’ve achieved nothing. But most of the time I eat this when I am s-t-r-e-s-s-e-d.

I probably don’t need to provide you with another excuse to hop into bed tonight with a block of chocolate and watch Girls or Riverdale, but in the name of science I’ll give you a few more. Pana Chocolate is made with pure cacao, it is refined sugar-free, organic and handmade. As well as being full of antioxidants, cacao is an amazing source of the good-vibe chemicals theobromine and serotonin which stimulate the nervous system and increase feelings of wellbeing and happiness. Toot toot! And if those fancy words mean nothing to you (don’t worry I get it) just consider this another excuse to eat chocolate for dinner, with or without Hannah, Marnie and Shosh.

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Breathe

The next time you are feeling stressed, try and pay attention to the way you are breathing: are you breathing deeply into your stomach, or are you breathing right at the top of your chest? Or are you so stressed that you’re not breathing at all? Same! Who needs oxygen! Live your truth! With everyone’s lives becoming so fast-paced it is no surprise that our breathing has become fast-paced as well. Our bodies literally don’t think we have enough time to breathe, it’s like “Sorry Mads, today is hectic, we might have to cut down on the breathing for the next twelve hours.”

But the problem is that when we shallow breathe, the lowest part of our lungs can’t get a full share of air, which in turn makes us feel short of breath and anxious because our body thinks it’s in danger. By contrast, when we breathe deeply, the air coming in through our nose fills our lungs completely and the lower belly rises, signalling to our body that we are safe.

If you need a little something extra, try this tongue-in-cheek guided meditation that will “let the horse sh*t of the external world fade from your awareness”.

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Talk About It

When we are feeling fragile or overwhelmed it isn’t always our first instinct to talk about it, usually out of fear that we are admitting defeat. But the truth is, if you feel like you aren’t coping it doesn’t make you a failure it just makes you human, and it was those insecurities that served as the motivation behind starting The Twenties Club.

I realised that everyone in this decade struggles at some point, but not everyone is good at admitting it. There is so much comfort to be had in knowing that someone else is feeling the same way, and simply hearing “Oh my god, me too” can ease the pain considerably. There is no manual for this decade and no guaranteed way to make it out the other side, but do not underestimate your ability to cope with the obstacles life throws at you. My guess is that you are far more resilient than you give yourself credit for. I mean think about it, just in the last decade we have survived puberty