Less Angry, More Wholesome: Tips and Recommendations to Survive the Summer
Dealing With Anger and Frustration + 4 Wholesome Recommendations To Brighten Your Month
Let me start by saying it’s okay to be frustrated.
We are holding rivers of anger and fear and grief within our bodies. It’s important to let them out. The more we avoid or run away from our feelings, the more they ambush us in unexpected (and sometimes professional) settings.
But we don’t really know how to express these negative emotions without lashing out at our loved ones or coworkers or strangers on the internet. Or we withdraw from any social interaction and isolate ourselves within our bubbles.
Last year I found myself feeling extremely angry, helpless and volatile. Here are some of my tried and tested (and therapist-approved) ways to express anger in a healthy way:
When you’re angry, your body generates energy. That’s why your face becomes warm and your hands start shaking. Do jumping jacks or go for a run or do anything physical to let the energy out.
Dance to angry music. Or sad music. Or whatever music you like.
Take it out on your pillow. Throw it across the room. Beat it on the floor. Punch it a few times.
Write your thoughts down. Keep a diary where you can furiously scribble your angry thoughts and read them later.
Find a quiet place and scream out loud. There is something incredibly liberating about a full volume scream. You probably haven’t done that since you were a kid. If, like me, you live in a crowded city where at least 5 families will hear your scream (including your own), scream into a pillow.
One thing to avoid when you’re angry is posting on social media.
Our angry thoughtless rants can stay online forever and pass on the frustration to other people. Tweeting might feel like talking to a void, but sometimes the void talks back.
I discovered this nice and handy website where you can literally scream into the void. It helped me through some tough times, giving me space to for thoughts that felt too real to say out loud and feelings that I couldn’t express otherwise.
Keep it handy for those horrendously bad days in your life. Type in whatever you’re thinking or feeling, however awful, hit the scream button, and the text disappears with a loud and satisfying scream, never to be seen again. Phew!
Moving Towards Wholesomeness
While our anger and frustration is justified, it’s important to surround ourselves with wholesome people and content. Create time and space to take a break and recharge yourself.
Here are some recommendations that will pique your curiosity, soothe your mind, make you laugh, and fill your days with a little bit of hope and positivity.
Watch: Schitts Creek
With flawed characters and wholesome relationships, this show is the epitome of wholesomeness. Forget your troubles and focus on the issues of this family as they lose all their wealth and are forced into moving to a small town. Schitts Creek is both hell (for these rich characters) and a utopia: there’s no misogyny, sexual harassment or homophobia. While these issues are acknowledged, they are never used as plot points to take the story forward.
With subtle humor and bittersweet life events, this show helps you appreciate the small things in life. A must-watch for wholesome LGBTQ representation!
Be warned, it takes a few episodes to understand the format and characters and really get invested into the show. But like all sweet things, it’ll grow on you.
Read: Anxious People by Fredrick Backman
Translated from Swedish, this book is ‘a story about idiots’. It takes us into a world where there are no bad guys, just people struggling to hold it together on a daily basis. Sometimes these people make bad choices. Sometimes these people are us.
I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time. I finally bought it this month and read the 300+ page story in 2 days! I felt better about my life choices (at least I’ve never tried to rob a bank) and somehow feel extremely understood. Like I no longer had to pretend that I had my life together and could be one of the strangers sharing their life story in a hostage situation.
Anxious People will make you laugh and cry and leave you feeling strongly connected with all human beings. A truly cathartic experience.
Listen: Aaron Mahnke’s Cabinet of Curiosities
Listening to podcasts can be very relaxing, especially when my eyes are tired from staring at the screen all day. I also conceptualize and produce podcasts now, so a little research doesn’t hurt.
I can listen to Cabinet of Curiosities any time of the day. It’s a storytelling podcast that takes you down strange and bizarre roads of history, the kind you never learned in school. Each 10-12 minute episode contains 2 fascinating tales that cover everything from spies and secret societies to coffee and soda pop.
If you like learning random facts and details about the world, you will love this podcast!
Write: Things I Achieved This Month
This is more of a feel-good ritual than a content recommendation. When the world and our own lives seem bleak, it’s nice to acknowledge and celebrate our big and small achievements. Give yourself a gold star for waking up on time or meeting that deadline or for just getting through the month! Maybe you learned something new. Maybe you did something cool at work. Maybe you gave time to a relationship that was struggling or made a new friend. Maybe you survived the death of a loved one. Write it all down on a piece of paper and stick it somewhere you will notice on a regular basis.
I try to do this once a month (I mostly forget). But it’s important to take stock of our lives: achievements, struggles, loss and all. What has it taken us to survive so far? What do we need to continue surviving?
So punch that pillow and journal furiously and escape into wholesome worlds for some time. And don’t forget to take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
And if you have any anger management tips or wholesome recommendations that have helped you cope in the last 2 years, let me know!