Sometimes the Best Anti-stress Pill is Not a Pill. Sometimes It’s a Hug.

Photo by Dim Hou

Or spending time with friends, walking, playing sports, or enjoying the sunset while walking barefoot on the grass.

Sometimes the best anti-stress pill is not a pill but a good book, listening to music, looking at the infinite through the window while it rains, or even taking a good nap (alone or accompanied 🙂

And you, what relieves your stress?

For me, living the weekends like in the nineties.

Never in all my life have I been so “in the here and now” as the weekends of the nineties.

We were young people with no Internet connection but were closely connected to each other.

With the money our parents gave us on weekends, we would make a group pot for snacks, drinks, and cigarettes.

To get that little money, we had to endure those endless sermons in which the adults would tell us about the value of money and curfew.

And if you complained, they would say, “When you become a father, you will eat eggs,” or “As long as you live in my house, you will arrive when I tell you.”

You couldn’t mute them, you couldn’t cancel them, you couldn’t skip things you didn’t like.

There was no mute button.

Life wasn’t a TikTok feed where you could spend hours scrolling through and discarding the parts you didn’t like.

Nor could you increase the playback speed to 1.5, like on YouTube or Netflix, and get people moving and talking like a squirrel on amphetamines.

You also couldn’t block your friends or your exes.

You had to put up with a lot of awkward conversations. You had to face reality. There was no way around it.

We couldn’t choose between a thousand parties, there was one, and you had to make it work; you knew you would die on that hill.

Because you knew youth was slipping through your fingers like beach sand.

The good thing is that we didn’t have to worry about taking good selfies.

The photos were group shots, like when soccer teams pose before a game.

And you could only see them weeks later when the camera owner developed them.

And we all came out with our eyes red and our faces out of focus.

You had to have a real relationship with boredom.

Midday tedium was a member of the family.

And you had to deal with the sepulchral silence of three o’clock in the afternoon because if you thought of making noise and waking up your father from the sacrosanct Sunday nap, you could prepare yourself. After all, the slipper was not an urban legend.

You could only count on what you could see. And that was enough.

Because what you could see was the work of another human being, not an AI.

And lucky encounters were doubly fortunate because no algorithm played God and generated serendipities.

The magic was authentic, or you didn’t see the trick.

Everything was slower. Much slower. And what seemed to us a disadvantage back then, today, I see as something beautiful.

Life needs time to be enjoyed.

So maybe today, you can give yourself permission to get bored, to slow down a bit, to reconcile yourself with well-being, and live less “fast” than usual.

Maybe today is a good weekend to take it “slow.”

A virtual hug


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