An Exercise in Tension Release

Hannah Collins is an advocate of doing whatever it is that helps you release some of that tension – here she shares her favourite self-care activities.

by Hannah Collins


I started my day in the typical fashion of an unemployed 25-year-old graduate: with diazepam and co-codamol. This is because the tension festering inside of me, both mentally and physically, is becoming pretty unbearable. To quote Nicki Minaj, ‘I got zero chill in me’. Stress migraines, heart palpitations, racing thoughts keeping me awake at 4 am, constant self-doubt; what a time to be alive.

Given my current situation, I’ve become pretty good at finding things to keep me occupied while my BFF housemate is out at work, doing her life like a pro. Amongst my array of self-care activities are those that also assist in alleviating some of the stress that has somehow managed to merge itself with the fibres of my being. This includes, but is not limited to:

Trying to be hilarious on the internet by upping my Twitter game

Slaughtering everything and everyone I encounter in the wonderful world of Skyrim

A good hour or so of (solo) afternoon delight a couple of times a week

Getting far too immersed in the lives of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Listening to a disproportionate amount of true crime podcasts

Spoiling myself with bi-weekly intensive facials

Eating Maltesers spread (yes, there is such a thing) with a spoon straight from the jar

Trying to learn the sequence in that bit of ‘Formation’ where Beyoncé tells us whether she or we are the ones slaying at that particular moment

Writing lists

Collecting memes and saving them into a special folder on my phone so that I am never without amusing references on Whatsapp

Playing Halo with the above mentioned housemate and literally screaming at the game like we’re in the middle of a battlefield

Getting a new piercing

Making roast dinners

Learning how to plank (hahaha)

Making everyone who comes to our house play Articulate, or some form of card game

Accruing Papa John’s points

Going to Waitrose so I can get a free hot drink

Imagining what a great shag Evan Peters would be

Perfecting my Instagram aesthetic

Endeavouring to find the best cheap Sauvignon Blanc money can buy


So you see, I’ve become a master at appreciating the little things. And all of these nice things do help to chip away at the knots in my chest, bit by bit. It might seem self-indulgent or shallow, but so what? The fact is, whatever it is that helps you get a decent night’s sleep – no matter how trivial it may seem to others – you should be doing it. Regularly.

Hannah Collins | @hunkamunka

Hannah likes cyborgs, wine, and feminism.

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