We caught up with Kim Alex Hall, a film and television actress and creative, to chat about her stress memories. “Stress Memories” is a series of questions we ask our featured humans to encourage and normalize stress-related conversations.
My first memory of stress: My father coming home. My dad was abusive and I was the oldest, so I was in charge of taking care of the home. I used to be so stressed out when I would hear the gate open and he was coming in. I wanted everything to be right so he wouldn’t spazz out. At that age, I don’t think I was processing it as stress. To me, it was just life.
Stress feels like: My chest gets really tight. Usually, I can feel it in my stomach. The trauma and stress still live in my body, even if I’ve consciously worked through something. I can sit and talk about this, but as I’m talking about it, I feel the remnants of that stress because it’s still passing through me. Stress can become apart of you. I was hospitalized because I had what they thought was a tumor, but it was inflammation in my back. That was caused by was stress. From being a child, I’ve always internalized the stress and obviously, I took that with me into my adulthood. That inflammation. Not being able to, or not feeling like I could communicate it, or not having the tools to know how to.
Stress looks like: Alone. I tend to sleep a lot.
My stress-minimizing activities are: Meditating with frequency music or sound bowls is really relaxing for my spirit. Therapy. Being able to talk and communicate the stress. Letting it out of my body through verbal communication is very helpful for me. I realize working out really helps because you can place that energy. I have to move that energy through something. Breathing with sound sometimes is really helpful to me, too.
My stress-minimizing smells are: Incense. I love candles. Sage is really good for me. Palo Santo is really good. I have this coconut and honey crackling wood wick candle that I really love. I love in the bathroom eucalyptus, lavender. That’s super calming for me. When I get in the shower and smell that. Also, breathing is really important for me. Being in the shower and breathing in eucalyptus and lavender is soothing for me.
My stress-minimizing foods are: I do Uber Eats a lot. Laughing. Consciously, I was thinking about preparing my own meals because [with] other people preparing my meals I don’t know what type of energy they’re putting into it. Lately, I’ve been cooking a lot. I dislike trying to figure out what I’m going to make. There’s something meditative about preparing it. I love dishing it out. Displaying it on a plate. When I’m stressed, it affects my stomach. I’ve been eating fruit for breakfast and it’s been really helpful. I take things like Supa Mega Greens every day. They have spirulina, wheatgrass, alfalfa grass, chlorella. I like teas. I don’t eat that much meat. When I eat beef, I feel weighed down. It stresses my body, my digestive system. I try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. I do fish. It’s all really helpful.