Thursday, April 03, 2008

Reader Request

Please leave a comment if you read this!

I'm looking for ways to manage the stress in my life. I'm not used to feeling so frazzled and unsettled and it's really...uncomfortable. Normally, I'm pretty good at rolling with the punches in life, but this week has been unusually bad and my regular coping skills aren't working this time around. I can't sleep it away. There isn't enough water (or gas to heat the water) in the world for me to take a long enough and hot enough shower to melt my stress away. Money is too tight for me to quit my job. Even my favorite pastimes of perusing cookbooks and puttering around the kitchen isn't helping. How do I know it's really bad? I don't even want to clean my house. And for people who know me, a clean house is sacred. Everything seems like a chore and (to go back and quote myself as a kid), "I don't feel like it." Nothing is feeling enjoyable and I'd love to curl into a ball and roll myself to pretty much anywhere but here.

I'm looking for suggestions. How do you manage stress in your life? Work, family, economy, gas prices, health, money, whatever. Please leave a comment and give me some hints as to what works for you. I'll do my best to implement whatever you suggest and come up with a post later as to what worked best for me--and to express my eternal thanks!


Margaret said...

When I can, I go for a walk outside. I'll walk until the frustration eases, then I try to enjoy the glory of nature.

Time and the weather don't always cooperate, but it's better than staying in the house when that's the last place I want to be.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Margaret. You need to get out of the house. But not for just a walk. Join a kung-fu class or kick boxing or something that allows you to PHYSICALLY get your frustration out. I've been in kung-fu since I was 4 years old and a lot of the people who join later on in life say it's a great stress relief. I know it can be expensive but most clubs will let you try them out for a week before they ask for some kind of commitment. If you don't like it, don't go back. And if you're looking for something less strenuous, try taichi. It's fun and calming.

Christine said...

I came via a referral from pugslife. When I get stressed and life it too much, I get a cheap motel room..let other people take care of everything I normally do..sleep as long as I junk food..sleep more..
Eventually you'll miss your life and come back with a better attitude. It really works.

Cheryl said...

I'm sorry that you're feeling so bad. Has it gone on for long? It sounds to me like you're depressed. Do you think you are? Might you talk to a doctor about it?

I'm not sure what I do for stress. I have the attitude that things will get better. That I've been through rough times and survived them.

You'll be in my thoughts, OK?

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I was going to say the same as Cheryl, it sounds to me like you are depressed.

Shoot me an email, ok?

Catherine said...

How I deal with "stress" -

1) I do not use the word "stress." I don't use it to apply to myself, my life, or others and their lives. I don't think it's a constructive word.

    Of course, it's not easy to just suddenly stop using it, and even now that I've stopped using it, I still find myself tempted every once in a while. Instead, I stop myself and try to think about what I'm REALLY feeling. Frustrated? Worried? Anxious? Angry? Sad? Once I figure that out, I try to get into the who/what/where/why.

2) I went to a Franklin Covey workshop. True, they are expensive (work paid for me to go), so I don't expect everyone to be able to. But do read "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". It's a great way to learn how to balance your life between the "very important, very urgent" (Quandrant I), the "very important, not urgent" (Quadrant II), the "not important, very urgent" (Quadrant II), and the "not important, not urgent" (Quadrant IV). The goal, of course, is to be in Quadrant II as much as possible --to pursue the things that are important to you.

    The workshop also helped me to center myself by making me list the things I value, and to create two goals for myself (one medium-term, and one long-term), based on those values. My first five values? Love, Knowledge, Conviction, Bravery, and Creativity. Since love is number one, I try to love as much as I can every day --it's that important to me. I have probably not been this happy (in a sustained way) in a long time. And this coming from someone who lives in an EVIL HOUSE.

3) Say NO. It's the hardest thing. Especially for MacStewarts. How are you suposed to say no? If not you, who is going to dismatle the bomb in the building? If not you, who is going to whip up a replacement cake when the caterers drop it right before the reception? If not you, who?!

    Trust me: someone. And if someone doesn't, then it probably wasn't important, or urgent, and you shouldn't let that kind of worry sit on your own plate.

    Of course, there are always exceptions to what I just said. And yes, it can feel IMPOSSIBLE to say no. So start small: once a week. Once a week, tell someone, "No. I'm sorry, but I can't." What do you choose to say "no" to? Hopefully something that's not important so that you can spend that time you would have spent doing an inconsequential task actually doing something you find meaningful.

It is not easy, Sister. I know. But I love you very, very much. Just remember that.

Serendipity said...

Good words.