Dealing with Stress

Happy shopping Friday to my friends! Black Friday has finally made its way to Canada, but I now have the flu – so I’m not sure if I’m feeling up to braving the crowds :S

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I’m taking a break from my regular Friday Faves this week to talk about something that’s been a pretty big part of my life this week: stress.

-!%-@#$-

Oddly enough, at this time last year I was also dealing with an immense amount of stress, so I’d like to think (or pretend) that I know a little bit about how to deal with stress in ways that are healthy and not so healthy.

Not Recommended

I know I definitely turn to the not recommended section first when I’m stressed. I think it’s because these are ways to ignore the issue and hope it goes away. It won’t, and ignoring the issue doesn’t help things, but sometimes we can only do so much.

  • Drinking. When I’ve had a stressful day, I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine, or a beer, or whatever. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing, but when it comes to drinking to not feel, or to survive, then this is a problem.
  • Sleeping/Not sleeping. Right now I’m on the not sleeping train. Really, I do want to sleep, I just can’t. I’m blaming the stress hormones. Sleeping too much is also not a good way to cope. Stress can be exhausting and sometimes getting hours of sleep can help with the emotional stress hangover, but sleeping days away and not living life isn’t healthy.
  • Eating/Not eating. I’m still solidly in the not eating camp. For mild amounts of stress (see: project due at work) I’ll seek out cookies, for acute ongoing stress (see: this week) eating is a chore and I just won’t do it. As of today I’ve lost 3 pounds since Sunday. Definitely not healthy.

I tried the not sleeping/eating thing this week and now I’m laid up on the couch with the flu, so please, don’t be like me 🙂

Recommended

  • Getting rest. Taking a nap when needed. I know I’m tired after work, so I try to take a quick nap, but not so long that I can’t sleep at night.
  • Exercise. This has been tricky for me since I haven’t been eating much. I know I need to eat to fuel my body, so I’m trying not to run too hard, but running is where I solve my problems (I’m totally the crazy person waving my hands around and talking to myself when running) so I know I need to do it to keep grounded.
  • Healthy food. Since I know not all food is appetizing, I’ll pretty much just eat whatever sounds good at the time without worrying about whether or not its healthy for me (this is how I dealt with my disordered eating last year as well) but I do try to ensure some healthy choices in my day. I have my green smoothie each morning because it’s easy for me to drink and make. That way I know if I don’t eat much throughout the day, I’ve at least had some fruits, veggies and protein.
  • Crying. Seriously. Sometimes a good old ugly cry can really help get the sadz out. I’ve ugly cried a whole lot less than this time last year, but it still does help. The key is to move on after the crying.
  • Writing. One thing I’ve done over the past year is write emails and letters, but don’t send them. This helps me to gather and sort out my thoughts, as feelings surely aren’t rational. At all. Ever. I can yell and call people names (if needed) and just sort out how I feel. Once I know how I feel I’m better equipped to move forward.
  • Friends. At this time last year a few people I thought were my friends kind of weren’t. Since then I’ve developed some , awesome friendships and they really do lift me up. I’ve talked their ears off this week and they’ve listened without judgement, but have also told me if I’m being irrational. I’m so, so thankful for that.
  • Praying. I know not everyone is religious, but prayer has really helped me. I pray not only for me, but for other individuals involved and it brings me comfort.
  • Merlin. Now, I realize not everyone has a Merlin, but he’s pretty good for me during stressful times. I’m certain he can pick up on it and he just snuggles with me, and when I go to bed, this guy snuggles hard. He snuggles into my armpit, lays his head on my chest and purrs like he’s never purred before. Seriously. It’s wonderful.
  • Random dance parties. Seriously. Put on some good music and just dance. Bonus points if you do it Grey’s Anatomy style in your underwear. A five-minute dance party will instantly lift your spirits!!
  • Do something for you. It can be anything. Cook yourself a nice dinner, get a massage (I am on Saturday), do your nails, get your hair cut (maybe add in some blue hair chalk). Sometimes when we get stressed we forget to love and take care of ourselves. Don’t. Be selfish. Take an hour out of your day and do something just for you and don’t you dare apologize for it!!

photo (3)

Blue hair; don’t care. WHUT?! 🙂

That’s how I’ve managed to survive this week.

Tell me: What are your tried and true ways to deal with stress?

5 thoughts on “Dealing with Stress

  1. You are on my prayer list right now and will continue to be. I read your post from earlier this week and my heart hurt so much. I pray for this huge painful stress in your life right now and for healing. I am just so sorry and will lifting you up each day.

    • Thank you friend, your prayers are so important to me.
      I have to say, I’m feeling FAR better than I was on Sunday/Monday. This past year hasn’t been without challenges, but it’s also been a learning and growing experience for me as well. Knowing I have people who love me and are praying for me is such a comfort.

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