Stressful Day

Stress Reduction Kit

Yesterday was a high-stress affair for me.

I can’t get into the specifics, but suffice to say I worked myself into a complete froth over what will likely be nothing yesterday.  I spilled some of that stress over onto my wife and kids, unfortunately, but they all seemed not to notice.  (I’m not sure how to take that.)

My wife did ask a couple of times if I was okay.  When I told her no, I most certainly was not okay, she asked why.  When I tried to explain ….

I realized how stupid I was being almost immediately.  But man, I couldn’t help it.  I just kept right on being stressed, being frazzled, being worried.  Today, I’m still feeling that way a little.  I played with the kids some and they did great.  I feel bad for being snappy at everyone (which is the sign I’m under some sort of duress), and want to make it up to them today.  I figure some good, quality play time with the kids and pitching in to help Falcon get some computer- and relaxation-time will somewhat atone for my sins, but she’s really lousy at letting me make things up to her.  Here’s hoping.

No one got mad.  No one even said anything.  I spent time addressing one of the areas of stress with Falcon and praying about a big decision causing the stress, and afterward, felt a little better.  Sent an email, did some research … ah, that’s better.  Not relieved of the stress, but it’s manageable from here.

Of course, nothing’s changed in my situation.  I still am not working, and the uncertainties of that remain.  But now I feel today is a day when I can look at a couple of things and take care of them, and get myself into a better place.  I hope.

How about you?  How do you manage your stress, your tough emotional times when you feel caught between a rock and a hard place?  What’s your trick for getting out of the vicious cycle of worry and hand-wringing?

Any tips, greatly appreciated.


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19 thoughts on “Stressful Day

  1. When I’m stressed I eat fried chicken and taters. Sometimes I’ll replace taters with french fries and biscuits. if it’s too early in the day to get fried chicken (I need a fried chicken breakfast take-out place close to home) I’ll get some donuts instead.

    Basically, it breaks down thusly:
    stressed -> goto Mary Brown’s
    can’t get to Mary Brown’s -> goto Popeye’s
    it’s before 11am -> Country Style Donuts
    can’t be bothered to drive into town -> Tim Horton’s

    Okay, this is a great list, and I love the idea. Really, I do. I’d LOVE a 24-hour fried chicken place (I mean, you know — it has to be GOOD fried chicken, though), and I’d go early and often. Problem is, I don’t have a job right now, which is part of the stress. No job=no money. I know, it’s a strange concept, but it’s true. And painful. But if I DID have a job, I’d probably take your path.

  2. None of that should be a surpise to you. But maybe some other commenters will have some original ideas to help you out. Maybe somebody will say “get laid” or “porno” or something like that. But, it’s not really my forte. I’m an eater. Food is love.

    Food IS love. I agree completely. And no, none of it was a surprise.

  3. Well, I guess the thing that works most often for me is watching a movie so I’ll stop thinking about whatever’s worrying me. Seems I can relax if I break the thought pattern. It also helps to remind myself that the anxiety is a temporary (if recurrent) state and will likely pass in a day or two, and that no matter what happens life will continue. It might suck, but I’ll get through it. Sometimes none of those works, but they work more than anything else.

    You’ll get through this. Holler if you want a sounding board.

    Thanks. I’m pretty okay … now. I talk to Fal incessantly, and I don’t want to transfer stress to her. So far that hasn’t happened and she can generally talk me off a ledge, but if I don’t get some reality checks from someplace, nothing will work. I’d LOVE to be able to escape into a book or a movie, but my brain multi-tasks really, really well, and I can both stress and watch a movie or TV just fine. *Sigh* Thanks for the offer, sweetie!

  4. First I bang my forehead into your sign, then I can’t remember anything, then I write poetry. I write it as a single paragraph about what’s eating me or not or some great idea, then I chop it up into little thoughts and try not to add punctuation. By the time I’m done, I’ve usually forgotten what was bothering me. Then again it might be age, I’ve found the older you get, the less bothers you, especially if you already spilled it out on paper, let it dry, and shared it outloud.

    Nice! EXCELLENT, in fact! I’m hoping age will mellow me, too, but I’m afraid my situation will never change, that this is my lot in life, and if that’s true, I’ll never stop feeling as I do. 😦 But still, writing through it is awesome! Kudos to you!! 🙂

  5. I write. I walk. I listen to really loud music and sing (somewhere I can’t be heard because I can’t sing). I fret – play those pointless worry loops in my brain. At some point, when I have worked myself to a place where I can voice things – I run things by my husband, who is very sensible and an awesome sounding board.

    Stress happens. So you are caught in it right now.

    Sounds a bit like my routine too, except the writing part. Can’t write when I’m too stressed, even about the stress. I stew in the stress for a while and the problems become insurmountable, then I talk to my pragmatic and wonderful wife who makes sense of it all. And yes, I’m caught in it right now. Not so much RIGHT now, but in this time.

  6. I find deep breathing helps. Then counting my blessings (this breaks the mental loop of catastrophic thinking). Then more deep breathing. Progressive relaxation exercises or relaxation recordings can also help.

    I’ve done this before. I generally do it long enough to center myself for prayer and then unload on the Lord. Thanks for the reminder! I needed that!

    When things are out of control, I find finding something I can control is helpful. A lot of closets get cleaned this way 🙂

    LOL! Fantastic! GREAT advice. Do something I can control, or at least THINK about it. Brilliance!

    I think it’s also good to have a written list of things that relax/de-stress you and one of blessings/things that are working. Sometimes when we get caught in stress thought, it’s hard to remember the things that’ll break that cycle. If you can’t currently make these yourself, ask for help from someone who cares for you (that blessing of a spouse, for instance?).

    You’re amazing. This stuff is GOLD.

    And your spouse and kids are probably noticing you’re stressed more than you think. If this is ongoing, they’re probably trying to keep from contributing to it.

    I’ve tried to keep it away from them, too, and to let them know I love them dearly. Often. I got better by day’s end, but I carry the guilt of being grumpy and snappy at those I love most for a while before I get all the way over it.

    Hope something here is what you need.


    Oh, Catherine — thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me these nuggets of precious gems. You were an instrument of God today. Thank you.

  7. When stressed to the point that I cannot do anything but think about the stress I get very withdrawn. I’ve found that I usually stress about something that I “Need” to address in my life and have not thought about enough and developed a plan of action. Usually something I’ve been procrastinating about is what stresses me out. So I spend a little time breathing and thinking it through, planning it out and then reassure myself that if I just follow my plan of action, everything will work out just fine.

    Very, very good practical advice! Sometimes taking the bull by the horns is the best way to handle something. Bravo, and thank you very much! Something new to try!

  8. Xanax, lots of xanax. And if that doesn’t work, the next zombie hoard that comes around better watch out, because screw the gun, I’m going for the chainsaw and taking out my frustrations that way.

    I really respect folks who can write through their stress/worry. If I could do that I’d be more prolific than Stephen King. Regrettably, it’s not in my wiring, so I have to just … find other ways. 🙂

  9. Throw one helluva’ temper tantrum quickly followed by double dose of CLONAZEPAM, then either my favorite DVDs or knitting like a fiend. I have gotten really, really, good at knitting one sock. Yep, lots of socks suffering from “second sock syndrome” where the knitter doesn’t want to do the mate of what they just did so you move on to the next sock/pattern/yarn all the while swearing you will come back and start/finish the missing mate.

    I am actually on the second sock of one crocheted sock for hubby and on the second sock of a knitted one for me and have a lonely not-quite-orphaned knitted baby sock for our approaching grandchild.

    I’m great at starting something and suck at follow through, at least in personal areas. When I was working I would break my ass to get projects done ASAP even if they weren’t needed that fast.

    Well, I’d LOVE a set of knit socks for winter ’round here, frankly; even if they don’t match. 🙂 You could do one of your AWESOME giveaways and offer a pair of unmated socks to one lucky winner!! 🙂

    • Now that sounds like a good idea! Worsted wt. yarns make awesome and warm socks for around the house or that will fit in clogs or slippers. I might have to do that 🙂

      Count ME in! 🙂

  10. Actually, I’m pretty stressed today too. Like whatigotsofar, I usually eat … which only leads to more stress, only for a different reason. But today I have too much work to do (cleaning and writing) so I’ll drink wine as I work and see what happens. I may not get too much cleaning done, but I might write something great … then again, I may just take a nap.

    NONE of this is helpful to you, I know, so I’ll just say I hope that something so delightful will happen to you today that your whole outlook will change.

    Linda, wine and a nap is a great suggestion. 😉 It’s fine — I asked my peeps what THEY do to de-stress. It doesn’t mean I’m hoping you guys can solve my problems, and I’m really all right now. Sorta. As much as I can be, I suppose. But I appreciate the kindness in your statement and I’d like to thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts for me. I hope your stress is vaporize before the sun sets today too. 🙂

  11. I exercise! :::laughs:: Somehow a good run, or walk…or working outside in my yard…clears my head.

    And this is how you stay so beautiful and fit and youthful and amazing. Me, I’d take a couple of steps and collapse to light a cigarette.

    ::hugs::You are entitled to freak out once in a while. It is good for you to get it out.

    *Hug back* Thanks, doll. I can’t get to your blog!! When will it go live?! WHEN?!? 🙂

  12. I was stressed out the other day and when I came home Halo, the dog jumped on me and I snapped. I beat her nearly to death with a roll of paper towels. Sienna, Otis & Maggie have been beaten so severly with a Wal-Mart bag that they were cowering under the desk. It *was* a full roll of paper towels.

    I don’t manage stress well. It usually involves me curled up in a ball in my bed, keening and wailing. The only thing I ever stress about is money and you know what? The bills will still be there tomorrow. It’s not worth worrying over, but at the time it feels like the end of the world.

    You’ve touched on something very few people seem to understand. I know a LOT — and I mean a LOT — of people who have stress. I’m not alone in this. But maybe they don’t talk about it because they don’t want to hear the advice they’ve given so many times spewed back at them; a LOT of people are good at preaching “No sense worrying about it!” For me, that’s NOT an option. I don’t know how to just “switch off” that portion of me which wonders how the f**k I’m supposed to pay rent and all the other bills and keep food on the table and all that when I have no money. It’s a LOT easier to say “Worrying won’t help” when you’re fully employed and have a steady paycheck. I haven’t had either of those since 2002. So do I stress? YES. Does it help? No, of course not, but you know what? Being afraid of spiders doesn’t help either, being afraid of small spaces doesn’t help, being scared when being held at gunpoint won’t help. Those situations aren’t helped by fear or stress either, but people still react that way. So it is with me — and maybe you too? — with my financial situation. I don’t deal with stress well either. Thanks for helping me not feel so weird about it, sweetie. 🙂

  13. Knyt

    The only good thing that came out of me being sick was it gave me the ability to reevaluate my life and where i was……stress like you have is not easy to deal with. I would say the two things that you can do is…change diet..less comfort foods more light food…fresh vegetables and fruit…the other is do some sort of soul lifiting exercise….yoga…tai chai…mediation..take some me time during the day..there are a ton of websites you can go to to learn the exercises for no cost……hope this helps…zman sends

    It might just help at that, Steve! Thanks for the tips! God bless and thanks for stopping by!

  14. Long drive, loud angry music, head bobbing (don’t worry, that’s not considered dancing) – when stress comes down to realistic levels I write, generally not about whatever the stress is – although recently I tried to write about my stress and it turned into something more wonderful on paper. If I can’t seem to write I begin a gratitude list and don’t allow myself to stop until I begin to feel it. I have to or I do a quick slide into sleep deprivation. Hope you find a way to exorcise the demons, they never seem to be friendly. 😦

    Thanks, Jaymie! I really appreciate the ideas and suggestions. 🙂

  15. I will have to refer to this post for tips when I get stressed. I could have used it earlier this week when I got overdue payment notices. 🙂

    You’re more than welcome to take the tips and tricks and stick them on your fridge, Rachel! There was genuine gold in there!

    I don’t handle stress well and tend to withdraw from humanity, eat chocolate, and read books and blogs.

    Hey, that works too. However you get the euphoria, as long it’s legal, I say go for it. 😉

    Thanks for visiting mine. 🙂

    It was my pleasure. I genuinely enjoyed it. And thank you for coming by here … I hope you don’t feel obligated to do so, but I’m very happy you did. 🙂

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