Friday, November 13, 2009

Let's talk about stress

I don't like to complain.

Okay, so yes, I do like to complain. I've been developing that skill over a lifetime and I'm now so good at it that if it were ever an Olympic sport, I'd take gold. Hands down.

But today, I'm not complaining. Today, I'm asking questions.

Do you carry around a load of worry?

Are you aware of it?

Do you know if you're coping well or if you're simply ignoring the issue? How do you tell the difference? Does it matter?

I've had some stress lately. Actually, I've had lots of stress, but I'm thinking about one particular stressor right now. I knew I was worried. I knew I was stressed but I didn't consciously experience this as a huge burden. It didn't consume my thoughts or make me feel sad all the time. I went about my day, doing what needed to be done. I thought I was coping fairly well.

Yesterday, the majority of that particular stress item was lifted. The big, bad, worst case scenario did not happen. In fact, it was the most positive of possible outcomes, given the situation.

But then I came home, plopped down on my bed and didn't get up again, except to eat or, well, you know. I slept like a dead log all night long until after 7:00 a.m. I don't think I even rolled over. Today, I'm still exhausted. I feel like I have a hangover. (Not that I would know what that feels like. I'm not admitting to anything.)

Then this morning, when I got on my Wii (first time in awhile), it told me I'd gained 8 pounds this past month. (Yes, I'm an emotional eater.)

So apparently, I haven't handled the stress as well as I thought I had. So again, I ask:

How do you know if you're coping well or if you're simply ignoring the issue?

What are the signs that you're coping?

And what do you do to help you cope in a healthy way? (Besides eating chocolate.)

Now playing on my iPod: Don't Worry About a Thing by SheDaisy (I love this song)


Jeri said...

I think I'm a little like you - i don't recognize the stress all that much until suddenly I realize the "side effects" - weight gain, can't stop shoveling (junk) food into my mouth, short tempered with family, sleep troubles, totally unmotivated, etc... Then when it passes - I say to myself, "OH.... THAT's why I've been this way!)

Nichole Giles said...

You know, when I'm stressed I am very much the same way as you, only I don't eat, and drop weight. This might sound good on the surface, except that I lose dangerous amounts and then it messes up my metabolism and I eventually gain back the weight I lost, plus lots more.I break out, my hair falls out, and I don't sleep much.

I've noticed lately, though, that when I'm suppressing stress, I tend to get headaches. Monster ones. No migraine medication can take these things away on certain days. In this case, I absolutely know I must take a day off. Or two. And by off, I mean away from the source of stress.

Go shopping, go for a drive, run around the block, or spend a day with friends or family members who make you laugh. Laughter is the thing that helps the most.

I hope things get better for you very soon.And if they don't, let me know. I'll bring you some soup laced with tequila. (But don't tell the bishop.) J/K


G. Parker said...

I can feel it. It's like in the back of my head all the time. Stress eats at any peace there might be, until I'm kind of jittery. This past month was an example of it for me. I was soooo stressed the whole month, I wasn't sleeping good, and I felt anxious. Thankfully it's over, and things have calmed down, but I know the feeling well.

Sandra said...

I get angry and snappy and snotty.

And then I cry.

Cindy Beck said...

One way I know I'm stressed is when I start to feel all "closed in and antsy." And that's usually also the point at which I realize I'm breathing very shallow. One thing I do to combat the stress is to take a few minutes through out the day to stop and do deep breathing exercises. It's amazing how often we decrease our oxygen intake because we're stressed, and that's followed by headaches and all manner of uglies! :)

Another thing I do is to take walks in the sunshine, and simply turn my brain off during the walk. (Not an easy task, but I've learned to do it.)

Hope you're feeling a lot better and less stressed!

Bethany Wiggins said...

I get stressed way too easily. I carry it in my muscles, mostly my back muscles. One thing that helps is walking every day. The other thing is yoga.

Writing also helps. If I am emotionally overwhelmed, then so are the characters in my latest work-in-progress!