Weed, sex, and alcohol?
Watching movies, playing video games, and something something killing zombies?
Speaking of which, are zombies still a topic anymore or have we finally moved past that? Once Brad Pitt did the World War Z movie which ruined the imagery from the book, I think we all casually swept that one under the rug and moved on to something else. Thanks Brad for ruining zombies for us.
Okay, bad book to movie adaptations aside, there is that little nagging thing that is still below the surface we need to talk about. Not just the stereotypical extracurriculars, the bad jokes, the even worse movies. What we are talking about is stress. Everyone has stress and for me it’s most difficult because I internalize stress. This means I adapt to my surroundings even if it causes anxiety and insurmountable tension to do so. Most of the time, I don’t even realize I’m doing it. The results are, migraines, body aches, teeth clenching, and fatigue. I cried to my husband just a few days ago, tears literally streaming down my face, choking back hysteria, “I’VE HAD A REALLY LONG WEEK AND I’M EMBARRASSED TO ASK YOU THIS BUT… I REALLY WANT A COLD STONE OREO MILKSHAKE. Will you get me one?”
Sure, pregnancy could be to blame but I’m not going to use that as a scapegoat here. I was under a lot of stress that I had bottled all week long and let it go all at once by the time Friday evening came around. Now, crying because he was putting the butter knives in the dishwasher a way that was to my disliking, THAT was pregnancy hormones.
In high school I was told by my orthodontist, “You have impressions in your retainer from clenching your teeth at night, you may have issues with stress.” In college I was told, “You need to learn to slow down. The reason you are so ill is because you don’t rest enough.” Within the past few years my dentist and my regular doctor asked me, “Is your job stressful? You show signs of severe stress. You need to learn how to control it.”
So maybe a little less of this:
And a little more of this:
Not to say I haven’t tried to manage stress. Working out is helpful, kickboxing, tai chi, yoga. Yoga I’ve stuck with the longest. I mean, there is a yoga position where you just lay on the floor and pretend you are a cloud. How can that go wrong? Hint: It can’t. I also enjoy writing and reading. Creating or going to worlds away from my own. I mean if I had to weigh my stress level I think I have things slightly better than Katniss Everdeen, just saying. Children are also a big stress reliever. Everything is new and exciting to my daughter and it’s nice to sit with her and talk about things from her perspective. Like how the purpose of houses is for people to live in them. People also live on Earth. The Earth is a planet. They are lots of planets. If you have now caught on, our conversations contain several tangents.
I think the most important way to deal with stress is not how to relax from it but to identify stress triggers and avoid them.
I avoid Facebook.
I avoid work gossip or those who like to gossip about anything and everything.
I avoid high traffic areas by going to places at off times – take my lunches early to avoid the rushes, grocery shop at the ass crack of dawn.
I avoid TV shows and movies that I find frustrating. Seinfeld. That show. It raises my blood pressure. Sure, it’s hilarious but frustrating at the same time.
I also have a food rule. I can only “cheat” twice a week and eat something I shouldn’t. Oreo milkshakes are on that list of “you shouldn’t eat this, but it’s okay once in a while.”
Sure, I can’t avoid them all. I can try different relaxation techniques to deal with those stress inducers I can’t avoid. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But at the end of the day I always get hugs and kisses from my family and…
an oreo milkshake is optional.
Here are the other girls: