Tuesday, December 11, 2007

From Tension to Stress

What is it about this time of year? I don't have nearly the amount of presents to buy or promises to keep as most of the people I know. Yet I am feeling really stressed out. I just came off a 4-day migraine that was probably equal parts stress, winter weather and not eating correctly (because of the stress thing). I'm watching the snow coming down, making the roads even more fun to drive on going home than they were coming to work--and they were BAD coming to work.

So what to do? Here's my plan of attack. Which may be an oxymoron when talking about getting rid of stress, but there you go.

1) Lists. Once I have everything I need to do in a list, it makes it seem more manageable.
2) Divvying up the tasks. I tend to try to overdo. [Okay, I hear all of you out there with your sarcastic, "Oh, yeah?"s.] Since I really don't want to get out on the roads today, I keep thinking, "Tomorrow at lunch I'll . . . " I've listed things that will take 4 hours to do on my one-hour lunch break. And none of them involve actually eating lunch. So 2 list items tops at lunch and one after work. There's still Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week. Plus some time next week, too.
3) Let a few things go. Always the hardest for me. But it does help to identify an item or two that I don't really need to get done right now and take them off the list until next year.
4) Do something fun just for the hell of it. Again, a hard one when I'm already feeling overbooked. But stopping for a cup of gingerbread coffee and reading a chapter or two of a book or shooting the bull with a friend I haven't seen in a while can be just what I need to energize for all those other tasks.
5) Take care of my health. That means eating right and making time to exercise. The temptation is to grab Micky D's or some other high-fat, high-cal, high-bad food and eat it in the car. Not conducive to feeling at my best. Pack lunch.

See, I feel better already. So what do you do to relieve stress? Is writing, or not writing, involved?


Ali said...

Chocolate helps, as does a bit of TV (those alpha waves, you know).

Otherwise, I'm right there with you on the making lists thing. You write it all out, and then you get to cross stuff off and you have a physical marker of your progress that you can look at and say "right, only four things left".

Of course, the biggest single thing is to make the decision that sometimes not doing it all is just as important as doing it all.

Stress = feeling overwhelmed. Often the things that overwhelm us aren't that crucial in the grand scheme - like, if I don't get ALL the food I was planning to make for the party made, well that's the idea behind having a potluck, isn't it?

Fleur said...

What Ali said. Make sure you take time to just stop. Do nothing. Make a snow angel or something.

I make lists to get stuff done and feel like I'm still in control. It works, but TV is also really great :-)

And I love potlucks, what a way to deligate.

Debbie said...

Potlucks are wonderful. You get to try new stuff but also bring something you know you like. Win-win.

I'm avoiding chocolate because it's a migraine trigger, BUT television works. There's a sexy vampire on this Friday night. I also hope to get out for a hike at Garden of the Gods. Beautiful in the snow.

Jenny said...

Um, I make lists but I never cross anything off of them because I lose them. I make promises I don't keep. I make commitments that are iffy. I lie. I cheat. I steal. And I do all that to myself too.

After a while, you forget what you were doing and try something else. If it's truly important, you'll remember it. Hakuna Matata.

The One and Only John said...

This may sound stupid, but sometimes I catch myself exacerbating the stress, and I stop, take a breath, focus, and say "This is me not getting riled up by all this." Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but I think what is important is that you do something to de-stress. It doesn't usually go away on its own.

Debbie said...

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions and well wishes. I have tried a few things with greater and lesser success. Work at work is continuing to pile on, but I will not complain about actually having to work at work.

And how cool is it that Fleur posted a comment? Hi, Fleur!

Whittaker Luckless said...

Nap. I nap for stress.

Fleur said...

Hi all!
Yep, I actually made the effort to create an account :-)


can't beat a good nights sleep in a comfy bed - priceless

helps beat stress and tension