17 May 2009

E's Extraordinarily Eloquent Extravaganza: Fighting Mr. Stress

I’m a very stressed person. It runs in the family. Not that that can be used as a real excuse, but still. It’s true. And even if it weren’t, sometimes I just feel the need to convince myself that I’m not to entirely to blame for being annoying when things get superduper-busy.

The past few months have been very busy, and the ones still to come will probably be even worse. I barely survived getting kicked out of our apartment, managing all my deadlines at once, and looking for a new place to live. Now that all those things are arranged, I have finals and the hassle of moving to look forward to. And after that: more studying.

Don’t get me wrong. I love studying, I love the anticipation of moving (the moving itself: not so much, this being my seventh time or so, and I’m getting quite sick of it), and I love having something to do when I wake up, instead of just feeling lazy and unorganized the entire day. But not all at the same time. It drives me crazy.

So yes. All that, plus my genetic predisposition (…in my mind…) equals stress. And lots of it.

Which raises questions. And lots of them. The most important one being:

“What the poo can I do to calm down?”

Because, let’s face it. I’m not a nice person to be around when I’m stressed. I’m over-emotional, I’m grumpy and I panic. Which is all made much much worse by the fact that Mr. Stress doesn’t allow me to even get near my much needed 8 hours of sleep a night. And on top of that, I get an incredibly annoying, itchy red rash on the inside of my right arm. Always. So basically I’m being a tired whiney bitch while scratching my skin open. Sounds fun, doesn’t it kids?

I’ve tried to find some nice, stress-relieving stuff-to-do. I’ve tried everything. But to my surprise, few things actually helped. Yoga makes me feel like an idiot. Which isn’t exactly the most relaxing feeling ever. Since it’s virtually impossible for me to empty my head (seriously, I just can’t do it; I’m obviously not made to have an empty head, which is not THAT bad, if you think about it), meditation is also out of order. Going for a nice, relaxing walk? No can do. It makes me feel guilty to the point that I stay up way past my bedtime (which is, by the way, much too late as it is), to make up for lost time. So what’s left? I could go for a lovely early morning run. I’ve done it, and it helps. But I always seem to find an excuse not to. The horrible Belgian weather is my current favourite.

Like this, but less umbrellas, and more icky wet jeans.

Then what do I do?

I cook. Cooking is my meditation. It’s relaxing, and the only thing where I actually manage to focus on one thing, instead of multi-tasking the hell out of it.
I drink tea. And lots of it. Tea has always made me feel safe and homey, which is exactly the kind of feeling I need. It’s like being wrapped in a nice, warm, tea-scented blanket. I have my mother to thank for that.

At night, I fall asleep with the TV on. It’s the only way to avoid the otherwise unavoidable “thinking about all the horrible things that might happen” in bed.
And I promise I’ll start my morning runs again when I get back home. I’ll even drag The Boyfriend along.

But other than that, I’m stuck. The day I run out of tea and ingredients, I’m fucked. Needless to say, I'm always looking for decent alternatives and new ideas... So tell me: what gets you through your stressful periods? Enlighten me!


  1. Well, actually, yoga works for me. So does a date-night with my husband (even if we just stay home and watch a movie or order food after the kids are in bed), taking a hot bath with some scented bath oil and a night out (or in) with my girlfriends. My friends are just as busy and stressed as I am most of the time, so that one doesn't happen too often, but I can usually manage at least one of the others.

    Oh, I like tea a lot too!

  2. *giggle*

    i go to the bathroom, and experiment with make-up :p

    reading/drawing often helps as well.