Many of you have heard me talk about anxiety and stress, but today I want to take a different approach to this topic. Let’s dig a little deeper, get to the root of the problem, and then, let’s solve it.
Whatever makes you tick, ponder it. Think about it, don’t just acknowledge the thought and go about your day like it doesn’t bother you. What caused you to stress out earlier? Did you see something on social media that got to you? Was your boss a jerk to you? Did your partner tell you about an upcoming bill being $200 more than usual? Are you still bitter about it? Has it affected the quality of your day? How often have you thought about that particular instance in an allotted amount of time? What can be done about it here and now? Think it through. Devote five minutes of your day to picking apart your stress…betcha never heard that one before!
Once you’ve identified all of the above, you need to let it go somehow. I know how impossible it can seem to rid yourself of stress when it seemingly takes over your life. If you feel like I’m preaching directly to you at this point, it’s probably because I am. In fact, let me just give you a run down of a typical day in my own shoes:
*Alarm goes off*Hits snooze (at least 11 times)*Looks at clock*Freaks out because already late*Spills coffee on terrible last-minute outfit on the way to work*Forgot lunch*Forgot purse*Get to work*Boss has the attitude of an angry porcupine*Late to meeting because catching up on emails*Remember a pair of shoes I left at a friends house*Hungry*No lunch, what do I want for lunch?*What are we even talking about in this meeting?*I need to order more contacts today*Crap, I left my clothes in the washer, they’re gonna smell now*I have no idea what is going on in this meeting*Gets out of meeting*Gets bombarded with tasks*Forgets to finish emails*Forgets to take lunch break*Angry neighbor calls about dogs getting out*Rude customer service lady when I ordered contacts*Insurance won’t cover*Some random post on Facebook infuriates me*Dang it, I got side tracked*Where was I?*Oh my gosh, I need to make a student loan payment like now*Can I afford groceries if I make the payment today?*HOLY SMOKES IT’S ALREADY 4 p.m.?!?*Not even done with half of my list*Hurries to finish emails and tasks*Heads home*Crap, forgot to clock out*Turns around*Clocks out*Gets back in car, out of gas*Finally makes it home*Goes to feed chickens, out of feed, call fiance to bring some home*Starving still, forgot to thaw out meat*Go inside to do laundry*Get phone call*Talk for 30 minutes about something unimportant*Sits down to balance checkbook*WHEN THE HECK DID I SPEND $145?!*Finally starts on dinner at 8 p.m.*Reads book*Gets in bed*Crap, I forgot to get my clothes out of the washer*
Ya’ll get my drift, and if you don’t please let the rest of us know your secret. Thus far, I have not found a cure for the ever expanding stress that seems to seep into our lives at the most inconvenient times, but I have found a solution that can calm the storm. You need an outlet.
You need an outlet because if you do nothing to accommodate your stress, it will build up. You will implode or explode, neither is favorable, if you don’t have some form of outlet. It can also effect those around you who love you most and especially hurt your love life. For example, I have two outlets (because I have double the stress), it’s writing and yoga. Some people use music, some use creativity or art, some run, some make lists or stay organized (bless you), and unfortunately some inflict self harm or indulge at the wrong times to deal with stress. That can cause an implosion of the worst kind, which is why I find it important to write this.
We are human, we weren’t exactly made to withstand the pressures that are thrown at us these days. Whatever your outlet is, it needs to make you feel happy. The point of an outlet is to relax and indulge in something that brings out the best in you. Write a song, read a book, go on a jog, be outside, hang out with your dog (tell them about your day, they listen better than most humans), sing, dance, practice yoga, do whatever gives you a sense of gratification.
I know it looks nice on paper, but I do realize that after an eight hour work shift the last thing you may want to do is come home and run or do anything active. But if you do not make this time for yourself, you will stress about being too tired to relieve your stress. Even if you just grab a blanket and sit outside or play fetch with your dog, that’s better than shutting yourself inside the house after having been inside all day. I promise you, a little sunshine and fresh air will improve your quality of life ten fold.
My point is, you aren’t alone. You’ve got too much on your plate, you procrastinate a lot, you aren’t always organized, you forget things, you’re human. These commercials and TV shows that portray super moms and super women who can tackle everything in high heels, with both hands tied behind their back, without their eyeliner smearing or their pantyhose tearing aren’t real. It’s all inspirational, but that is really all it’ll ever be, in my world anyway. And if I was a betting woman I’d be willing to wager that most of you reading this can relate to people like myself who wear two different socks, almost daily, forgets more than they remember, who sometimes cries in the bathroom when you just can’t catch a break at work, who is tired most of the day, who sometimes considers fleeing the country for a spur of the moment vacation so that they can feel as free and blissful as the girls seen on Instagram (who apparently don’t have jobs but can afford to travel the world with nothing but a backpack).
I get it. I feel you. I’m there. Welcome to the hot mess express, all aboard. Stress is so normal, but finding an outlet is more important that worrying about when your light bill is due. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anything else. Don’t let stress drive you to forget to take care of the #1 thing that should be at the top of you list-you. Don’t even let stress get behind the wheel in the first place. Now, go slay this beautiful Monday.