Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dealing with Stress

Posting has been a little light lately. I'm not going to lie, I've been pretty stressed out with some work related stuff and some of my side projects. Like most of the human race, I am not particularly good at dealing with stress. This can really compound what's happening. Feeling too tired or frustrated to work out? Now you're even more stressed because you missed a workout, didn't get to relieve your anxiety that way, and feel guilty (or might be worried about weight gain).

Like many folks, I do tend to turn to food when I am stressed out. I don't have a problem of spending money when stressed out on crazy shopping trips or buying things I don't need. But I do tend to err towards fast food because it is quick and convenient. Eat too much of that and you won't be feeling good mentally or physically. What's a person to do? I'm no expert but here's what I try:

  1. Get that workout in. I'll feel better after and get the endorphin rush.
  2. Try to cook at home. Since I know fast food is a stress induced weakness, I need to be conscious about what I am doing and try to make the decision ahead of time to do the right thing.
  3. Get some sleep. This is easier said than done when you are lying awake with insomnia. But at least make sleep a priority.
  4. Review my situation. I track my finances, exercise, and a few other odds and ends. If finances are stressing you out it may seem counter intuitive to play close attention. But if I look at my spending spreadsheet I know that at least I am in control of monitoring it and being aware. That might include taking a look at my career plan or my resume too. Reassure myself of what I have control over.
  5. Relax and take time for you. When I am stressed I have a tendency to kind of hide within myself. My creativity really ebbs, I find it difficult to read or stick with any task for any length of time. I realized it's important to focus on what will relax me. Sit somewhere comfortable for a while, drink some coffee or tea. Not be afraid of just doing nothing for twenty minutes if that's all I'm capable of.
That's what works for me. In the end, as with anything, it's always important to do what works for you as an individual. There is no perfect answer, or if you keep looking for it it might just stress you out even further.

(Photo from diowel)

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