There are times in life where we find ourselves under a tremendously heavy load of stress. Stress is a horrible, nasty monster and it shows itself in a variety of ways that are different for every person walking under their heavy load.
Me? I am a stress eater and drinker. Give me all of the chocolate and booze and nobody gets hurt. Well, nobody except me. I had an emergency stash of chocolate that was to be envied. It didn’t contain cheap Snickers or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It was filled with Green & Black, Chocolove, Theo’s, Justin’s… high end chocolate that I doled out to myself daily in my work-safe self-medicating.
At home, well, if I was going to have one cocktail… why not two? Well shoot, there is just a little bit in the bottle – I should just finish it off. Right?
And the thing is – that’s not who I really am. That’s my evil alter-ego getting squeezed out when the stress is reaching dangerous levels. So, Mr Muse and I decided to dump a lot of bottles. I also resigned from my job. The work itself wasn’t stressful – but the environment was and I wasn’t happy. I had to leave.
The amazing thing was that within two days of resigning, I dropped about five pounds (at least visually), I saw my stomach flatten again, my cravings for chocolate and alcohol went away, and I had started dreaming again. Sweet relief from dropping that heavy load was quick to come.
Now, I’m working out the last kinks. Aches and pains are working their way to the surface, so my chiropractor and massage therapist have a bit of work to do.
Meanwhile, there are a few more things I’ve done to mitigate the damage to my stressed-out soul.
- Subscribed to Headspace; it really is great.
- Yogi Bedtime teas when I get home.
- Journaling – though I’ve been doing that for the whole year, it does help.
I feel more like myself again, and that’s a good thing. I’m not broken, I just bent a little.
Do you have behaviors that surface when you’re under stress?
What do you do to relieve stress?
You pretty much nailed it. Over eating, over drinking, under socializing and staying up too late at nights on the internet or TV looking for something never found, thus depriving myself of much needed rest and healing.
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I have plenty of behaviors that surface when I’m stressed, including and especially eating. Sometimes exercise helps, but not usually. Few things help me, now that I think about it. Cleaning and creating I suppose, but hard to dive into the latter if my energy has been sapped by stress.
At a stage in life where I’m not sure I have the right to demand happiness just yet. Feel like I have to pay my dues.
I’ve never really thought about demanding happiness so much as choosing it. Bad things happen to good people all the time. Great things happen to bad people all the time. I choose to be happy, though the stress has often muffled it. However, this week has been even better than the last and I am feeling back to my “old self” – that’s a good thing.
I need to do something, as I seem to be in a BAD spiral.
Stress builds through the day, I “fight” it by burying myself in work and working out. But that just puts it at bay. Then I get home, and I do the stuff I need to do (again, burying myself in tasks). As soon as the shit I “need” to do is taken care of, I go to the wine. If I could just limit it to a glass or two, I’d be fine . . . but after the glass or two, I might as well have one more . . . and I might as well head to my cadre of cheese (the local grocery store puts the expensive cheeses on a super clearance as they approach their expiration date). Eventually, I fall asleep & dream a dreamless sleep.
I’ve recently signed up with betterhelp.com, but it’s funny how difficult it can be to really address the core shit that is wrong. And, honestly, I’m not sure what the actual “rotten” thing is, if I’m looking to dig in and fix something. I worry that I’m “just a drunk,” but I don’t think that’s it.
I can recommend meditation and mindfulness in addition to journaling. Since you like to write, it won’t be that difficult for you. I am very much all about figuring out why I’m feeling certain things. I am naturally a happy, joyful person, so when I anything BUT that, I want to know why. There have been a few recent situations where I couldn’t figure out the reasons behind why I was upset – so I started to break it down and write it out. Suddenly, I had my reasons – and I could work to change or fix the issues.
I also noticed that I was not often in the moment in situations. So, that’s been a big challenge for me to get my mind to stop moving on to the next thing and enjoy where I am and what I’m doing. A work in progress… Constantly.