Friday, March 11, 2011

Escaping Stress

We all have stress. I don't think there could possibly be a more "No shit!" statement out there than that: We all have stress. Whether it's your job, or lack of a job, kids, spouses or lovers, bills, fitness, or health.... or a myriad of other more specific things in our lives... we all suffer from it.

Not all of us, over the course of our lives, have developed healthy and positive ways that deal with the stress that we face day-to-day. I know that in my past I have turned to food, alcohol, and several other things that I won't list because I am not proud of them. (No worries, they aren't go-to solutions anymore and haven't been for years.) So many people have the same issues. Addicts (food, drug, alcohol, nicotine, etc.) aren't generally born from a "hey this is fun" experimental standpoint. More often than not there is a stress that is too great to bear, and these vices help to take it all away at least for a short time.

To say that I am under a bit of stress right now is one of the biggest understatements I've probably heard this year. My workplace has become about as stable as a tumble-dry. Still have my job, which is good, but we're all just holding on so that we don't get too many bumps or bruises along the way. Money is tight. My health has been in flux now since the beginning of the year and I'm still not done with it all. My relationships with friends and loved ones are wonderful and keeping me above water right now.

I am finding myself starting to slip back into bad eating habits. Late nights are the worst right now. When I realize that tomorrow is coming at me full-steam and there is nothing I can do to stop it, I feel the need to eat. I want to do something that feels good. Food is good. Well, except when you're a diabetic trying to get yourself off meds, that is.

I have never been a person who has dealt well with stress. As I've gotten older, I have learned to reign a lot of it in, but that fluttery-heart feeling is still there every time. The stress never goes away. I still want to eat. I still want to drink. And when it's really bad, I still want a cigarette. But those are no longer viable options for me.

The biggest thing I have found that reduces my stress is pure escapism. If there is nothing I can do about the situation and all I am capable of is worry and fret... I need to get away from it.

My newest escape is video games. Spending that time being in control of something and defeating the "bad guys" does wonders for the feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. My most tried-and-true method of escaping is music. And thanks to some really great friends of mine who are fantabulous as finding new music for me (I'm looking at you James and Mick!) I have found a lot of things to keep my mind busy when it's spiraling. And when things are just too much for me to handle anymore there are those that I turn to and bare all my rage, fear, panic and tears. Sometimes turning the release valve and letting the pressure vent outward is the only way to find the calm again.

I suggest finding your outlet. Find a place to put the stress that doesn't include over-eating. Or smoking or drinking or anything else that is truly unhealthy for your body and your spirit. It's hard to do. I am not perfect at it just yet and I do slip. But at least look for them, search them out, they are there.


  1. That's why BSU is a useful tool. It's also why most of the fiction I read is pure escapist fantasy. I have enough to deal with in the real world, without subjecting myself to more stressors in my fantasy life...

  2. I cannot recommend strongly enough the benefits of meditation. Not only does it calm the stress, it teaches you how to introspect and genuinely returns you to a healthy focus on yourself that will bring lasting, positive change.

    Hit me up PM or email and I will happily provide you with a short routine that may be done at will in 1, 3, 5, 10 minutes sets or longer if/as you find practical/beneficial. :)

  3. Fenix, I would love to! However I can't see your profile in order to send you a message. Let me know how to get in touch with you and I will. Thanks!