Saturday, January 28, 2012

How Do You Cope With Stress?

I'll admit it...I've never been very good at coping with stress.


Do you ever have times when everything that could go wrong seems to go wrong at once? Yesterday was a day like that for me. It was an insane week at work and a cold, rainy drive home. But I'd made it to Friday night...time for the flannel pj's, a good book, and some time to regroup.

I was comfortably nestled in my big chair in front of the fireplace, feet up on the ottoman, a new Patricia Cornwell mystery open to Chapter One...


When the phone rang.

 "Hi. This is Lori from Home Health calling about your mother." Well, if you're a Boomer like me, caring for elderly parents, you already know that a phone call that starts out like that on a Friday night isn't going to be a good one. As it turned out, Mom was OK and, after an hour or so, I settled back into my chair with a cup of hot tea to see who Kay Scarpetta was going to find murdered next...


When the phone rang again.

 "Hello. This is Diana from your daughter's group home. Just need to let you know that the power is out here. A line is down, and we may need to evacuate the residents. Should we call you to come pick your daughter up if the power is not restored soon?" Down went the book and off came the flannel pj's as I quickly dressed again and transformed into Super-Mom mode.


Before I got out the door, the phone rang yet again. The power at the group home was back on...no need to go out in the rain and pick up DH for the night. By now, the basket of wine in the dining room was beginning to look pretty good! But it was almost eleven o'clock, my tea was cold, and I decided to try a more primitive coping strategy...jump into bed and pull the covers over my head. 

With the sunlight streaming into my bedroom this morning, I thought about the many ways we women manage to cope with the stress of everyday life.

Calling a friend and sharing horror stories seems to work pretty well.


My sister, Nancy, was my best friend. She was always the first person I called when things got crazy. She knew me so well that she just "got it". She'd let me rant for awhile and then manage to get me laughing hysterically as we relived the wackiness of it all. I miss being able to a call her.


So, instead, I blog. Do you sometimes find that reaching out on your blog is like talking to an old friend?


Of course, junking is a great stress reliever too. I don't even have to buy anything...just surrounding myself with rusty old things for a few hours seems to do the trick.


Sorting is a good stress reliever too. I can spend hours all alone in my craft room just sorting buttons...or collage supplies...or fabric...and be perfectly content.


Sewing something by hand seems to calm me down. Somehow it makes me feel connected to other generations of women who lived in a simpler time.


Rearranging is another favorite coping strategy. By the time I have tried four or five different mantle arrangements, I have forgotten all about whatever it was that was bothering me.


The experts say that exercise is a good way to relieve stress...I prefer any coping strategy that does not involve spandex or sweat.

So now that I've had a day of shopping, rearranging, chilling in my craft room, and blogging, I'm feeling sane again...and curious...


How do you cope with stress?


11 comments:

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

Not very well.

I wish I could be one of those people who nothing seems to bother them. I am a people pleaser and take everything waaaay to personally. Reading is a great escape for me also, but I prefer light humorous books to get my mind off my worries.

I hope the rest of your weekend is a little more relaxing.

Pamela Gordon said...

I always thought I was a pretty 'cool' person and didn't get stressed until I went for my first massage. She told me I must carry all my stress in my neck and shoulders! Ha! Surprise! I do a lot of the same things you do I guess. And sometimes I scream or cry or stomp. But mostly I'm pretty cool. :) And my neck and shoulders are as tight as a drum and full of knots!!! Take care.

The Cranky Queen said...

Precious, sweet post...My motto, when it rains it pours...Faith Looks Up and I dance in the rain! Tiff

Claudia said...

I do all those things - but blogging is therapy for me. Sometimes I feel the need to post and I hold off because I've already posted that day!

What a stressful day you had! I'm glad everything worked out well.

xo
Claudia

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Oh dear that was a stressful night! I have a few friends who listen to me vent and that always helps. I also read or watch a movie as it helps to take my mind off things. I also shop...thrifty and junkie...and I putter around my house...just playing with my 'stuff'. Of course that wine looks good sometimes also! Hugs, Linda

Grammy Goodwill said...

Bless your heart. What a rough night you had. I handle stress by getting migraines that force me to bed!

Connie Lenden said...

Hi Cheryl First of all, great post ! I love the way you set it up with the Scrabble letters.
I find I have to get out of the house and find people to talk to. Usually, I head for the mall and walk until I am ready to drop. then I am to tired to think about what was bothering me.
My latest is giving up blogging !?? Sometimes I think I am talking to myself, or I don't post enough. I don't do the parties, and that might be some of the reasons why it just sits there sterile
Most, I find it is having too much on our plates and we have to prioritize -- easier said than done. I am glad you have friends who are there for you.

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I hate stress...and I have a lot of it...but chocolate and a hot bath is my recipe. The problems are still there...but I feel a little better!

Baye said...

I've gotten into using meditation. My Ipod has an entire section with relaxation stuff on it for my stress times. I'm also a boomer with three 20-somethings still at home and a parent in a senior apartment, I truly do understand. Hang in there!

CHERI said...

After reading this post I see that we have a lot more in common than just our name! I too am a grandmother and teacher, though retired from the classroom. I now work with student teachers. STRESS...have lots less since I retired but still it's a part of life! Unfortunately one of my ways of dealing with it is to go on a sugar binge!!! That of course leads to more stress when I realize what I've done and the guilt sets in! Like you, I need to always be doing something and I love to rearrange anything & everything! I also love to sort! My husband seems to never stress...and that stresses me out! How can anyone not stress from time to time??? I know you must miss your sister terribly. How blessed you were to have her in your life...she's still there, just in a spiritual way. I'm off to check out more of your blog:)

CHERI said...

After reading this post I see that we have a lot more in common than just our name! I too am a grandmother and teacher, though retired from the classroom. I now work with student teachers. STRESS...have lots less since I retired but still it's a part of life! Unfortunately one of my ways of dealing with it is to go on a sugar binge!!! That of course leads to more stress when I realize what I've done and the guilt sets in! Like you, I need to always be doing something and I love to rearrange anything & everything! I also love to sort! My husband seems to never stress...and that stresses me out! How can anyone not stress from time to time??? I know you must miss your sister terribly. How blessed you were to have her in your life...she's still there, just in a spiritual way. I'm off to check out more of your blog:)