I can’t recall a single time that stress has solved my problems. Not once has stress offered to pay my bills or plan my wedding. Instead it just hangs around urgently reminding me of things that need to be done, yet insisting that there’s always tomorrow.
Stress is like having your miserable single friend, your backstabbing coworker, and your annoying little brother all vying for your attention at the same time. It sits there poking at you constantly until you snap. Then, it laughs that horrible laugh once you do.
It really does get a sick satisfaction out of seeing you in pain…
But you know what’s stronger than stress? Me. That’s right. Me is always there to lend a helping hand. Me sees solutions where Stress sees problems. There are more times than I can count that Me has completely taken over and made peace out of chaos.
When it’s up to Me, there’s no sitting around feeling sorry for myself. Me says, “Get off your ass and do something about it!” Because Me knows that Stress gets worse with each day that nothing gets accomplished. So by doing even the smallest of things, Stress will inevitably lose ground. And Me will just get happier and stronger.
In the past few weeks, I’ve been told by a physician, a therapist, and a masseuse that my stress levels are at an unhealthy high. But, to be fair, I am now less than one month from my wedding day, so maybe this kind of makes sense. Right? Still, it was scary to hear it over and over from people who probably know what they’re talking about.
Fortunately, I got great suggestions from them all: do yoga, jog everyday, spend less time at the computer, stop drinking coffee, etc. And I started to notice a theme here. The common denominator to all of this was–you guessed it!–ME.
This all came to light, especially, in a phone conversation with the therapist. He asked me in a very unassuming way, “So, you already know what it takes for you to relax?” I took a second, and then replied, “Yes.” Now the question, which he didn’t even have to ask, was: Why aren’t I doing those things?
Oh no! (I panicked.) What the heck is wrong with Me?
Well, nothing, necessarily. Unless you count the knots stacked up on my shoulders, as the masseuse so kindly did. Stress and anxiety is the norm for perfectionists–and for many non-perfectionists too. But this was still a clear sign to me that I really need to get it under control. The norm, apparently, is not ok.
Here’s the truth: Stress doesn’t just go away. And it doesn’t get any better on its own. So we have to be stronger than stress. It’s no secret that it’s much harder to get things done under stressful conditions, but things have to get done for the benefit of your overall mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
Now, if being productive is tough (Guilty.), then try to be relaxed. Get a massage, exercise, browse the humor section of Pinterest. Whatever you have to do, just do it. Productivity will follow. But remember, stress is not an excuse to sit around sad, mopey, or cranky and do nothing. “Get off your ass and do something about it!”
So, what do you do to relax? Please feel free to leave me some suggestions I can steal! Our big day is coming up so fast and I could use all the help I can get.