Ask The Audience: Dealing With Stress

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

One of our bestest commenters, Mom of 3 asked this in the comments of this post:

It’s not the money that’s killing me right now, it’s the stress. I need an article on that. How do you deal with the stress of an emergency situation when it comes on the heels of a previous stressful event?

Well, I have a few ideas, and I’m sure our lovely commenters have some great ideas as well. First, look at things in perspective for a second, and be glad there’s not money issues on top of your other issues. My dad has always said, “Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it can sure buy away an awful lot of unhappiness.” Basically, knowing your basic needs are met and not having to struggle for those is a great blessing, so count that among your blessings, then go ahead and count your other blessings as well.

Now, for me, my one no-fail de-stresser is not for everyone. I thought I’d mention it anyway, though, since it really does help me relax- a spa pedicure. My mom vomits at the thought of other people touching her feet, but to me, being able to sink my feet in warm bubbly water and letting someone else totally take care of me is heaven. Around here they run about 30 bucks plus a tip, and are worth every last penny. Bring something to read or something else to do, and just drift off into your happy place while they pamper you.

I don’t always have time for or can’t afford a pedicure, so the next best thing is to put myself in “time out.” I tell the kids I am absolutely not to be bothered for the next (hour, half hour, whatever time I have available) and I close the door to my bedroom, put on my headphones, and relax while listening to music. If I explain carefully to my oldest kid that I’m about to lose it and I need this time, he usually is really cool and takes care of the smaller kids and keeps them out.

Finally, there’s yoga. I’m too cheap for a class, so I either do yoga with my Wii Fit or else I use a video. (On Demand has them under Sports and Fitness, if you happen to have Comcast with On Demand.) Make sure you don’t stress yourself by getting irate if you can’t do a pose perfectly. At first when I started doing yoga, I would get all irate when I couldn’t do a pose the way it was presented to me. The more yoga you do, the better you’ll get at the poses. Don’t forget to breathe deeply and relax! Yoga has become one of the great centering points in my life, I highly recommend everyone who tends toward being stressed to include it in their lives.

So, Home Eccers, what do you do when you’re about to be pushed over the edge?


  1. AYM on January 21, 2013 at 7:53 am

    No other thing can keep stress out than Yoga and I love doing it 🙂

  2. Carol on April 4, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    I just started a hula hoop class – that’s fun, I’m terrible at it so it takes a lot of focus.

    I like to read, and watch movies too. Exercise helps a lot.

    (Just got diagnoses with crohns, I have skin cancer, and we are coming off 3 years of truly amazing stressors, including a house fire, that displaced us and lost jobs.)

  3. Kendra K on April 3, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Nap or exercise. And it’s always a tug-of-war between the two!

  4. DC Becca on April 2, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    You definately have a point, Heather. The main reason we picked this gym was because they provided great daycare and I knew this would be a motivator for me. My kids are happy, tired from running around, happy to see me when I come to get them (as I am, them), and I get to exercise while listening to my MP3 player or watching a tv BY MYSELF.

    Yay gym membership!!!

    I get my fitness assessment tomorrow, though (where they measure and calculate just how much of a mess you are). I have a feeling that might get me down for a few days…..but all the more reason to keep going back!

  5. Mom of three on April 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    Yes, I took one class at the gym because I only had yoga tapes and wanted a live instructor. I was so tired and I hurt so bad after that one class that I couldn’t move for three days. So no more yoga aerobics for me. I thought yoga would be relaxing, but we’d do a downward dog then thirty jumping jacks.

    Walking is my normal destresser, but it is currently storming so I think I am going to vegetate in front of the tv.

    Have a hobby, which does keep me very busy. But am not really in the mood to work on cemeteries tonight. But keep ’em coming, this rain can’t last forever.

  6. Heather on April 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm

    I hate running, but it helps just the same. I notice I’m much crankier if I don’t get to the gym several times a week. A caveat, I could probably get as much relief from any activity with quality childcare where I wasn’t pestered for a whole hour.

  7. DC Becca on April 2, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I just had my first session at the gym…..and I must say that I am completely relaxed and laid back and chill. I have been somewhat hopped up lately (so much to do, so much TO DO!). Having returned from the gym….I am reclined in my comfie office chair waiting for the popcorn to pop, laundry is a something that can wait until later (ha!).

    Becca is going to watch a movie and catnap on the couch, me thinks.

    Maybe getting a good workout in every day will help me de-stress. I definately feel pretty darn relaxed on day one, anyway!

  8. Rebecca on April 2, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    I would like to note that the tub comment isn’t typically an outdoor activity, though if that would relax you more, then go for it. Just clear out the kids first.

  9. Rebecca on April 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    My husband always tells me when I am stressed I need a hobby (which doesn’t help usually btw), but he is right. Find something you enjoy and that relaxes you. It helps if its low cost, or free for me, but if money isn’t a problem then it doesn’t need to affect you.

    I like getting outside and here are a few things I enjoy:
    Gardening -for some reason mindless manual labor like turning soil and adding compost helps me destress, though the sneezing might deter you
    Soak in the tub – with bath/epsom salts, even if its just a foot soak. It helps achy muscles and my mental state
    Swings – there is something to be said for swinging until you feel that ‘oh gosh I am falling’ feeling.
    Go visit someone, or have them visit you – but only if you won’t feel freaked out about a chaotic house. A listening ear is almost always helpful…as is some good dark chocolate.

  10. KarenR on April 2, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    (fellow) mom of three: I’m sorry, yoga aerobics? What the what? Now I’m destressing with laughter…

  11. Angela on April 2, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    I guess my destresser is baking/cooking. I am really bad at it and most things turn out burnt, but for some reason it makes me feel better. It does help that I eat pretty much everything.

    Another would be walking. If I am having a bad day and it is nice out, i am gone and I walk and walk. I have been know to walk 5-10 miles with the kids and just walk the stress right out. I live in SD though so this only really works for about 4-5 months out of the year here.

  12. Mom of three on April 2, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Actually, I am in the process of selling my mother’s house, have a kid graduating and heading to college, and Mom will be moving here, so it is some money issues that is stressing me, but really just all the responsibility. That and not being in control. I am a control freak.

    So I tried the lock myself in the bedroom technique. Told the kids what to fix for supper, took some Tylenol Sinus, because I picked up some kind of sinus funk at Mom’s house (probably allergic to the paint). An hour later, hubby wakes me up with “when was the last time you put meat in the freezer?” So we lost a freezer half full of meat this week. So to say it’s not really about the money, isn’t true, but it’s mainly having to be the grownup 24/7 for three teenagers, and now an old woman. All of which are sulking, because the kids are having to use their weekends to help paint and clean up the house. Mom because I can’t move her immediately into an apartment. Only Hubby is being a gem about the whole thing. He’s been so good about it all that it’s freaking me out a little.

    Doesn’t help that today is April 2 and we are under tornado warnings. My blog tomorrow will explain why I don’t do storms during the first week of April in case some of you weren’t around in 1974.

    Good thing, is my prayer life is on the upswing. 🙂 So keep the ideas coming. I figure it’s going to take a few months to sell the house once I get it market ready and prom, graduation and my baby going off to college are still on the horizon, so I will have time to use all of them several times over.

    Becca, I’d love the flower idea, if my allergies didn’t give me such fits this time of year. I admire them through glass. KarenR. I am headed to that yoga site now. I love yoga, but the only classes they offer around here are yoga aerobics, and I am not up to jumping around. I want to be less stressed, not more. 🙂

    Good news is I am not a stress eater, so I have lost 5 pounds. Keep this up, and all the clothes I haven’t yet gotten to goodwill are going to fit. LOL

    So now I am going to go put away some laundry, check the weather to see when the storms are going to hit, and maybe take that nap Veggiemom suggests, since I haven’t been sleeping good lately.

  13. Veggiemomof2 on April 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    I usually don’t see it coming & use these techniques to drag myself back out of the pit! :S

    Spa day~mani, pedi, facial, whatever works for you!
    Shoe shopping!
    Book of prayers
    Lunch w/a friend
    Just laying down & relaxing w/music

  14. Keter on April 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Silence. I go to a quiet place (even the toilet works) and just clear all of the thoughts from my head until the silence inside is greater than the silence outside, and that even the random sensory inputs from external sources simply flow through me without really being thought about. Being in this continuum/flow state is very relaxing.

    If possible, taking a cat nap is a good option, too. Sometimes I just kick back in the very comfy chair I use at my computer and zonk for 10 minutes, or if the weather is cooperating, stretch out on my deck and listen to the birds. The only problem with that latter one is my dogs have to be inside, or I’ll wake up to a wet tongue across my face!

  15. KarenR on April 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    Oh Ivy, you should try The short classes are free, and if you have a laptop you can sneak it in your bedroom while you’re hiding in there! (Of course you could put it on your ipod, but I don’t know if I would want my earbuds fallig out during downward facing dog!)

  16. DC Becca on April 2, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Lately….my destresser is my flower bed. We live in the Arizona dessert and I am the only gal on the block who has even attempted a flower bed. I brought in great soil right after New Year’s…..fertilized it some more….planted seeds…..added more plants, etc. It looks great and all my neighbors think it is cool….but somewhat bizarre that there is a flowerbed out there.

    I go out there just about every day and water my flower bed….pop off the dead heads…..and just “hang” with the flowers for about 30 minutes. This relaxes me and the kiddos know to leave me alone when I am out there. I’ve got lots of plants so I suppose there may be higher Oxygen content there…..or there is simply something cathartic at seeing something so pretty and realizing that maybe I CAN do some things right, afterall.

    (By the way…my neighbors see me sitting beside my flowerbed and they think that I am trying to boost their CO2 levels… they will grow bigger. Funny, eh?? But maybe my hanging does help the plants out as much as it does me?)

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