The last 18 months have been the most stressful time of my entire 40 years of life, even MORE stressful than when my husband was laid off from work for 7 months and we had a 5 yr old, 2.5 yr old and a 6 week old.
The last 18 months have held a death in the family, the husband changing jobs and having to commute much further than ever before, traveling for his job, selling our house, moving in with my mother-in-law into her 3 bedroom house (we’ve now lived here for 18 months!), AND building a new house from the ground up with all the headaches and stresses that creates, plus supporting my parents through some tough times of their own. To make this time all the more *special*, each of my three children how expressed how they are dealing with all of these changes in their own, individual *special* ways.
It’s mind boggling to me what has occurred since February 2011. Typing it out makes my shoulders hunch up, my eyes well up with tears and makes want to run to the pantry to grab any and all food in order to comfort myself. Although the food might give me temparary comfort, it’s not really comforting me at all. It is a farce, made up in my mind. Hey- if I eat this handful of chips, then I will feel better.
NOT true, my friends. I feel the exact same way AFTER consuming whatever item I have snatched up to soothe my frayed nerves, my tired soul, my overwhelmed spirit.
There are only three things that TRULY make me feel better when I feel like life is kicking my ass.
1. Exercise. Any exercise. Just getting my body to the gym, listening to good music, and SWEATING. Going for a run really sets me free emotionally, too. The hot Texas Summer has prevented me from doing as much running as I would like (and my mental well-being NEEDS) but when I feel a pressing desire to let. it. all. go, then I will hop on the dreaded treadmill and make myself WORK for that release of emotion.
2. Sleep. Oh sleep is so wonderful. I need more of it. I feel like I can conquer the world when I get enough sleep. Period, the end.
3. Talk therapy, talking through what is ailing me with either my husband or a select group of best friends. They know who they are and I trust them implicitly, to give me a listening ear, a pep talk, or a hug.
What about you- what helps you get through stressful times in your life? Is your list the same as mine or does it include something different?