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How I Deal with Stress

Do you ever get so overwhelmed and stressed out that you don't know what to do with yourself? I think it's important to recognize when it's time to relax and destress. Stress management is important for your health, happiness, and overall well-being.

I was at that point of desperately needing to decompress last week. One of my co-workers took a much-deserved two-week vacation during a cold snap. My job becomes exponentially busier during cold weather, and this time was no exception.

Not only were people calling, emailing, and stopping in to see when we could work on their homes, but we had a huge influx of new applicants, as well. Thankfully, my part-time coworker worked the entire two weeks to help answer phones and take care of people. (She had a bad week, too.) I worked 11-hour days and still couldn't stay on top of everything.

Some people are unhappy no matter what you do. To put it nicely, I was chewed out twice by two different people for a total of four chewings in the time span of three days. Both of those people owed me required paperwork, and I was going above and beyond my duty in my efforts to help them.

The only thing they accomplished by giving me a hard time was making me angry and extremely reluctant to help them further. It's a good thing for them that I'm an honorable person and didn't bury their applications at the bottom of my stack. Once I received their documents, I took care of them in turn as our code of ethics dictates. I did grumble a bit as I processed everything, though.

By the time I got home at the end of the week, I was completely exhausted, both physically and mentally. I was also still irked over a couple of self-important people who think they're special. Couple those bad experiences with a week so busy that I barely had time to eat lunch, and I was at my wit's end.

I knew my blood pressure was high, and I needed to calm down and find my sunny disposition. I watched a couple comedies on TV, but I was still pretty irritated. I decided the best thing to do was to get lost in a story and do something artistic.

I turned on my tablet, chose a funny cozy mystery, and had the device begin reading to me. Then I grabbed my giant box of crayons and an adult coloring book. I settled down in the living room with a steaming mug of herbal tea and colored intricate pictures of animals until my eyes were so heavy that I had to go to bed.

That did the trick. I woke up the next morning feeling more like myself. I slept late, ate a leisurely breakfast, and worked on my novel in progress, the sequel to Sally's Secret Legacy. Then I had a nice lunch with my husband and did a little Christmas shopping. It was a nice, relaxing day and exactly what I needed.

I sometimes deal with stress by baking bread. Painting bold, angry pictures is quite therapeutic for me. I find doing something physical such as cleaning the bathroom or rearranging the furniture in a room makes me feel better. I ruled out anything involving standing because my plantar fasciitis has been flaring up, and I can't be on my feet for very long.

There is a myriad of things you can do to deal with stress. The above are some of my little tricks. I try to deal with things in a healthy way and avoid detrimental activities such as eating a pound box of chocolates, drinking a fifth of whiskey, or having a cigarette. (I quit smoking back in the 1990s.)

This is a hectic time of year, and I've noticed more cranky people than normal. I hope you all have a fabulous week, low on stress with zero crankiness.

How do you deal with stress?

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