Warning: wordy post ahead
Stress blows. Probably the most eloquent statement you've read all day, right? I know.
I've made it my mission to be happier/healthier and honestly? I think I'm doing a great job and I'm really proud of myself. Then yesterday I had a really bad day--after a morning of struggling with Tasha, I had to stay home from work and take her to the vet only to find out they believe she had a mild stroke (or two) before/during her surgery. This coupled with the financial hit the veterinary bills have thrown at us the last three weeks and the fact that I'm not working as much as usual made me freak out a little. And by "freak out a little" I mean "sit on the stairs and sob uncontrollably for an hour and a half." In my quest for enjoying my life I've always struggled to strike a balance between saying, "Eff it, I'm pissed off and now I feel guilty for not being happy 24/7 and that makes me double pissed off" and completely suppressing my feelings.
But then I remembered, you are allowed to have your feelings, even the really cruddy ones. Not every single day is going to be rays of sunshine and rose scented candles, sometimes shit just sucks. I'm allowed to freak out for a hot minute, it doesn't mean I'm not a happy person or that I'm failing to enjoy my life. So I leaned into the swerve and cried it out. Then I remember my mom exists and I called her.
If you don't know my mom you don't know that she is a really positive person, she'll bright-side the shit out of a given situation and I've always been thankful for that. I sobbed about the vet visit and how unfair it was that everything is so difficult and how I hated that Tasha's old owners got 8 years with her and then threw her away like she was garbage. My mom simply said, "You can look at it that way or you can remember that, if nothing else, for over a year she's had owners who love her like crazy and take her to swim therapy and take care of her. You can go give her a hug and just enjoy her for the rest of the day and wait to hear from the vet." I think there's some law that says you have to listen to your mom no matter what so I did just that.
When I am stressed or anxious or feeling like a popped balloon, I've always had two go-to moves.
1.) Wallow in sorrow. Then drink and eat everything.
2.) Talk it out and then do something cathartic and/or productive.
I have usually gravitated toward option one. Then I'd wake up the next day feeling even worse (and probably hungover) and guilty that I transferred my bad mood to other people. Yesterday I chose to chug some water, enjoy a few sips of Rhyno's apple ale, vent for a moment to some supportive ears, and get to cleaning. I cleaned our kitchen with a toothbrush and a Q-tip for four hours. I put some dishware and cooking knick-knacks (really, why do I own not one but TWO bloomin' onion makers?) to the side to sell at my mother-in-law's garage sale in a few weeks. When I finished I was happier and things didn't seem as overwhelming. I snuggled T-Dolla for the rest of the night, watched a couple two tree things that made me laugh (I'm a sucker for Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) and made sure to get a lot of sleep. Know what? Even though the situation hasn't changed overnight, I feel so much better about it. And I'm not hungover either.
Any tips for dealing with stress or anxiety?