Learning to manage my stress

On my way home from work yesterday I suddenly remembered a summer day from years and years ago. I was driving around with a couple of friends, going nowhere in particular. We ended up cruising down this road on the outskirts of town that wound for a few miles between two hills. I remember taking in the sun and grass and flowers and trees, and enjoying the simple beauty of the moment.

And you know what? I can't remember a time in the past two years when I felt the same way.

Between my job and infertility, I've been feeling some level of anxiety almost constantly for two whole years. I get those yucky butterflies in my stomach on a daily basis. I have more headaches now than I ever used to. My "core" muscles and shoulders are perpetually tense. And I'm starting to get wrinkles in my forehead from the look of worry that's permanently plastered to my face.

The wrinkles are really the last straw.

I know I've said it before, but I'm trying to manage my stress better. It's a tad overwhelming when the stress is so pervasive, though, and I still haven't quite figured out how to get it under control. But I'm learning some things that work for me. For one, it helps that hubs and I have been busier during the week. I internalize everything, so the more I stay out of my own head the better. I've also been keeping up pretty well with my 100 Pushups, 200 Situps and 200 Squats regimens, and that helps too, probably because I'm so exhausted by the time I finish a workout that I don't have the energy to worry. (I see a really nice difference in my arms, waist and thighs, too! That definitely helps!)

One reason I'm looking forward to acupuncture is that I keep reading it produces a sense of well-being. Even if it doesn't help my fertility, I'll count it as a success if I feel more at ease afterwards. I also decided that for Valentine's Day hubs and I are going to hire his aunt, who's a professional masseuse, to come over and give us each an hour massage. We don't normally do much to celebrate VDay, but this year I think we've both earned it! And maybe I can talk him into letting me (or both of us) get regular massages every month or two. :)

For me, persistence is definitely key. I need to remember that staying active and busy actually helps me feel less stressed. Sitting on the couch watching the boob tube for hours on end does NOT. It's hard for a lazy person like me to get disciplined! But hopefully it'll pay off in the end and I'll be able to enjoy life a little bit more. Even if I don't have everything I want.


Sweet Pea said...

Stress just plain sucks. Being overwhelmed in all areas does not help, hopefully you can find your balance and be at peace. Simplify.

Congrats on keeping up with 100,200 & 200 ! Way to go girly !

Allison said...

((((Hugs)))) I hear ya.

The massages sound nice, and huge congrats on the workouts! Go, keep busy, Kitty!

Kate said...

I'm so glad you're able to keep active enough to avoid more wrinkles! Congrats! :0)

Caitlin said...

That sounds like a good plan, Kitty!

Persistance has always been my downfall...I am so enthusiastic about something for a week - maybe two. Then something happens and it's downhill from there. I really need to be more like you. =)

elephantscanremember said...

I have had those same constant anxious feelings too. They never go away no matter "how good" things are going. I feel like I am constantly waiting on the other shoe to fall.

Good for you for sticking to it so far. I need to be so much better disciplined myself. I am not getting any younger.

Emily said...

Hoping you are finding your way to peace. Sounds like you are on the right track. I agree, keeping busy is the best way for me to drown out my own thoughts and worries. I hope the acupuncture is a step in the right direction!

Steph O. said...

We are women, we are strong, we can accomplish nearly anything, we...what's this? Is that a? OMG! It's a wrinkle! That's it, pass the chocolate & the wine!

I need to remind myself that I always feel better if I just DO the workout. But it's so much easier to sit on the couch & watch tv.

You got the Wii & the Fit, right? Have you tried any of the yoga? I totally love it, esp for stretching out tension. I hope you enjoy the massage!

E said...

I know that same exact feeling you are talking of...the complete relaxation and totally content feeling. I can count the number of times I have felt that.

Way to go with the working out!! sounds awesome. I have been doing 3 miles everyday and am rather enjoying it.

:) I hope acupuncture works wonders for you.