Ten Ways to Combat Stress (Or However Many I Can Come Up With)


See stress-reliever #9 for details.

I’m just going to preface this post by saying I have no business, at all, whatsoever, telling people how to combat stress, since I could probably be the poster child for how NOT to deal with it. I think I might be more stressed out lately than I’ve ever been in my whole life. Want proof? Go check the date on my last blog post. I still had Halloween decorations up (and not the kind of Halloween decorations that are hiding behind the Christmas tree). Blogging is one of my favorite things on earth. But ain’t nobody got time for that these days, you know?

Anyway, I guess I’m kind of just mentally searching for ways to, well, calm the fuck down. Ease up. Relax. Stop feeling like the walls around me are closing in. And if I actually manage to come up with some decent stuff, I want to share it with you. Just in case you are as stressed out and mentally imbalanced as I am to think anything I say actually works. So good luck to us both.

I’m going to list as many “stress relievers,” as I can, with my ultimate goal being ten. If I make it there, awesome. If not, well, at least it was a quick read.

Oh, and please don’t expect those boring, traditional de-stressing techniques from me. At no point would I ever suggest you light candles, take a bath, take deep breaths, listen to Enya, or write your feelings down in some type of journal. Unless your feelings involve a lot of cursing.

1. Keep watching your favorite TV shows. You don’t have time for TV? Make time. I make a ton of time for TV. You know why? For the exact reason that people say you shouldn’t watch it. Because it’s completely mindless! That means I don’t have to think about anything that really matters while my shows are on. I’m free to wonder who the new crazy bitch on the Bachelor will be, or why they can’t just let Darryl and Carol do it already on the Walking Dead, or what the hell Penny was thinking when she cut off all her hair on Big Bang Theory. You know, the kind of stuff that doesn’t matter in real life AT ALL. It’s the perfect way to zone out of your own real life problems.

2. Make your husband fix all broken household appliances. Or do it yourself. Or hire a fucking handyman. Whatever it takes just get it done. Non-functional crap around the house doesn’t directly cause stress by itself, but it often serves as the straw that broke the camel’s back. My dishwasher recently broke, and it stayed that way for two months. Two fantastic months of handwashing thousands of dishes and sippy cups and plastic takeout containers Tupperware. Because after working all day and cooking and cleaning and and doing laundry all night, I TOTALLY had an extra hour to spare for hand-washing dishes, like, 1955 style. I guess l’ll sleep when I’m dead, right? And now that the dishwasher is finally fixed, the toilet in our only bathroom took a nosedive. I need a basin and a gallon of water to flush it manually every single time, and plunging is my new workout routine. I can’t even talk about it without wanting to literally dropkick my husband the person who broke it in the first place.

3. Cut out the people who suck. This makes me sound like I’m one of those people moaning and groaning on every social media site in the world that they can’t trust anyone, and their heart is delicate but they’ll protect it with the fire of a thousand suns, and yada yada blah blah blah. But really, those are the people you should delete on Facebook and in real life too. I’ve come to realize that if you want to vomit every time you think of a certain person’s face, you probably shouldn’t be friends with that person. Not on the internet and certainly not in real life. So move on.

4. Have a glass of wine or two or ten. This is self-explanatory. Just don’t do it alone if you’re the crying type. And if you do it alone, I recommend having Youtube and a list of awesome 90’s music or movies nearby. Good times.

5. Make some new friends. Not that I have any fucking idea how to do this. But it seems like it might help, if you can figure out where to find some people who are as awesome and cool as you are.

6. Buy stuff for yourself sometimes. Last night I was on Amazon ordering some stuff that my kids need, and I hesitantly added a hat to the cart that I wanted for myself. I proceeded to checkout, reviewed my order, then stared blankly at the screen for ten minutes in a silent self-debate over whether I really needed to spend $19 on a hat. And then I deleted it from my shopping cart. But then this morning, my ears were really cold and I was all like WTF? I should have bought myself the damn hat. So don’t be like me. Keep your ears warm. Buy the damn hat.

7. Plan a night out, but don’t expect it to make you feel any better. Going out is fun. I haven’t really done much of it ever since the time I got drunk and fell and broke all my teeth (true story), but it’s definitely still fun to do once in a while. However, do not expect one night out to cure any kind of stress you are feeling. You will probably just drink too much and end up without teeth very hungover, causing you to fall a day behind with the endless crap on your to-do list. Even if you aren’t a big drinker, just know that one “much needed” night out, though fun, will not leave you feeling refreshed and stress-free. It’s just a night out. Don’t get your hopes up. But definitely still go.

8. Clean something. I know it doesn’t sound very fun, but I find that cleaning gives me a great sense of accomplishment, and also leaves surfaces in my home shiny and stuff. I fucking loathe doing it, but after a full day of scrubbing, mopping, and organizing, I usually feel amazing. Well, at least I feel amazing until my little bulls-in-a-china-shop children come stampeding in and wreck the place. But until that  happens, I like to sit back and enjoy the stress-free feel of a sparkling clean home.

9. Have your cake and eat it too. I hate that saying. What the hell else would you do with it?? Stare at the damn thing? Anyway, nonsensical idioms aside, you should eat cake. It’s delicious. Obviously, it won’t help with your diet woes, but like I said, IT’S DELICIOUS.

(I seem to be grasping at straws here. But I will think of a #10. I promise).

10. I give up. Now the stress of finishing this blog has ended for me, so at least one of us is less stressed out, right?