Sunday, March 21, 2010

When Baby Meltdowns Grow Up

Come, join me for a moment as I reminisce about my dorky teenage years...

When I was in high school, I was co-editor-in-chief of my yearbook. Compared to real world work, this was not a challenging gig. But at the time, it felt like a pretty demanding post to hold. I had continual deadlines, stories to write, grammar to check, a staff to manage and an entire student body counting on me to produce something they would keep in their closets for decades to come. When you're 17, that's a lot of pressure.

And the thing I remember about those times is how I sort of got a high from the stress. I thrived on the pressure. I loved pulling late nights to meet deadlines. It made me feel important. It made me feel in control.

Flash forward 17 years, and you'll see a different girl. One who gets exhausted by stress. One who needs downtime on a daily basis if she's going to survive from one day to the next. One who occasionally has heart palpitations because There's Just Too Much To Do.

It was that kind of week last week. Work was a flood of requests—and the very worst kind. The kind that you think you've solved but they just keep coming back and sucking more mental energy from your already depleted little brain. Then there was the running schedule that had to be worked in somewhere. Training always gets my tension two-stepping. So much pressure knowing that you've got to work hours of run-time into your schedule... Add in Mr. W's out-of-town guests who wanted to spend time with the both of us (thus compelling me to commute back and forth between our two houses for most of the week) and you were left with a girl whose fuse was about as long as the hair on her freshly shaven legs.

Although I spent Friday night recuperating, there was still a meltdown on Saturday.

And I wonder how in the world it ever was that I tolerated—even invited—stress into my life.

I watch Dr. Oz quite a bit and he constantly talks about the ills of stress. It's so bad for your body—it encourages aging, disease, I believe even obesity (which might explain the little muffin top that never seems to go away...) If I keep having weeks like the last one, I'm going to hit 100 before I turn 40.

What do you all do to de-stress when you're feeling at your wit's end?

16 comments:

laura said...

you're going to laugh that i am saying this NOW....but I run, or do some other form of exercise. Seriously...you have plenty of time to think about everything going on,, and at the same tme, you feel good about yourself when you are done.

blakspring said...

i'm with laura. i look forward to my monday night volleyball to keep me sane. and i try not to bring "work" home with me. my first year at the school i went through a bad bout of insomnia because work was on my brain 24/7 but i've gotten better at blocking it out. you should also have mr. w give you a massage.

The Coconut Diaries said...

Wine. And Reality TV. You'd be surprised at the healing powers of "Celebrity Fit Club"

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I lived this post this past weekend. In my 20s, I used to be up and out of the house at 8 (on the weekends) and pretty much go non-stop until the wee hours of the night. Every weekend. All the time. I thrived off that lifestyle.

This past weekend, we ran errands all day Saturday. Sunday, we ran a race and ran some more errands and I was running around the house doing things that afternoon. Both Saturday and Sunday nights? I crashed so hard. And even after full nights of sleep, I'm exhausted today and left wondering how on earth I used to do that all the time!

To de-stress, as a kid, I'd play the piano. I always say I'll have a piano in my house again one day. And as an adult, I exercise. It keeps the stress levels down and helps me decompress from my day.

Danielle said...

Exercise is the only way I know how to effectively release stress!

Anita said...

Since you already run and exercise I won't suggest that. But since I'm going through probably the most stressful time in my life I will suggest something that has given me a little bit of relief. Try acupuncture. It really doesn't hurt at all, and during the procedure itself, you can actually get quite relaxed. Similarly, there are some pressure points in your ears and hands that help with anxiety.

geekhiker said...

I actually get stressed out trying to plan my schedule to get to the gym. I'm screwed.

brookem said...

im sorry you had such a crazypants week. hopefully things settle down a bit soon.

i know everyone says exercise, and that helps me too. but sometimes i feel like scheduling that into my already busy schedule makes me even more stressed. and while that's just a part of my lifestyle, something im not willing to give up, i try to legitamately pencil in time to just relax. like, sundays: make no plans. that doesn't always happen but it's nice to know that the option is there for me at the beginning of the week. or end, however you look at it.

Mike129 said...

:( Sorry for such a tough week!

To relieve stress the two things I find work the best are exercise and racing (and sex in the right circumstances).

Sizzle said...

I don't think I know what this destress you speak of is?

;-)

I am trying to learn how to do this, actually. Mr. Darcy is my tutor. I think unplugging is helpful. And getting away, preferably by the sea.

Jane Moneypenny said...

Ack! We're so sisters. I was JUST thinking about this today. I, too, was an over achiever in high school and even college. I balanced so many clubs, homework and piano, but nowadays, I seem to burn out so quickly.

I eat to de-stress, which isn't a great habit either, but food makes me happy. I find driving with no destination in mind is another option. I scream or yell or cry in the car and eventually, it fades.

Braden Matthew Johnson said...

Ahhh, to remember the good ol' days....the stress of yearbook...thoughts of beer & pizza at camp...Taco Bell runs on our evenings of working late. Man, I'd like to go back to that kind of stress for about a week.

Mandy's Kidding said...

I let myself go lay on my couch and zone out while I watch mindless television. I also let go of what I can't control and can't change. I love telling myself, "It's not like it's brain surgery." No one is going to die because I forgot to change a semi-colon to a dash.

Rachel said...

yoga and meditation. i'll come and give you a class in your living room! try some simple breathing exercises too - alternate nostril breathing (nadi sodhana pranayama, different from ujjayi pranayama) works wonders. do you know what I'm talking about? left brings calm and cool and right is energy and warmth. you can do it anywhere. if you learn to meditate with your eyes open, you can do that anywhere too! I do it while I'm driving all the time because driving stresses me the fuck out! sorry for swearing.

hang in there baby! this too shall pass. that's the other thing that keeps me from exploding. you could call it my mantra! lol

Big Sister said...

I agree with Rachel and Coconut - Wine and Yoga. Together or separately - your choice. When Rachel comes to give you a private yoga lesson, call me - I want to come too, and then we can drink wine afterwards. Make sure you blow your nose good before the alternate nostril breathing...trust me on that one. Another thing that works for me - prayer. Nice to know Someone's got your back.

LesleyG said...

Well, I quit the stress, it turns out. And then there's all kinds of other stress waiting. Yeehaw.
BUT, yoga and running (and a cocktail here and there) seem to help me, too. :)