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How Well Do You Deal With Stress?


Let me preface this by saying that I have had a week from hell this last week. I have been under a lot of stress in the last year or so, but this last week took the cake. Hopefully, tomorrow's blog post will give you more insight into what happened, how I handled it, and what you should know about medical prepping. 

That word medical is a stressor for most people. I am not exempt from it either.


I have been under tons of stress over my lifetime. Some of it is self-inflicted. Some of it has come from marriage and divorce. Some of it has been completely related to parenting. Some of them have been relationships and friendships. Work plays a big factor too. Life can be very stressful.


You can let that stress overwhelm you if you choose to let it. I was letting it. I used to be a professional at handling stress and keeping it from eating me away. However, my usual tactics for dealing with it over the course of time were failing me big time. 


My blood pressure was 150/80 the last time I had it checked (one month ago). While I understand that it indicates an underlying condition, I also know it means that I need to take more drastic changes in taking care of myself. A lot of health conditions are exasperated by stress. I have been changing my diet as much as I can - a lot more vegetables and some meat, only berry fruits, eggs, no sugary drinks, and more. I have seen a difference in my weight and my energy.


However, I still needed to deal with my stress. I can't stop people from trying to stress me out. Hoping a higher power deals out some karma only helps marginally. I needed to figure out why I was letting it get to me and deal with it. That only takes time, praying, breathing, walking, and distraction. That seems simple enough, but not always simple to implement. 


Lately, though, I have been thinking about how much more stressed out you get when you lose a job, a natural disaster wipes out your home, a loved one has cancer and more. You know, like all the things we prepare for or try to prepare for that could happen in real life. How do we deal with the stress then if we can't deal with the stress of daily life now? 


Do we let things bother us that we shouldn't let bother us? Oh, certainly we do. That can't always be helped. People especially loved ones and hated ones, have a way of getting under our skin. They know which of our buttons to push to get the reaction they want and will serve their purposes. They know how to rile us, guilt us, and scare us. You can put a stop to it and put some peace back into your mind, but that can have consequences too.


Quite frankly, getting all riled up can cause even more stress. Yelling, screaming, fighting, and just generally being nasty cause cracks in relationships and how people see you. You think you are being tough and opinionated, but those people you explode all over are now stressed out too. That causes problems further down the road for everyone involved. 


So, how should you deal with stress? Should you internalize it (bottle it up on the inside) or should you externalize it (explode all over everyone)? I have a tendency to internalize it except for a few close friends and family. I used to just internalize completely because I figured no one cared about what was bugging me. Then I found out differently and I found a few people who did care. 


How should you deal with your stress?


1. Start taking care of yourself. Eat right, take a walk, get good sleep (take something if you need to), and laugh every day. All of this helps. 


2. Find your tribe. Find those people you can talk to and explode all over. They will still love you no matter what and probably have some awesome advice to help you with your problem.


3. Eliminate the sources of stress if you can. You can eliminate your spouse and your kids, but the consequences are not usually good. Figure out what is stressing you out and tweak those relationships. 


4. Stick to consistent routines and habits. Get up at the same time every day, build in times to relax, and take care of you. Your mental health likes routine and habits. Having daily routines and habits are also self-soothing. 


If you need more ideas on ways to deal with your stress, check out this blog post


How do you deal with your stress? Let me know below!


Thanks for reading,

Erica



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