04 August 2011

Coping with stress

I haven't blogged in a bit because things have been kind of nuts. We just finished driving across the country from central Texas to central California and then the girls and I turned right back around and flew back to Texas, with stops (but no plane changes) in Los Angeles and Phoenix. I'm back at the house in Texas to finish dealing with movers and house stuff and then we'll fly back to California.

There's been a lot of stress. The emotional impact of moving away from the place I've called home since I was a little girl, away from my friends and family, the stress of the drive (a 2 year old, a teething 3 month old, 4 cats, and a dog in the vehicle with us along with luggage, yikes), dealing with getting packed up, finding a new house in California, dealing with that house not having heat/hot water/stove due to the gas not being hooked up, and a myriad of other issues along with just plain exhaustion. Feeling like everything in life is outside of my control. Yeeeeeah. But, I've been able to find ways to cope with the stress other than just screaming and going all lunatic like I have wanted to.

Music: When we were in the car and had done everything we could for the girls and they were still crying (and in one case, throwing temper tantrums over not getting her way), I would put in my earphones and just turn my music up all the way. I hated not being able to do anything for them but everything had been done and we couldn't exactly stop traveling. Listening to music was better than losing my cool over the fussing.

Deep breathing: self-explanatory.

Grounding in reality: when I start to freak out over things, I stop and ask myself is this something that I can do anything about? If it is out of my control, or is something I can't handle until later due to office hours or whatever, I force myself to let it go for the time being.

Nail polish: this one might sound a little weird, but I've been doing my nails as a coping mechanism. My husband asked "why the sudden obsession with changing your nail polish?". As I explained it to him, nail polish (besides being fun) is something I have complete control over. I pick the colors and the designs and when I want to change it. Yours doesn't have to be nail polish, but the concept is, find something you can control and go with it. Within reason. Obviously I don't mean start domineering your friends or anything.

Remember, when life is crazy, make the effort to find ways to cope.

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