We undoubtedly live in an era where most conversations with your friends being with, “Oh I’m so stressed!” The 21st century lifestyle means that everyone will have encountered stress somewhere along the line. Unless of course you are one of those really annoying types who wears a coat made of Teflon, so the stress just slides right off you.
All of the following are completely true.
1. You arrive at work, take off your coat, make a drink, turn on your computer, read some emails… then a colleague points out that your jumper is in fact inside out. If you can get away with it, it’s best to pretend that it is supposed to be like that. Otherwise you look like a complete flake. You’re sh*t out of luck if said jumper has a huge washing instruction label on it though.
2. Having visited your local purveyor of fine produce and olives in little tubs, you carefully place your very expensive purchases in the boot of your car, ensuring that the olives remain upright, lest they spill their olivey goodness all over the boot (that’s trunk if you’re an American). Your posh eggs from very happy chickens are reverently placed on the front seat so you can keep an eye on them. You return your trolley to the bay and leave your handbag, containing your brand new phone and your wallet in the trolley. Luckily I got it back. And everything was still inside my wallet. Honest people do exist… at least they do where I live.
3. You wake up in the morning only to find that during the night you’ve been digging the nails of your left hand into the palm of your right. The resulting marks take all day to fade. There is not a lot you can do about this apart from not waving at people across the office because then they’ll realise you’ve been maiming yourself in your sleep (again). If this becomes a regular occurrence you need to keep your nails short and consider wearing gloves in bed. Seriously.
4. You forget that you’ve promised to go to Hot Yoga with your Yoga BFF, and now you feel mortified and embarrassed and daren’t phone her because you are a total stressed out mess. This comes from not really knowing what day it is. A solution would be to try to keep a paper diary with your appointments in your handbag (providing it has not been left in a supermarket trolley), and then actually LOOK AT IT so you can see where you are supposed to be.
5. Going to bed seems like the best course of action, even though it’s only 3.30pm. Cuddling up with a good book and the cat at 3.30pm in the afternoon seems like a good idea. Where do you think I am while writing this? However, if it happens too often you might need to have a think about why you are in bed.
6. Knocking over a cup of tea results in an apoplectic-raging-beast-screaming-crying-fit that causes you to nearly pass out in anger when you realise that was the last of the milk too. Birds in trees get scared and take flight. The cat runs out of the room at top speed, leaving a cloud of fur behind that then floats nonchalantly into the big tea puddle on the floor. Each and every tiny, simple task just causes you more stress and inconvenience. And so you sit sobbing in the middle of the kitchen floor, hot tea soaking into your eco-friendly yoga leggings until your poor long-suffering husband/partner/boyfriend concedes that he will go fetch some more milk from the shop. Anything to get away from the noise!
Now for the serious bit. If you have symptoms of stress, if you feel out of control, anxious, depressed and/or unable to cope, you need to get some help. Talking to loved ones, doing something fun, getting a massage and attending a regular yoga class are all things that can help relieve some of the burden you feel you are carrying. Don’t suffer in silence. Try a little smile right now… go on, you can do it!