On Stress

Life Ramblings The Working World Twenties

Sometimes, I get tired of people (and Doctors) telling me that I’m stressed. I mean, I went to school – stress is that feeling when you have a million exams and tests piled up, right? I haven’t had that school-stressed-out feeling in a while, so I just assumed that I don’t get stressed much anymore. But lately, I’ve been re-thinking that. Perhaps stress just feels different now, especially because I stress about different types of things? I think I can finally identify adult stress as that ‘worked-up’ adrenaline feeling I get when I’m rushing and doing a million things at once. I used to think that that feeling of adrenaline was good because it motivated me to push past tiredness and get more things done. But if I’m not mistaken, adrenaline was designed for real fight or flight responses back in the day, not me attempting to shave five minutes off of my morning routine or speeding to get to a spinning class before its full.

So, the point of this rant? I’m just trying to slow down. Matt’s been telling me for years that rushing is bad for my health and yet I continue to rush to try to do it all. I obviously read a lot of lifestyle blogs with topics about ‘how to squeeze in a workout when you have 20 minutes’ and ‘how save time and money at the grocery store.’ I love the internet, but it stresses me out. I’m trying NOT to feel like I have to squeeze in that 20 minute workout and take a walk instead. I do a lot of passive relaxation (aka time on the couch), but I want to do more active relaxation, like making sure I have time to wind down at night before going to bed, getting massages every once in a while, listening to more calming music on my drive to work, and taking time to breathe.

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And I need to use the time I save microwaving instead of cooking dinner to eat more slowly rather than woofing things down!

How do you de-stress?

  • Miranda
    May 10, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    Do you know, I agree with you, stress is absolutely terrible for your health. When I am stressed, I don’t feel mentally stressed, but I get very physically unwell. When my Dad was sick, my digestion pretty much shut down for five months – I had terrible issues the whole time. I got eye infections. My skin broke out terribly. When I didn’t give my head time to acknowledge my stress, my body took it out on me instead. I have actually been told by my specialist recently that if I don’t learn to manage my stress levels consistently I am going to do some serious damage to my body.

    I de-stress by exercising. That sweaty high you get after a run is amazing šŸ™‚ I also make time to cook, because I really enjoy doing it at the end of a long day. I make myself leave work every day on time (or no more than half an hour late anyway). Meditation is also helpful, but I am crap at it. Learning to switch off my brain is one of the hardest things I have ever done!!

    Good luck trying to sort your stress levels out… hopefully, that might help sort out some of your digestion issues. Did you know when you get stressed, you get that shot of adrenaline and your unnecessary-to-flight body functions like digestion actually shut down so you can focus on the ‘threat’? That’s why I suffered so terribly for months on end with indigestion issues… my body thought there was something to run from, so it was priming itself for that.

  • Matt
    May 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I de-stress by hanging out with you! More specifically, I love our long, lazy walks through random Durham neighborhoods…

    • Laura
      May 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      šŸ™‚

  • Stephanie C
    May 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Stress is why I had stomach issues growing up, so I definitely get that.
    My typical ways of de-stressing are getting a pedicure, going out for a beer with friends, reflexology or reading a book for fun. I’m trying to budget in a foot massage or regular massage monthly because I definitely feel better afterwards.

  • Nicole
    May 11, 2012 at 9:08 am

    My “de-stressors” include: exercise (while zoning out to music!), massage, pedicures, having my hair done!, and reading.

    • Laura
      May 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      I looove getting my hair done!!

  • Lisa
    May 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    I hear you! I’ve been dealing with stress ever since I moved out of the country with my fiance. The funny thing is, I didn’t think I was stressed though. I guess I also have an overabundant amount of stress from wedding planning. Whichever the case, I’m dealing with digestive issues, adult acne, immense fatigue, and my hair’s falling out at an alarming rate! I’m scared of losing my hair! : P The fatigue is horrible too. I feel like I’m constantly fighting off a cold or something.

    My good friend enlightened me with this: “Lisa. Your problem is that you’re a perfectionist and you don’t know it!” I have an issue of assessing myself one way and going about my life in another.

    I de-stress by losing myself in a couple of good books, taking a nice leisurely walk, and taking my time at the grocery store. I can stay in there for hours going through everything. My fiance likes to be in and out in 20 mins, so I love it when I get to take my damn time! : P It’s the little things. : )

    • Stephanie C
      May 11, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      I just realized that same thing about myself! And I definitely did the grocery de-stressing thing today, too šŸ˜‰ Whole Foods is probably not the best place to do so, though!

      • Laura
        May 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm

        šŸ™‚ I think WF is calming!

    • Laura
      May 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm

      Moving out of the country and planning a wedding does sound stressful!! Best of luck with the adjustment:)

  • Kristina
    May 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    Stress can be terrible for people’s health and general well-being. I know when I’m stressed based on how I’m sleeping – or not sleeping. Much of the work stress I find myself dealing with happens to be inter-personal relationships and deadlines!
    I definitely de-stress by trying to walk our dogs every afternoon. They are so fun, and I love that moment with them. Also, I think that I’m lucky to be able to enjoy a relaxed dinner on a pretty regular basis.

    • Laura
      May 14, 2012 at 10:26 pm

      Maybe I need a pet!

  • Katie Cummings
    May 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    I’ve been feeling very stressed out lately and blogged a little about it last night. I find relaxing time when I”m on the internet doing what I want (aka reading blogs). But I also relax when I’m getting my workouts in and I try to read a fun book for at least 5 minutes every night.

  • Dr. MOM
    May 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    PLEASE ask your doctor to check your thyroid…being tired all the time is a MAJOR symptom. Check out the other subtle symptoms online for yourself!

    • Laura
      May 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      I have:( My TSH is normal though, so Dr’s don’t seem to care that my t3 and t4 are at the lower end of the range…

      • Stephanie C
        May 12, 2012 at 11:46 pm

        Have you had the antibodies test as well? I have hypothyroidism but my hormone levels are within range. because I have the antibodies, my doctor prescribed the thyroid meds for me anyways. Some people are more sensitive and need more. The ranges are also being reconsidered.
        Since taking them, I no longer sleep 12 hours a day.. more like 9. It also takes a shorter amount of time for me to wake up in the morning. Rather than feeling sleepy for 3-5 hours after waking, now I only need about 30 minutes. Many of my high school/college friends were shocked to learn I no longer sleep til 12 šŸ˜‰ It’s worth getting a second opinion.

        • Laura
          May 13, 2012 at 11:51 am

          I’ve asked for it with no luck and I’m on my third Dr! So glad you figured yours out though…sounds much better!

      • Dr. MOM
        May 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

        http://thyroid.about.com/library/news/TSHPDF.pdf

        Check out this report about TSH reference ranges.
        Keep having yours checked. My TSH levels were “normal” with tests by my ob-gyn, then 6 months later they showed I had a low thyroid with tests by my internist!

        • Laura
          May 13, 2012 at 11:49 am

          It’s so frusterating! Ive had my TSH tested four times. I’ve asked for the antibodies test and a referral to an endocrinologist and they said no!

          • Stephanie C
            May 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

            That’s really ridiculous. I’ve been tired my whole life. My mom had all the tests done on me, as well and no one could ever figure it out. Finally, when I Got into my 20’s I just got tired of it. I was referred to a great doctor, told her my symptoms and she ordered a huge round of tests and found the antibodies. It seems ridiculous that they won’t at least test for antibodies. You might be able to go to an independent lab and have it done yourself.

  • Emily
    May 13, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I love the idea of active de-stressing. I deal with a lot of anxiety, and it’s easy to just default to passive de-stressing on the couch, but I know massages, yoga, exercise, etc would really help me feel better. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Sara
    May 13, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Hi Laura! I just wandered over to your blog for the first time this evening and was sucked in by the series of comments on this post. Like you, I definitely need to learn to slow down a bit instead of rushing about all the time. And I can most certainly relate to your frustration with doctors, as about 5 years ago I went through the same thing you seem to be going through now. I would recommend finding a naturopath or other holistic/functional medical doctor in your area that would be willing to work with you more thoroughly to try to get to the bottom of any health issues. The TSH levels definitely don’t show the whole picture with the thyroid and I don’t’ think there’s a good consensus these days as to what a “normal” TSH number really looks like, which is super frustrating! Best of luck with everything. šŸ™‚

    • Laura
      May 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks! Yes, def need to find an alternative doctor! I’m about to leave for the summer and it’s first on my first for the fall. Thanks for the comment:)