Taking stress down a peg


The alarm is buzzing, alright, wake up. What’s on the docket for today: Take a shower, get dressed, try to eat while getting the kids ready, let the dog out, let the dog in. Don’t be late for work, don’t be late for work. Lil’ Kevin just tossed his cookies, I’m going to be late for work.

If you’re like us at the Herald, reading that last paragraph may have given you a flashback to a recent morning. A morning where it feels as if everything is weighing against you and no matter what you do you simply can’t get ahead. These are the days where it is important to take a step back (or twelve), and realize not all things in life are under our control.

April is Stress Awareness Month, and for it we’d like to remind readers that while life may take its toll at times, it is impossible to have complete control of every aspect of our lives. When things begin to get out of hand and stress begins to build, we sometimes have the habit of shutting down. Reserving our energy as much as possible to weather the coming stress storm.

When the going gets tough, it can be hard to resist the urge to clam up and retreat into oneself. At first, it feels good to give up. To close all the blinds and curl up in a blanket with a movie and a pint of Cherry Garcia, and let life get the better of you. To scroll through pages upon pages of social media feeds and let others virtual worlds replace your real one.

The comfort these things give us are temporary. Once the movies are over, or the notifications cleared, we are stuck back in the same situations. Forced still to deal with the same decisions.

Instead of giving in, and allowing hopelessness to take hold, remember that while not all facets of life may be in your control, most are. If the situation is truly out of your hands, then there is nothing you could have done to change the outcome in the first place. You determine how much that issue will take a toll on your mental well-being. Rather then give up, take charge of what you can change and make those things work for you.

At least for April, let’s all try to repurpose some of the energy we would have wasted feeling sorry for ourselves, or allowing a bad day to get the best of us. Let’s put it rather into making our lives better. Into improving the facets of life that we do have a direct impact on. Find something you enjoy doing, and put the energy into that.

Who knows, after a month, we may still be showing up late for work on a stressful morning, but we’ll be in a better mood at least.


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