No seriously. This post probably won’t contain any useful information. I wasn’t even sure about posting anything today. The value of having an “OMG I’m not the only one this happens to” moment is real though so I’m throwing this out there.
This wasn’t even supposed to be a post. I just wanted to take a minute to write because it forces me to think one thing at a time. Neat little trick I learned in the throes of puberty. If you get overwhelmed with cascading thoughts and you don’t write, you should. Anyhoo…
I’ve got a lot on my plate right now. On top of my usual responsibilities, I’ve started the home buying process while my spouse continues his usual 65 hour a week work schedule. He’s got the capital flow under control and doesn’t have much for free time so I’ve got both oars in this rowboat that is household management. On top of that I’m scrambling to get household financials under wraps so our impending increase in expenses doesn’t monetarily cripple us. I’m thinking about bill balances, mortgage totals, possible HOA fees and what they cover, square footage, repairs, taxes, commutes, and the fact that the family car has started to smell like burning oil and oh hey, Thanksgiving is less than a week away and being the matriarch of my family I CANNOT have a holiday get the drop on me. Now I’m thinking about food, head counts and the fact that after that sh*t storm I’ve gotta have a Christmas tree on standby because the young’ns will want to decorate it after pie as per the usual. Weeeeeeeeeeeee…
This is totally not a cry for pity because guess what I’m doing right now… cold chillin’. Sure, I’ll respond to an email from the realtor if it’s quick, but other than that, I’m taking a pit stop for mental maintenance. I’ve got my face covered in masks and brow tint and my feet in hot water with epsom salts, nail polish at the ready. Popping a fat dose of self care. It comes in a lot of different shapes but this is mine. I could be doing a bajillion other things, but I’m forcing myself not to. I could also be guilting myself for not doing a bajillion other things, but again, I’m forcing myself not to. It took me a hot minute and a lot of convincing to get to this point but in the end I realized that stoicism, (or half-assed stoicism, where you keep going but you’re complaining the whole time) while an admirable trait in our society (the former more than the latter), can do a lot of damage when taken to excess.
When I’m stressy or creeping toward stressy, I like to apply the airplane pre-liftoff schpiel to life in general. You know, “In the event that oxygen masks are deployed, secure your own mask before helping others”. That schpiel. Take a second to make sure you’re good before tending to the sh*t hitting the fan. You’re not gonna help anybody if you’re passed out on the floor from lack of oxygen, know what I mean? That said, since I’ve applied this wonky way of thinking, I bounce back from stress much faster and my GAD flareups are few, far between and much easier to mitigate. Think about it. Mathematically speaking, what takes longer? 5 minutes of meditation or recovering from a sleep-stealing, heart pounding, nausea inducing anxiety attack? I’d rather be completely down, by choice, for 5 minutes than be hobbled with symptoms for some days. It used to be the opposite. Go go go until I’d hit a wall and my health and productivity would suffer. If you’re doing that now, STAHPIT.
On second thought, maybe this post won’t be completely useless. I’ll throw some links at you in case you’re feeling the burnout and would like to try on my oxygen mask.
Things that make my GAD/PTSD/INTJ brain feel nice:
Oddly Satisfying videos are oddly satisfying. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz3c0EW6tpYXhSA2WE4uYDg
Yoga, in general helps me with my chronic pain and general stress. This vid is aimed at ptsd specifically. I like it and the rest of the channel is worth a skim while you’re there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqVSwY8y3UY
Rolling the foam because muscle tension and stress are besties. https://www.amazon.com/LuxFit-Premium-Density-6-Inch-12-Inch/dp/B00KAEJ3VI/ref=sr_1_12?s=exercise-and-fitness&ie=UTF8&qid=1542393355&sr=1-12&keywords=foam+roller
Face goo (cucumber slices sold separately) https://www.amazon.com/Elizavecca-Collagen-Wrinkles-Intense-Hydration/dp/B00HRNIZ0A/ref=sr_1_17_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1542393500&sr=1-17&keywords=elizavecca https://www.amazon.com/Global-Beauty-Care-Charcoal-Wash-Off/dp/B07K5LRYBK/ref=sr_1_6_s_it?s=beauty&ie=UTF8&qid=1542393658&sr=1-6&keywords=global+beauty+care+charcoal+wash+off+mask
Headspace if I’m having trouble meditating without guidance https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app
And while we’re on the subject of apps, ladies, our hormones can make stress harder to deal with and can even be sole a cause for it. If you feel like you go a bit bananas on a monthly (sometimes twice monthly) basis, I recommend tracking your cycle so you can preemptively adjust your schedule and interactions wherever possible to minimize the effects. This app https://helloclue.com/period-tracker-app sends you a notification when pms, Aunt Flo or ovulation is coming and you can set up tags. I used them to track my anxiety, appetite and chronic pain in relation to my cycle and diet.
For the record I am not being paid to tell you this. The app links are fresh off google and the companies don’t know I exist. My Amazon affiliate account was dead in the water months ago so I don’t *think* any of my links are affiliate, but if they are you can easily avoid them by taking a peek then looking the item up yourself should you choose to purchase. I should probably throw that dusty old disclaimer out while I’m at it.
Do not take anything I say on this blog as anything even resembling diagnosis or medical advice. I share my personal experiences and opinions only. What works for me may not work for you. I am not a professional. I have no training. I’m just a human, trying to make it in this ugly-beautiful world, win the day to day battles and enjoy my remaining trips around the sun. I don’t have the answers. Just ideas and experiences… and recipes for some tasty food. Take what you need, but keep in mind that when it comes to mental health, there is no substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.
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