Monday, March 21, 2016

How do you handle stress?

Without going into details (even though not a lot of people read this, it’s a public blog and I do consider that when posting), I’m under a lot of stress at work. It’s bad/intense enough that I made the difficult decision to use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) in hopes that I can learn some good stress coping skills.

I know how I handle stress. I lose my appetite and I sleep very poorly. I get pretty quiet and can appear disengaged although I’m not. I’m just quiet. What’s difficult for those who love me is that my not eating can look as though I’m having a recurrence of my eating disorder because the end result is the same: I lose weight visibly.

But the inability to eat isn’t the same thing. With the eating disorder, it’s a choice I make, almost a game I play: I can weigh less, I will be smaller, how little can I eat and “get away” with it or fly under the radar so no one notices. With the stress-induced non-eating, it’s like having a low grade stomach virus all the time and food becomes impossible.

I am eating, by the way. I eat a minimum of two meals a day, although they aren’t huge. I’m not playing the game, the dragon isn’t out of her cage. And I’m open and honest with Kent about this.

On the positive side, I work out both as a way to reduce stress and of course as a means to continued good health. I’d hoped it would help with the poor sleep, but so far that’s not the case.

I’ve also cut way back on alcohol. I made that choice a few months ago before I realized just how bad the stress is at work—I realized that I felt yucky the next day even with just two glasses of wine so now I have one glass on Friday when Kent and I have our date night.

But I’m always looking for better ways to manage stress. Yes, ideally the stress itself would be eliminated but barring that what suggestions do you have? What works for you?

4 comments:

Jen Shear said...

I felt the same sick-to-my stomach stress when Ben was deployed...so I get it and I get how awful it is. You know I went to a psychologist and he gave me some random things to try, but the only thing that helped was you guys coming to visit and Ben returning home. I guess that means you just need to come to AZ and soak up some sun, play with some kids and let us cook for you!

Elizabeth said...

I'll be on the next plane because that sounds AMAZINGLY great to me :D

Judith said...

The only thing to add is stop in Boise on your way out so we can go to the fabulous SB salon again.

Kerry DeBauge said...

I have to exercise and sleep more. I tend to overeat when stressed, so avoiding that is key for me. Massages are also beneficial, though I'm still guilty of seeing them as a luxury rather than tool.