… or how bau-bau can be a friend.
It it said about stress that it iss the number 1 killer of our time. The World Health Organization has declared stress “health epidemic of the 21st century.” Of course, when we read this, we have a different mood than when we ourselves live these statistics.
Let me tell you about my close relationship with stress and why I liked it. First of all, some spoilers: I like to be busy, I live happier when I have a lot of work to do, and some of my self-esteem comes to me from my professional achievements. In theory, I like stress. Not only in theory, you will immediately see it in practice. A bit of context (you can jump if you don’t care). Obviously, I had a busier time. That means many days of work, including weekends, including nights. Many projects, most of them brand new.
What I liked: the challenge. To see if I can do it. To see how I get it done in some situations. It’s my only source of adrenaline, I don’t ride a motorcycle, I don’t jump with a parachute or anything alike. I liked that I was more attentive to my body and my needs. This is how I discovered what kind of food makes me better, what kind of activity calms me, what kind of thoughts I get back to when I can’t sleep. And one more thing: Paradoxically, stress forced me to be more solution-oriented and more positive in thinking. If I stayed too long in my thoughts, I couldn’t actually do the job.
What I didn’t like. During this intense period for me, I breathed very superficially. In fact, less and less every day. Don’t ask me how it is possible, that’s what happened. The effect was that after almost 2 months, I was on the verge of a panic attack, which is quite unpleasant. It can help us to think about what our Achilles’ heel is and treat it accordingly.
What didn’t help:
- to think many steps ahead – it brought me more anxiety
- to breathe superficially – I have already told you what happened in my case
- to compensate for the lack of sleep with chocolate or junk food – although I wanted to, I didn’t feel better after any of them. Maybe a little after the chocolate
What did help:
- any form of movement I managed to do. It was like a restful sleep in a 50′ pill.
- planning my steps and then actually work
- planning a vacation, no matter how small
- having a moment of pure relaxation – a conversation with a friend, a coffee, a moment of silence in nature, a few pages read
- thinking about the benefits of the situation, what it brings me
- receiving support with open arms in any form (parents who help with the child, colleagues who help with the administration, husband who helps with encouragement)
And writing these lines. Somehow it helps me to put this experience outside of myself and to look at it as a curiosity or learning experience. An experience where stress has been my teacher and occasionally my friend.
What do you do with your friend, stress?