Dealing with Stress

love2eatinpa, 12 July 2010, 25 comments
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Over the July 4th weekend, I read a great post by a fantastic blogger, Katie, who writes Health for the Whole Self.

Go ahead, I’ll wait why you read it…

I told Katie that I lived and died by my lists.  That if I don’t write something down, it will not get done/called/bought.  I have different lists for different things, different levels of urgency. 

Katie had a great suggestion on her blog about making a Roman Numeral list, where there is an A, B and C column for the different levels of urgency.  I like that idea very much.

But here is my problem.  I get overwhelmed pretty easily.  A full inbox of emails (and I have two email addresses – one for my blog and one for my life outside my blog) makes me feel stressed.  So does a long list of things I need to do. Put it all together and you get one overwhelmed, stressed girl who needs to deep breathe into  a paperbag.  (OK, I really don’t do that, but maybe I should!)

I feel that if I don’t read/respond to my emails and don’t do the, say 10 things on my “to do today” list, then tomorrow there will be twice as many emails and probably 10 more things on my “to do” list, so I really better take care of them asap or I will need to be taken away in a straightjacket.

I was talking to my husband the other day about it.  While we were talking, he was at his sister’s house, with our kids, relaxing at their backyard pool.  Me, I was running around doing errands, doing laundry, working my at-home job, trying to respond to emails, making calls about this and that, well, you get the picture. 

He called me in the late afternoon so we could make our plans for dinner and he said he was just blowing off all of his responsibilities and hanging out in the pool.  And this is a guy with a ton of responsibilities, who never really just sits around and hangs out until the late evening, and works very hard.

Blow off my responsibilities?!?!?  How do I do that without creating extra stress for myself the following day?

Please, somebody, help me out here! How do you guys do it?

One Day at a Time... Nurture myself... Awareness... Letting Go... Listen to my Body

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Comments

25 Responses, Leave a Reply
  1. Lisa
    12 July 2010, 5:24 pm

    I’m lucky to have a job where I can catch up on emails and stuff whenever I have free time. I also have an iphone and try to keep in touch with people that way too. It helps. I am less overwhelmed by things keeping my inbox down!
    Lisa´s last blog post ..Pasta Salad

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    sounds like you have a great thing going. not one iota of stress in your response! =)

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  2. amanda
    12 July 2010, 5:24 pm

    Seriously are we sisters? ha ha I am also so much like this. I feel that things need to get done now. So take for example I get home from vacations. I need to sort the laundry and do it, go through all the missed mail, go grocery shopping, get lunches packed for the work week, look at the finances and put reciets into Quicken, check all email and reply, starting watching Tivo shows while I am doing this,etc. It makes me feel completely stressed out until I get back into my normal life.
    I also found out recently I live in either the past or the future. My husband however lives in the present. My therapist told me that I am lucky to find someone who is different than me because we would be two very stressed out people who would worry about everything all the time.
    amanda´s last blog post ..The LoneStar State

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    ok, i think we are related, you just described my life! =)
    very interesting point about living in the past, present and future. i don’t think i live in the past, but i do worry about the future, hence, being worried that i will be even more stressed if i don’t get everything done TODAY.

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    Food Addict Reply:

    oh my gosh – amanda put it perfectly!
    Food Addict´s last blog post ..The Weight Box

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    it’s scary sometimes how we all have so much in common!

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  3. Karen @ Waisting Time
    12 July 2010, 5:54 pm

    I bet you could guess that I can’t help you with this because I am too much like you! I did love Katie’s column idea. I get stressed by clutter. So I view my overflowing inbox as clutter and can’t stand not clearing it out. Same with my reader. I do not relax well. My saving grace is that I don’t have a job (so none of that stress and responsibility) and my kids are older than yours (which also makes life much easier IMO). I suspect Oprah and Dr. Phil would say something about taking care of yourself needing to be at the top, not bottom, of your list. And enlisting your hubby. And learning to say “no.” But that is them. Me – I got nothing. But a hug.
    Karen @ Waisting Time´s last blog post ..Getting Serious

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for the hug, karen! i don’t relax well either, unless i’m away on vacation and know there is no work/computer awaiting me during the time i’m away. however, in the back of my mind is wondering what i’m going to come home to. *sigh*

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  4. Jody - Fit at 52
    12 July 2010, 7:51 pm

    Blow off my responsibilities?!?!? How do I do that without creating extra stress for myself the following day? Hmmm, maybe out of the comfort zone for one day??? 😉

    Yes, like the others, we are somewhat alike in this EXCEPT that I do take weekends days to get out & find at least a couple hours when I just sit with hubby somewhere & we read or have coffee or people watch. I don’t have kids in the house though!

    I think there is some learning in here though from your hubby who is super busy too.. sometimes we just have to relax & maybe delete the non important emails OR just write a quick response OR leave it to the next day & they will live…..

    I know, easier said than done! 🙂
    Jody – Fit at 52´s last blog post ..Out of the Comfort Zone-

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    lol! you got me! blowing of my responsibilities is definitely stepping out of my comfort zone! very observant, jody! =)

    i’m sure you are right and i could learn a lot from my husband. he is someone, unless it’s work related, doesn’t mind being late
    (and often is). he is a social butterfly who just enjoys being with people and enjoying life. i am more a-type and high-strung, someone who prides themself on being punctual. i know, i need to take a chill pill, but as you said, easier said than done.

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  5. Cammy@TippyToeDiet
    12 July 2010, 9:26 pm

    You might enjoy some of the articles on zenhabits (http://zenhabits.com), especially from the early archives. He had a lot of great posts on de-stressing and sorting out the truly important from the things that can wait.
    Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog post ..The Happy Baker

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    thanks for the link, cammy, i will definitely check it out!

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  6. Rita @ The Giggly Bits
    13 July 2010, 10:55 am

    I agree with Katie’s post about priorities. I do it somewhat differently but the same idea. I have a day timer with each day in one long column with the times beside them and all seven days on one page. Instead of making a random to do list with items arbitrarily written in, I make time for my to do items on my agenda, everything from answering emails, to grocery shopping to cleaning my house. Hubbie thinks it’s insane and that’s not to say I don’t fly by the seat of my pants some days but for certain things, like blogging/email or internet stuff, I have this designated time frame and when it’s done, it’s done. Also, it helps me not over schedule myself. A to do list can grow indefinitely but a weekly schedule only has so much time available, especially with family time, sleep, meal prep, workouts, etc. It helps me visually see how many things I have on the go and whether I literally have enough time to do them. I have a hard time blowing off responsibilities too but with my stuff scheduled like that if I have an open time or can move something I know when it will get done so it doesn’t bother me as much anymore. Wow, holy long comment Batman!
    Rita @ The Giggly Bits´s last blog post ..Let’s Make Lemonade-

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    so you are saying, rita, that you , for instance, slot out like 2-3 pm to answer email and whatever you get done in that time frame is it for the day? if so, then you must have a good idea of how long it takes to do certain things because i’m sure you wouldn’t fly out of the market if you went over your allotted time. i’m really liking that idea, and do try to tell myself sometimes, that – ok, at xyz time, i’m going to stop doing this and i will, but later in the day i will see that there is more to do and i have a really hard time not doing it for fear that i will just become inundated and will never catch up. *sigh*

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  7. Food Addict
    13 July 2010, 4:07 pm

    I don’t know what it is about men — but they seem to be able to dump all of their responsibilities ALL THE TIME. My husband can literally not think about anything all day long, when he lays down to sleep at night he falls right to sleep because he isn’t stressed about anything.

    It’s a little annoying, I’ll admit because I am a stresser – I do the list thing too. Unfortunately I haven’t really figured out how to deal with stress… but I think it has to do with priorities. Like I’m obsessed with having the kitchen clean 24/7… but I’ve realized if I don’t do the dishes before I go to bed… it’s okay bc I’ll have just 5 minutes extra the next day. Good luck – if you figure out a way to deal… let me know!
    Food Addict´s last blog post ..The Weight Box

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    my husband is typically out like a light too! how do they do that!??!!?

    i am slowly realizing that everything doesn’t have to be done “right now” but it’s hard. i might steal a little bit from rita and katie and see how that goes. since i’m a very time-oriented person, rita’s method might work for me, combined with katie’s method, we’ll see!!!

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  8. Janell
    13 July 2010, 6:25 pm

    Don’t make writing back to people part of your responsibilities. It’s not that important. I think most of us just want to be supportive and show it with an occasional or daily comment. Take care of yourself first.
    Janell´s last blog post ..No Whey-

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    oh wow, janell, that is a good suggestion but i’m not sure that i can do that. i am so grateful that people leave comments, they are often so helpful, i’m not sure i have it in me not to show my gratitude.

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  9. […] Dealing with Stress | Confessions of a (Recovering) Compulsive Eater […]

  10. Christine
    14 July 2010, 11:52 am

    Wow, um…I’m not really sure. I think the first thing that needs to change to make you less stressed out is to stop saying “YES” to all the extra-things that take up your time and leave you stressed out. NO you’re not going to make cupcakes for the PTA. NO you’re not going to run your children all over the place today, you don’t have the time. NO you’re not going to do someone else’s chores and responsibilities. That’s my advice. Say no more often and try to pare that “to-do” list down a bit.
    Christine´s last blog post ..1408 pounds 842 lost- Back to the Grind

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    love2eatinpa Reply:

    great advice, christine, thanks!!

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  11. Katie @ Health for the Whole Selfk
    18 July 2010, 4:36 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out!!! I obviously can commiserate about feeling to-do-list stress and anxiety.

    Unrelated question: Is there a way to subscribe to your posts so that they come through immediately? Right now my Google Reader only updates me every now and then, so I just saw this post today! 🙁 Maybe the issue is with my Reader, not sure…
    Katie @ Health for the Whole Selfk´s last blog post ..The Dreaded Brain Freeze! And Other Hot Links

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    you are so welcome!
    and i’m flattered… you can get an email subscription that should have you receiving the post via email moments after i post it.

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  12. Lara (Thinspired)
    21 July 2010, 7:37 pm

    I am the exact same way! I make so many lists everywhere and then get so easily overwhelmed. To me, everything is an “A” column on Katie’s list method! (Great idea though, I am just easily overwhelmed)

    I have found that going through my week and prioritizing each task PER DAY makes things a little more approachable. Just my current method 🙂
    Lara (Thinspired)´s last blog post ..The Summer of Our Discontent

    [Reply]

    love2eatinpa Reply:

    glad to know i’m not the only one who gets overwhelmed easily, lara. i have palpitations when my kids come home from school and i have all kinds of paperwork to go through!
    i have started to do the same thing – prioritizing my tasks by day! great minds… 🙂

    [Reply]

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