What Do You Do When You’re Stressed?

Many of you know that I work as a graphic artist in the newspaper business.  While my office doesn’t really resemble the newspaper offices that you see on TV and in the movies (constant hustle and bustle, a screaming editor, papers flying everywhere), we still operate under tight and strict deadlines.  If the paper is late and we miss our press time, it can cost the company a lot of money.  And with the dwindling newspaper market and the current economy, I don’t want to be responsible for that.  Outside of work, I’m almost always on the move.  Whether it’s my weekly volunteer work, freelance projects, blogging, and splitting my free time between my boyfriend, my family and the rest of my friends… I’m always putting myself under pressure to do more, more, MORE!

But I know that I’m not that special.  Everyone faces countless stresses each day, and somehow we all seem to survive.  This post isn’t about how I cool down after a stressful situation.  Everyone knows that exercise, meditation, relaxation, resting, and all that other crap are great ways to deal with stress after-the-fact.  This blog post is about how I behave during stressful situations.

I like to think that I always remain completely focused under pressure.  And in reality, I am actually quite good at focusing my energy and skills on the task at hand.  That is, until someone or something breaks my focus.  When I’m very busy at work, it drives me crazy when people stand next to my desk and chit chat about stupid things.  I’m busy and I don’t care about your dumb children or what your plans for the weekend are.  It’s going to snow?!  Seriously?!  I don’t care.  There are better places to talk about your stupid life than right next to my desk.

There’s a old family heirloom that’s been passed down from generation to generation, which I usually keep hidden deep within me.  It’s my crazy, lunatic, fire-breathing, Earth-scorching temper.  Growing up and seeing this temper manifest itself in other family members, I’ve always vowed that it would never escape.  When I’m stressed out, I can feel the steam escaping from my ears.  The fire bubbling up within my chest.  My vision turns red.  My body temperature raises… but that’s it.  In my adult life, I don’t think it’s ever made it any further.  It pounds on the exit door, but it has never manifested itself in words or actions.  People say that keeping these emotions bottled up inside isn’t good for you.  Trust me, it is good for you.

Okay, so my temper doesn’t really escape, but little spurts of steam may occasionally escape from the boiling kettle that is my mouth.  I like to curse.  Some people view a person with a foul mouth as uneducated and unrefined.  I like to think of it as just another way to express myself.  And when I’m stressed, dropping a few F-bombs here and there helps.  I’ve also been referring to a lot of people as ‘sluts’ a lot lately.  While driving: “GET OUT OF MY WAY, YOU STUPID SLUT!!!!”  I’m not really sure when and why that started happening…

It’s not really conducive to our weight loss competition, but I often stress eat.  I also depression eat, happiness eat, Wednesday eat, morning eat, afternoon eat, evening eat, rainy day eat, sunny day eat, cloudy day eat, and sometimes I just eat.  I may not look that fat, but my exterior self is constantly at war with my 800lb interior self.  And as I’m stressing my way through life, it’s hard not to just eat everything in sight.

I can’t remember the last deadline that I’ve missed, but that’s not to say that I don’t procrastinate.  When I have a daunting freelance project to complete by the end of a day, I often spend most of that day watching TV, cleaning my house and napping.  Then I work like a crazy person to finish the project right on time.  All the while thinking of other ways to procrastinate.

And then I’ll start cursing, focusing, eating, getting angry, procrastinating more, and then cursing even more.  I’m not saying that my methods are healthy… but I’ve lasted this long, so they can’t be that bad.  So what do you do when you’re stressed?  Run away?  Ignore it?  Cry?  Pull out your own hair?  Or maybe you never experience stress.  You just float around on a cloud of happiness every day without a care in the world.  If that’s the case, then please don’t bother commenting on this blog post.  You’re a slut, and I fucking hate you!  But if you’re like me and you experience stress in your life, then tell me all about what you do in the comments.  I’ll catch up with you later — I gotta go find a snack…

Photos were all taken with Cameroid.com.


15 thoughts on “What Do You Do When You’re Stressed?”

  1. Wow, except for the first two (I rarely rarely get “angry”, pissed off yes, but not furious), we are twins. Swearing? Check (and probably have a rep at work already for that but only under stress – don’t fuck with me computer system). Eating? Check. Procrastination? Oh check baby. I too have never missed a deadline, I do however have some kind of internal mechanism that knows how long it will take me to do X and I seem to subconsciously work my way backward starting it at the last possible minute.

    Procrastination is running away for me (although I’d love to jump on a plane and get the hell away). If things are really bad I call in sick. Not having the same kind of deadlines you do lets that work, then it turns into a day of surfing the net, flicking from site to site unable to focus, watching TV channels I don’t give a damn about or spend my time praying SOMEONE will send me an e-mail or post something on a blog I can comment on. The last two weeks have been big on this activity, including anxiety, sick days, excessive surfing and no focus. Oh joy.

  2. Because kicking small animals and children is not an option I clean. Or pick my cuticles (gross, I know). And a good curse word can be very satisfying.

    Stress eating lettuce? You vegans are bizarre.

  3. I don’t believe in stress. Seriously. Here’s my favorite quote, from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. I live by it.
    “”It was awful, he cried, awful, awful!
    Still, the sun was hot. Still, one got over things. Still, life had a way of adding day to day.”

  4. I wish I could base my life off of Enrico’s book quote…alas, I have terrible stress and crippling anxiety. Digging me a shallow grave, it is! Boo-diddly-hoo.

  5. Similar to Enrico, I live by a quote, but this one is from my father: “Be the kind of person that gives head aches, rather than gets them.”

    When stressed, I get super focused and have laser precision. I’m not the person to argue with in that type of situation as I will pull your heart out of your chest and show it to you while it is still beating. All with a smile on my face.

    Luckily, I have the patience of Job, so this happens very infrequently.

  6. I like to live by the quote “It is better to regret something you did than something you did not do.” Nothing to do with stress really, but it’s my mantra nonetheless.


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