Friday, March 16, 2007

Stress busters

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I know. Stress busters not Ghostbusters. Any excuse to slip in a photo of the hilarious Bill Murray. A good dose of humour is sorely needed. This has been some week.

Firstly, I picked up some malicious script that effectively wiped out my pc. I was able to use my PC for about five minutes at a time before it crashed. Given problems doing this post, I'm not sure it's resolved yet.

I think people may have left me some hints on what to do about it but I am still unable to read or add to any Blogger comments. Not sure if that's a related or separate problem. If you did, thank you, I hope to be able to read what you wrote sometime this year.

Being the good ex-IT person that I am, I hadn't been diligent and backed everything up. So my rumination papers have to be started from scratch. Self-inflicted, spare me no sympathy in that regard.

Secondly, my mobile phone got wiped out. Walking my daughter to piano lessons, I noticed my trousers were soaked. A small waterfall out the corner of my bag alerted me to the fact that the bottle of water she'd placed in my bag was not capped properly. Initial relief that it wasn't a defective bladder was replaced by a realisation my poor mobile had bitten the dust. No screen display and permanent vibrate is the current status of that one.

Adding to the stress is the decision to put the house on the market with an associated mad flurry of activity. All that painting we've been conveniently ignoring. All that decluttering to do. We got a painter in. Sorry? You were expecting me to sand the surface first? Oi.

So, feeling a little stressed to say the least.

Stress is part of life and doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. It can be a good motivator but too much can be detrimental both to our health and also impact on our relationships by generating feelings of anxiety, anger and distrust. Perhaps if I had taken the pointy stick to the PC a la Basil, I might have felt less frustrated!

When coping with stress, it's easy to reach for things that may initally prove comforting (the pointy stick) but, ultimately, help little and may even be harmful to health. For some, that might be a drink or drugs, for others (guilty as charged) it might be food. It's a good job I am on this elimination diet because the temptation to comfort eat on pears, potato, beef and rice is non-existent.

More positive strategies for dealing with the effects of stress include:

Taking a nap. I personally find this hard to do because when stressed my mind works overtime and I end up simply lying and thinking about napping and my inability to do so. Doh.

Relaxation/guided meditation. This takes practice, particularly if you have a mind that like mine is hard to 'shut off'. For this reason, I use a prerecorded relaxation procedure (Kabat-Zinn) so that I simply have to listen rather than have to focus on the mechanics of the relaxation technique itself. One warning, an earlier tape I used proved rather too good. A 2pm half-hour relaxation session ended up with me waking in the dark of night!

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Be kind to yourself. That glass of red in a bubble filled tub? That pair of Manolos you just have to have? Last time I felt this way, I was extremely kind to myself at the local cat breeders and introduced the lovely ragdoll Clio to our family unit. Pets are supposed to be beneficial in reducing stress levels. Of course, whoever said that had not encountered our non-retrieving Golden Retriever Spud, who has suddenly discovered a penchant for a cappucino at the cafe across the road and has been attempting to break out at any given moment to secure his caffeine fix.

Enjoy music or art. The artistic talent in my family all went to my dear sister. Nonetheless there's something very satisfying about splatting paint on a blank surface. Of course, applying this in a practical manner and painting the house would probably really help to reduce the current level of stress.

Experience laughter. For me, comedy is king. Laughter is the best mood buster I know. I've often noted the wise Mr. Practical leaving out a couple of dvds before taking refuge in the atomic shelter (aka the shed), movies guaranteed to make me laugh without restraint regardless of current level of foulness of mood or stress level. Stress and grumpiness reduction guaranteed.

Maybe I should try some of these strategies on the pc? Or even Blogger?


signing as said...

how long since i visited your blog and how its change and its great as usual asha sahana

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I also love to laugh. Nothing like wit and humor, I say. Hope your pc is recovering. A crash is SO upsetting!

sisiphusledge said...

I too am a big advocate of laughter and humour. I know it works for me. Hope things improve for you.


Little Blue Petal said...

Glad you are recouping from your PC meltdown!
Ugh PC and moby going wrong all in the span of a week (that is too much!)
If things really do go wrong in 3s, best get your telly, washer and hoover insured harhar!
Loved your stress busting strategies btw!
Your little gremlin-kitty is toooo cute!
We very almost bought a Ragdoll a couple of years ago, but ended up falling in love with a Blue British Shorthair instead... like the 'Whiskas' cat!

mckay said...

perfect advice. you know we share the same taste in comedy ;0)

my stress level has been sky high these five months. any tidbits for lowering it is welcomed.
thanks, chica.


p.s. so, to where are you moving?! come to CA!

SeaSpray said...

I hear you. I understand because I have been there too. After reading this post, I have decided that we could be kindred spirits as I identify with so much of what you are saying.

Your line about defective bladder - very funny!

Loved ghost busters and in process of looking at funny or upbeat movies now. Just watched the Fockers and was really disappointed. Thought with Barbara Streisand, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman and Ben stiller that it would be really funny but it was a DUD! Then, I watched "Must Love Dogs" and I loved it! My son called it a chic flick but what a great movie and I will watch again sometime.

Every time I went to our local hospital for a test this past year, I always stopped in their wonderful gift shop to treat myself to something. :)

Hope you continue to see your way through all of this.

Crayons! Crayons and coloring does wonders for de-stressing! :)

HP said...

I still can't read/add comments via my pc. Odd.

Hello Asha,
Nice to see you again. Hope you are recovering well from your latest op. Like your blog makeover too!

Hi Deborah,
Wasn't that long ago that you had the crash thing going on. I think the light is at the end of the tunnel...maybe?

Hi Sisiphus,
You know I get a regular fix of Python from your blog! Always appreciated.

Hi Little Blue Petal,
I do believe in things coming in threes. But having read your comment, my memory was jogged that the third had already happened..the tv kharked it (and that's not necessarily a bad thing!) Love the Blue British Shorthairs...must check your blog for a picture. Big cat lover here.

Hi McKay,
Yes, we do! What's happening for you? Haven't seen your blog updated in a while?

Hi Seaspray,
Kindred spirits? Poor you! ;) I saw from your profile we share a common taste in movies. I was disappointed in Meet the Fokkers too. I still dig out the Laurel and Hardy movies for a good chuckle...and there's that Streisand What's Up Doc movie that makes me holler with laughter.
Crayons...good idea!

The Sleep Doctor said...

Taking a nap doesn't work for everybody - but it can help with stress, unless you're an insomniac who has trouble falling asleep in the evenings - then it's not advised.

I'm a big proponent of both napping and meditation/relaxation and actually I'm giving a free "body relaxation" track away on my site right now. If you're interested, please stop by and grab the download off the left-side sidebar -- I'd love the feedback.

- Dr Mike, Ph.D.

chris said...

Laughter is scrubs:)

HP said...

Hello Dr. Mike,
Thanks for visiting and the free body relaxation track. Have downloaded it and will take it for a 'test drive' later. Interesting site too!

Hi Chris,
You have to be an insomniac to watch Scrubs's on in the dead of night!! Funny show though.

sisyphusledge said...

Fawlty Towers anyone? Just trying out comments here again. I have read your comments over at mine....thanks, I have dedicated a post to you.
Have a nice day,