You know what I'm talking about. The evil foe that will drag us down, keep us awake at night, follow us every minute of the day. It has the ability turn the happiest, most exciting event into something excruciating. It can wreak havoc on our appetite, and slow us down on our favorite run. It can eat away at us mercilessly. It can take a mental and physical toll.
Stress is not our friend.
Yesterday, the stress that had been building up in me just came to a head. My gym workouts had been extending throughout the day the last few weeks because I've been feeling like I'm carrying around a 50lb weight on my shoulders. Some people may think that being out of work is great - you have all this free time on your hands to do whatever you like, right? Nope. Not really.
The job search.... a death in the family.... a nagging foot injury that keeps me from running.... an apartment search.... a new leadership role with the YPC.... the job search.... wanting to improve this blog.... freelance work.... health issues.... interviews.... the thought of having to move a week after a family vacation.... a foot injury holding me back....
This and more has just been piling up, desperately needing to be released like the lava from the volcano in Iceland. Yesterday I felt like I was suffocating under it all and couldn't take it anymore. I had spent most of the day on the computer inside our apartment. It was gloomy, rainy and humid outside. Truthfully, I felt defeated. By the time Woody got home from work I was completely overwhelmed and exhausted. I just wanted the day to be over, and I hate days like that. We only get a certain number of days in our life, so it's a shame to want to rush through them!
I decided I had to get out and go for a walk, so I put on my shoes, grabbed my iPod and water bottle and left. I went up to Carl Schurz Park along the East River and just sat there, watching the water flow, barges go by, people running along the path, kids playing and dogs running around the dog park. I was listening to an an album by one of my favorite artists - Matt Hales. He writes amazing lyrics and melodies; they instantly eased my mind, a little.
By the time I got home I knew how to solve one issue. Woody and I talked about it and we decided to get more details about a particular apartment and if there aren't any big surprises, we're going to submit an application. It's not ideal, but the kitchen is pretty amazing and that's rare in this city.
While there are still a lot of things weighing me down, I'm feeling a little better this morning. I had a good walk last night that cleared my mind and a good, hard workout this morning that got me ready for a new day. I usually deal with stress by going for a run or working out. Last night the evening walk listening to beautiful music helped me come to terms with a decision that had to be made. And if I stick to a weekly yoga class, that will also help me manage my stress. Starting now, I'm going to do more to de-stress and not let it build up like it has been. Stress is not going to pull me down!
It's hard to really enjoy life if we're stressed out all the time, and there is plenty to stress about these days, so the trick is finding ways that help you cope with it. How do you manage stress?
workout stats -
3x10 arm extension
3x10 arm curls
3x10 seated row
3x10 lat pulldown