As I walked the dogs this morning, I thought of the many ominous lists of “to do’s” which exist in the realm of stress alleviation (ok, so they’re not so ominous–but when you’re under much stress, having one more thing to do can seem like it comes from the devil himself). Do get adequate sleep. Do eat healthy (a subjective suggestion I assure you). Do exercise. Do breathe deeply. Do yoga. Do relax. Do, do, do. And I thought to myself, “I can’t handle any more things to do. My proactive, reactive, tendencies are already maxed out!” Thus I have decided to compile my own list of “to don’ts”…right here Bent style. Therefore, for stress relieving purposes:
- Don’t leave the house before 9 a.m. on the first day of ‘back to school’. Better yet, take that first week of school off of work and don’t drive at all. In fact, don’t drive anywhere in southern California–at any time.
- Don’t eat McDonald’s chicken McNuggets, a cheeseburger, and french fries and expect to “feel good” afterwards (though the Paul Frank Happy Meal toy does help distract from the stomach ache).
- Don’t eat McDonald’s at all, especially if you already are having trouble with how your clothes are fitting your newly expanded physique.
- Don’t walk dogs and count it as stress relieving exercise…dogs are needy and they poop, and the poop needs to be picked up, and if you don’t pick it up someone is always watching, and if someone is always watching that stresses you out more because now you know they are judging your bad picking up poop habits. This is a definite don’t!
- Don’t go sailing on a sailboat in stormy weather when you are an inexperienced sailor and your husband is an inefficient teacher.
- Don’t take up smoking…not even if they are the sweet laced kreteks in the cherry flavored package.
- Don’t give yourself a home permanent (not that I would, but while under immense stress, one never knows).
- Don’t give yourself a home “facial” (aka pick your face apart via cleaning out every pore with your fingernails).
- Don’t watch reruns of Gilligan’s Island, there are just too many discrepancies in the writing and background story that offer themselves to be picked apart…not a DE-stressing move I assure you.
- Don’t eat too much cheese (this one is optional–eat away if you like spending a lot of time in the loo).
- Don’t call your mother ‘just to check in’, because she will fill you in on the latest blood type studies that suggest peril for your future.
Well that should do it for now. I feel quite accomplished. I began my list with not leaving the house and ended with not calling “mom”. Most of the above have been run through by me while under a great deal of pressure. And though abstinence, from driving, is not an option in my life at this time, it is safe to say that implementing the use of cuss words in rapid succession helps to offset the stress imposed by other drivers. Dang, I should have learned that one long ago as my driving instructor, my sister, has been utilizing that particular stress reliever for years. Apparently I am a slow learner.
And while I was just about to close this post by wishing us all a great start to a new week, I am reminded (by my son) that today is Wednesday. Most definitely NOT the beginning of the week. So one more item to add: Don’t trust my judgement on the subject of stress, perhaps consult a ‘to-do’ list instead. …happy mid-week!