My co-worker went to the meeting, and she saved some stuff for me. A pen, a Snoopy, and a pamphlet from our health care company on stress management. This has got to be one of the funniest things I have ever read. Which is good, because one recommendation they have for dealing with stress is laughter. I think I'll keep this handy, because anytime I need a good laugh, I'll just read it.
1. Identify your stress triggers. Oh good, an easy one. Kylie, Shannon, Danielle, Steve and money. Are they all going to be this easy?
2. Work on reducing your exposure to stress or reducing its effects. Apparently, they're suggesting staying away from my family.
3. Ask for help when you need it. Oh yeah...this works GREAT at my house. Hey, can you guys clean up your rooms/do the dishes/vacuum the living room? *grumble, grunt, bitch, moan*
Ways Not To Handle Stress
1. Eating too much or too little. Well, at least I have no problem with the "eating too little" part.
2. Smoking or drinking excessively. Now, I have to disagree with this one. I've always found that excessive drinking is great stress relief.
3. Isolating yourself from family and friends. Just a minute ago, you suggested staying away from my family...make up your minds!
4. Taking unnecessary or excessive medication. Again, I have to disagree. It may be unnecessary, but it sure does make one feel less stressed. Ah Xanax, how I love thee.
5. Harmful actions or thoughts. These include violent outbursts, verbal abuse or excessive negative thinking. Oh, come on...there's nothing wrong with some friendly harmful thoughts. I thought about tying Kylie to a tree today. Doesn't mean I did it.
Families and Relationships
1. Talk and listen to your loved ones as much as possible. Ok, again...make up your minds. Should I stay away from them or not?
2. Share at least one meal a day together. This is a little difficult when you work opposite shifts. Kylie gave me some of her goldfish crackers today...does that count?
3. Be thoughtful - offer hugs and gifts or share household responsibilities. Yeah, FAMILY...SHARE HOUSEHOLD RESPONSIBILITIES! My pamphlet says so! Oh, and I'm waiting for my gift.
1. Get organized by making income and expense lists. Look, I use Microsoft Money just like the next person. I know where it all goes...how is this supposed to help, exactly?
2. Set and keep a realistic budget. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!
3. Carefully watch your credit card use. Ok, I do this...I watch the card very carefully every time I use it. Wouldn't want to lose it now, would I?
4. Consult with a financial or debt management adviser. Oh, I'm sorry...that's not in my BUDGET.
Then on the back of the pamphlet, it has all sorts of helpful suggestions in different areas, such as:
Good Night's Sleep
1. Try to get a solid eight hours of sleep each night. Let's see...I work from 3pm - 11pm, get home around 11:30pm, try to unwind quickly and get to bed so I can fall asleep by midnight - 12:30am. Then I get up to get people off to school around 6:45am, and spend the majority of my day with a five year-old baboon. (Ok, she goes to PreK MWF from 8:30am - 11:30am, that's my "me" time!) Where do they suggest I fit this imaginary "eight hours of sleep" in? If you fall short of that, a ten or 15 minute nap during the day can help. Right...that's assuming you can sleep with a five year-old bouncing on you, or asking you a question every 2.4 seconds.
2. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. "Sleeping in" will only confuse your body. You all are confusing me. First you say get 8 hours, then you say go to bed at the same time. So on days that I don't work evenings (Fri, Sat, Sun), you're saying I should stay up until midnight, just so my body isn't confused?
3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco, particularly close to bedtime. Well, like the song goes, I guess two out of three ain't bad. I need my Diet Coke.
4. Relax before bed with a hot bath, book or other relaxing activity. Sounds nice in theory, but wouldn't that be cutting into the "eight hours" of sleep I'm supposed to be getting? Does picking up around the house when I get home from work and making Steve a sandwich for the next day count as relaxing?
1. Make a list, prioritize steps and cross them off as you complete them. Hey, I actually do that!
2. Plan your tasks for high energy times of the day. And those would be when, exactly?
3. Identify and avoid time wasters like the phone or TV. Thank goodness they didn't say "the Internet."
1. Journaling can help you cultivate self-awareness, expose hidden issues and lead to creative solutions. Well, that's what blogging is, isn't it? Journaling? I'll just sit here and wait for those creative solutions to leap out at me. Maybe I'll add three more hours to every day. That's creative.
2. Prepare to write by breathing deeply or putting on your favorite background music. No, that's not an obscene phone call...I'm just getting ready to write!
3. Write about anything you want, for as long as you want. Well, this post is proof that I'm following that little directive, isn't it?
4. Keep a dream journal by your bedside and write as soon as you wake up. Would that be before or after I yell at the kids to get up for the fourth time?
1. Treat yourself to a daily laugh to help lighten your mood. The comics or a radio morning show should do the trick. Actually, this pamphlet has me laughing out loud right now. If I lose the pamphlet, I guess there's always Rush Limbaugh for comedic relief. Is he on in the mornings?
2. Use the Internet to share jokes with friends, family and co-workers. This not only spreads joy but creates a social community. Yes, it actually SAYS that! I hate when people forward me every damn thing that lands in their email. I don't mind it occasionally, but make sure it's actually FUNNY. Don't send me petitions to sign, or emails that Christian broadcasting is going to be taken off the air, OMG! Don't send me chain letters (now forward this to everyone and something good will happen to you in three seconds! If you don't, you'll die!) and don't send me your stupid claims that Bill Gates will give me money if I forward on this email. See, this creates stress! I'm feeling a need to drink excessively!
3. Look for the humor in everything, including yourself. Oh, I'm funny as hell...just ask me.
And last but not least, these are my favorite -
Other Options for Handling Stress
1. Go to a spa for a massage, body buff, or facial. Again, that's not really in that BUDGET you recommended that I maintain.
2. Take a vacation, even if it's just overnight or for the weekend. Hmmm....I wonder if Healthcare Company is also offering to pay for said vacation? My bags are packed, baby!3. Renew your spirit with a retreat. What if I retreat to my bedroom and lock the door? Does that count?
4. Have sex. (Oh yes, it did) Orgasm releases endorphins, which relax the body and create a sense of well-being. Suddenly, it all makes sense to me. Anyone that equates sex with an orgasm is obviously male. This whole entire thing was written for a MAN, most likely by a man. I will bet a large amount of money that a man who works for Healthcare Company wrote this. Go back and read it again, and pretend you're a man. The whole thing totally makes sense! Where's the women's version? Do you need help writing a women's version? Call me.