😰 How I Deal with Stress

A couple of weeks ago, the plumbing system in our home backed-up. As you can imagine, this was a pretty stressful (and disgusting) time. The plumber came out at 9PM but couldn’t fix anything. So, after I spent an hour cleaning the most impacted areas, Lorena and I had to head off to a hotel for the night.

Over the next few days, we had the plumbers come out to investigate further, a restoration company come to remove affected walls and flooring, and a contractor come to give an estimate on repair work. Oh, and did I mention that we are trying to sell our house? Yeah, it’s off the market as we deal with all of this.

This has been a stressful time for us, no doubt.

Keep Life Small

When these kinds of things happen, I’ve found that I benefit by keeping my life small. What I mean is that I limit my thinking to the present. I don’t think too far into the future, nor about the past. This just brings unnecessary added stress.

By focusing on the present, I make sure all my energy and actions are relevant to the immediate items at hand. In essence, I “wall off” my thoughts from anything else. I have tasks to do in the day, and so I’m just staying in the moment. At the end of the day, I reflect on the day and what I need to get done the next day.

This process can go on for a few days or a couple of weeks. I don’t enjoy it, but it keeps me sane. I’m a dreamer. I like to plan the future, and reflect upon my past experiences. But these things take up energy, and sometimes they can come with emotions that I just don’t have time to deal with. Between that time, I have a few distracting activities (like playing chess), so that I don’t wear myself out.

As time goes on and the major drivers of my stress become, well, less stressful – then I allow myself to expand my thinking gradually until things are back to normal again.

Everyone has their own methods of dealing with stress, so I’d say do whatever works best for you. But if you’re open to new ways of thinking, I can vouch for this approach.

And remember: like everything in life, this is only temporary.


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