How do you deal with stress?  I think sometimes it depends on what causes the stress as to how I deal with it.  This week I was given some news that was unsettling regarding my mother’s health.  I live too far away to be of much help to her, and I think this is one of the most difficult things about moving away from family. 

I cried.  I stress ate.  I had a few drinks. I fidgeted around and let my imagination run wild.  Then I realized that what I really needed was something that could take my mind off the emotional trauma I was putting myself through. What I needed was to feel the physical exhaustion of manual labor. 

So off I went to Home Depot. And back home I came with supplies to replace the flooring in the master bedroom.  It’s something I had been wanting to do for three years, so it wasn’t a total spur of the moment decision.  I lost myself in the project and went to work clearing out the space, pulling up the carpeting and underlay, cleaning everything up, and laying down new flooring.  By the time I was finished, I was tired, physically sore and spent.  But this way I had something to show for the pain I was feeling, and it did take my mind off of things.  

This isn’t always the answer for me, but I think this time it was.  I’m still worried about her, but at least now I feel like I can think more objectively about it.


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