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.