The Two Things I Do When Most Stressed

It has been one helluva back to school year so far. But to amp up the typical September storm, there has been some highly unusual activity testing me. I am learning how to cope and navigate every time the barometer for my capabilities shifts.

I am curious how you cope when you hit the wall, yet the wall keeps moving anyway. So I am sharing what I do hoping to inspire you to share back!

At the best of times, I fail miserably at the piles of paperwork home from school. Daily my kids come home saying “Mme says I am missing the pink form” and “Mme says you didn’t send $3.25 for the watchamathing presentation.”

Delinquent as charged.

Add on the insane (there, I admit it) gymnastics driving schedule times three kids and I know my inside voice is screaming for a life line.

On the outside you seem to think I have it all together.

Let me tell you, I am not supermom, superwife or even superworkerbee for my clients.

My self-saving grace is that I am highly capable and functional from years of fitting in work around migraines, babies and life in general. So, I  might look more together than I am. It is possible I am more together than many would be.

… Until I am not.

This year has been a challenge from the ringing in of the New Year until now, for a variety of personal reasons. I won’t bore you, nor is it relevant.

I will say, when I hit my fill of stress load, I do just two things to cope personally and professionally for just a little while. I write and I bake.

Yep, that’s it.

For example, my oldest gymnast (the one who trains 20 hours a week) has been unwell with a variety of things I suspect stem from a common cold that resulted in a cardiogram on Monday and a four day migraine on Friday that is still lingering. When your kid is sick, you drop everything you have to in order to take care. Throw in your husband breaking an arm at hockey, requiring surgery, and the two day wait time in the hospital to get that surgery, and that is the icing on the cake. Because not only am I down a kid, I am down a driver, cook and hug giver to take care of the other two kids! (I am empathetic to both of them, but this is my blog — about the two things I do when stressed).

Baking

Last weekend I must have been sensing doom and gloom and baked 60 cookies. Then as the week progressed this evolved to banana muffins. Then meringue cookies for middle kid who was student of the week and needed treats anyway. There was also some ‘from scratch’ Maple Butternut Squash Soup and homemade biscuits in there (mostly made by a kid though).

Writing

I have texted epic novels of distress. I have Facebook diarized my life challenges. I have launched a program with business Facebook statuses, email campaigns and sales copy. I have written for clients. I have responded to emails. And now with 15 minutes to spare before needing to pick up kids, while husband is in surgery and migrainey daughter is sleeping, I need to write this.

Baking and writing are my catharsis. Sadly, I seem to only do it in crisis. However, the value of doing things we must do to feel healthy and whole should not wait until crisis. In my profession I insist you blog more, write more, share more of your ‘slice of life’ to anchor your personal story and connect with your readers. Yet, I fail in doing it as frequently as I would like to when ‘busy’ … but at least it is there for me when stressed.

What is your cathartic activity? I hope writing at a minimum is on your list.

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