I am trying to find ways that help me DESTRESS that do not involve 1) Buttloads of strenuous exercise. This is my FAVORITE. When I am unhappy, I run straight up a mountain, frantically paddle the elliptical for an hour, or do rigorous yoga in 104 degree heat…. and ALL OF THIS is utterly nixed by this still lingering mono-fatigue. This weekend, after two days of just REGULAR LIFE—ambitious things like HAVING LUNCH OUT and BUYING SCHOOL SUPPLIES— I hit the wall. I slept for 15 hours yesterday. Heh. Clearly not ready to run straight up a mountain.
2) Eating my feelings. MMMM, DELICIOUS FEELINGS! In my secret heart, I KNOW there is no stress that a whole fried chicken and nineteen chocolate cookies couldn’t fix. EVEN SO, I cannot find a single doctor or even a crazy web health guru that agrees with this very valid, smart opinion. At this point, I am willing to pay rock hard cash to any doctor or even a doctor shaped puppet who can say, “Fried chicken boosts the immune system,” with a straight face. I am so ready to believe this!
Since there seems to be some crisis-level international shortage of Doctor-shaped puppets providing nutritional lies on demand for reasonable fees (DOES THE MEDIA KNOW????) I am actively in search for other ways to de-stress.
Want to help me brainstorm? We have to think OUTSIDE THE BOX. I mean, we have all read the magazine articles about stress at the dentist’s. They all say to exercise, which I love, but can’t do, and then…they offer these suggestions:
BATHS. No. Baths combine stillness with being damp. I am not fond. Also, it is like you are the unwashed base-meat for person soup. No amount of bubbles that smell like verbena can keep me from squatting tensely in the water imagining I am stewing in both my own foul juices and the repulsive bodily effluvium of all the humans who sat in the tub before me.
Massage. OH NO NO NO. Massage involves people I don’t know touching me with oils. I could only manage that if I could peel my skin off, leave it at the massage therapist’s office and come back and get it later when it had been made supple and calm. That would be great, actually. I would slide happily right into my refreshed, new skin and gambol off as carefree as a fawn. But if I have to be IN the skin while it is being poked and dabbed and rubbed at, I am going to need general anesthesia.
Gardening/Crafting/Soduku. Bugs/Yarn Snarls/Math. No/No/No.
Meditation: I HATE to be still and not think things, and soothing chimes make me murderous. I am made of spastic monkey atoms. I am SO kinetic that yoga is really awesome for me—keeps the body busy so I CAN be mentally still—but Yoga is out right now, as I said. SO! A good friend sent me some 2 minute guided meditations, thinking they were so short, I could manage one.
Do you know that the first 2 minute meditation I tried was actually 2 minutes and 27 seconds? I spent the first minute feeling SO RESENTFUL of that extra 27 seconds of SNEAKY SURPRISE MEDITATION they tried to slip in on me that my heart rate jacked and my vision clouded over with a wash of pure distilled meditation rage.
By minute two, I forgot I was mad.
To be fair, I also forgot I was meditating.
Snappy Comeback is when you viscerally remember a mean or awful or tactless thing a person said that left you floundering, mouth agape. First you re-experience that awful helpless fish-floppy feeling, and then you reimagine the scene with you instantly coming up with a brilliant, snappy comeback and swaggering cheerily away.
This is the one I played when I was supposed to be meditating—-and you have to imagine this opening line being said VERY EARNESTLY, with serious blinking—really she was not kidding.
Her: Oh, you’re the author? But you don’t LOOK glamorous…
Real Answer: Oh. Um, heh. Sorry?
Reimagined Answer: Yeah, weird, huh? And *you* don’t look like a butthole.
I doubt this promoted my spiritual growth.
And that’s the Holy Herd of Unstress-Activity, right there, saucily dismissed with prejudice. SO it is BRAINSTORM TIME. Let’s get outside the regulation STRESS BOX. Weirder the better. I am GAME for some serious de-stress lunacy. I KNOW YOU CAN DELIVER, Best Beloveds. A better batch of weirdos cannot be found on the web. So hit me with your best shots, or, if you got nothin’, can you find me a Doctor Shaped Puppet on Etsy who might be inclined to lie to me about the healing properties of queso and fried shrimp tacos? Or you can tell me the worst best comeback you ever thought of, WAY too late to use it. THAT sounds relaxing!