Thursday, June 11, 2015

*Beyond the Books* Stress Relievers

Ironically, this post is supposed to be about stress relievers, and just thinking about getting it written on time is causing me a little bit of stress. Not a whole lot, but I'd planned on getting it written early, and here it is, Wednesday night with the post supposed to go live on Thursday and I'm just starting. I'm also thinking about popping open a bottle of my favorite stress reliever, wine. Drinking 800 grapes sounds like a fabulous idea right now, of course drinking 800 grapes sounds like a fabulous idea pretty much every night. Before I get too far into discussing what I use to relieve stress, I feel like I should give you some insight into my biggest sources of stress.

I'm a stay at home mom, and I'm also homeschooling my children at the moment, they're 4 and 6. The last time I had even an evening away from them was about six months ago, and our babysitter that night hadn't managed to get them into bed before we got home at midnight (I don't blame the babysitter because the news that he was coming over to play with them in the first place got the kids super hyped up.) So basically, I'm around my kids ALL the time. That is a problem for me for a few reasons. One, I feel like I forget how to talk to adults, my husband and I even copy our children's mannerisms occasionally. Two, I have a low threshold for physical contact. I can only take so much touching before I basically have a panic attack, and it can be something as simple as a foot brushing my leg that sends me over the edge. When that happens I want to lash out and punch the person that just touched me. I don't do it, but I have had to lock myself in the bathroom before because when I freak out, it understandably upsets the kids and they want cuddles to feel better and I'm in no position to be giving those cuddles at that time. I feel awful about it while it's happening, but I can't stop it either. Based on the stories my mother tells about me never wanting to be held as an infant, and only barely tolerating it while she was nursing me, I have reason to believe I was just born this way. Too much physical contact is my biggest source of stress.

Then there's the blog, which provides some stress too, usually in the form of reading deadlines, which I have recently taken steps to curb greatly by changing the way I read and review books. But since I'm also a freelance proofreader, I still find myself with deadlines that must be met, and added stress because I'm trying to squeeze blogging in between proofreading. Maybe I should quit doing one of them, but I mostly enjoy doing both, so I don't want to.

So physical contact, blogging, and proofreading are basically my only sources of stress, and I can minimize the stress from two of those sources. But what do I do when I really need to relieve the stress build up?

My first avenue of stress relief is mindless Facebook surfing or entering Goodreads giveaways. Facebook is not always a great stress relief, especially around election time because I am very passionate about some things politically, and I have many friends that have opposing view points on those things. I usually try to just scroll on by when I'm already stressed, but sometimes they just push my buttons. Entering Goodreads giveaways is always good for some mindless activity though (and it doesn't damage my liver.)

Another thing I do to help relieve stress is play games on my iPad. I really enjoy puzzle games like Candy Crush, and have several different puzzle game apps installed on my iPad. These games become a bit of an obsession for me though.

And my final and favorite source of stress relief is wine, wonderful wine. I try not to indulge in this one too often though because it does damage my liver, and because I'm almost always drinking alone, I have to drink the entire 800 grapes by myself in one go (because having leftover wine is a travesty!)

So there you have it. The things that cause me stress and the measures I take to relieve it. What do you do for stress relief? - Katie

Look here for the main post and other bloggers links.


  1. I thought about homeschooling my kids at some point, but it has come to my attention that I just don't have the right personality for that.I got tons of skillz, but I am not good at teaching kids. So for their sanity and mine, I send my kids out to school. I don't know how you deal with being with them all the time. i love my kids, but I think we all need adult conversation once in a while. My hats off to you that you can do it all and stay sane.
    I copy my kids mannerisms. They are hilarious sometimes and I can't help it. I drink more wine than beer, but I know it is a great stress reliever. Cheers!

    1. I actually started the homeschooling out of necessity. We live in Germany, my husband is a contractor with the US military, and while I would have no problem sending my children to a German school, doing so would have a negative impact on my husbands job (it's really complicated.) We can send them to the DoDDs schools on the bases here and the company pays for it, but when my son was set to start kindergarten we lived an hour away from the nearest base with a school and only had one car that my husband had to use to get to work, so our options were homeschool or no school. And I deal with being with the kids all the time by drinking copious amounts of wine :) - Katie