Life’s Little Stresses – A Practice in Coping

There are different types of stress a person experiences throughout their life.  Some stress, often called “eustress”, is good – such as the stress involved in learning a new, ultimately enjoyable hobby.  There is also stress that most everyone would identify us being “bad” stress, such as the stress of experienced during a personal financial crisis.  

Lately, I have been experiencing stress that I would say lands right smack dab in the middle of the two above options.  It’s a stress that involves personal work development, and is good for my career goals and growth, but it is also very overwhelming at times.  It is a stress that many people experience at some point, and it is a stress that is completely healthy and normal to feel as I am.

That is what I have been reminding myself regularly, that right now is a time of stress that anyone in my position would experience as stressful.  And really, overall I am doing extraordinarily well for me and what my mental health baseline has been the last few years.

In addition to reminding myself that I’m doing well, I have also been very deliberate in relaxing at the end of the day and on weekends.  Though there are days that I have to do some work to do even after getting home, I still make sure that I take time to do something I enjoy each day.

My therapist was out of town recently and rather than not see anyone that week, I made an appointment with an individual who had facilitated a previous therapy group I had been in.  It was helpful to not only have someone to talk to, but for that person to be someone who I had already developed fond feelings for and who was able to provide a different perspective than my normal therapist (I can pretty much guess what she would say to me in any given situation at this point).

Even with all of my precautions, after a while the stress started to weigh on me.  I made an appointment with my psychiatrist and we made a small adjustment to get through this busy time.  Though I was hesitant to make a change, I decided that the risk was worth the benefit. I’m going through this with an awareness of the tightrope I walk with my mental illness and how it is interacting with life stresses.      

Taking time for self care, along with having a supportive and understanding spouse is helping me turn this stress into a learning experience rather than a break down, for this I am very grateful.

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