Dealing with Stress

September 18, 2008

Last week I wrote this post about how we need to remember that someone else is always going to be busier than we are and that we have to take the time to be grateful for what we’ve got. Well, we all know how life does love to test us, and ever since I wrote that post I have certainly been tested!

After breaking dishes, shrinking expensive sweaters, putting my To Do list in the washer (…and then the dryer), writing 2 quizzes in a class for a book I haven’t been able to read (they ran out of books at all the bookstores in our city- not even joking- so about 1/4 of the class hasn’t read the book. And yet we’re still being quizzed on this. Fairness?), still not owning a dresser, and being unable to find a kitchen counter for the new apartment (I am missing cooking so much!), I have been very close to tears multiple times in the past few days. And yesterday after a cold bike ride in the rain on my way to work, I arrived at work to realize that my new white coat was covered in mud. Normally, I don’t mind the rain. But seeing my lovely little coat completely ruined caused me to break down and start crying (punctuated with lots of “but-I-know-I-have-it-so-good-and-this-is-so-ridiculous-to-be-crying-over-and-its-only-a-coat-for-goodness-sake!). It’s a good thing I work with my mum. No other boss would be able to give the much-needed hug that a mother can give!

So when I came across this page, 12 Ways To Simplify Your Life, I read through it with great interest. My thinking is that it is not so much that my life is so crazy right now, but that I’m not doing as good a job of time management as I could be doing.

And wouldn’t you know it, but I’m doing just about everything on that darn list already! Be that as it may, it’s a great list with useful tips. But if anyone has any other tips to offer, I think that all of us would welcome them eagerly!

Something that I have found that helps me deal with stress better is to take a break from my work entirely and spend a couple minutes learning about something brand new and interesting that I wasn’t aware of before. Like this: prosthetic ears! Medical research today is really wonderful. Do share if you’ve discovered something new lately!

Another thing that can help is looking at old photographs. Really. They are great for thinking about some good times we’ve had and can help us to relax a little more, ready to tackle the small irritations that come up during our day to test us. The pictures that made me smile? Right here (all of these are from the Italy trip- but were taken by one of the other people that I traveled with):

This one is just such a beautiful angle- taken from a museum.

In a botanical garden- a huge huge aloe plant.

Reminds me of a magazine! Baths at Pompeii (check out my sweet sweet hat!)

We climbed up onto the amphitheater in Pompeii- I don’t think tourists are supposed to go up there. But hey, we can’t spend our whole lives following the rules, right? We need some fun adventuring in our lives!


  1. A great way to look at it! You are a positive person and a positive attitude is contagious! Nice photos btw! 🙂

  2. Oh, my goodness. Reading that list of 12 ways to simplify your life kinda made me giggle. I’m old and most of those things don’t apply to me.
    I’m a little bit curious about one thing you said in this post – what do you mean when you say you are unable to find a kitchen counter? Is it because it’s covered with stuff, or because you don’t have one?
    How is this possible? What kind of an apartment are you living in that it doesn’t come with a kitchen counter?
    Enquiring minds want to know?

  3. thanks for the reminder that there are other things more important than ____. YOUR pics just helped me relax, wonder what looking at my own would do haha

  4. I watched a dateline (i think) about a woman with the first bionic arm. the nerves in her chest send messages to the bionic arm to move, so it works just like a regular arm. they are working on technology to do it backwards (the arm sends messages to the brain) so you can FEEL with a fake arm. nuts!

    Kelly Turner

  5. Wow, looking at your pics relaxed me and I wasn’t even there! I love your hat:)

    Thanks for the tips Sagan. And also, since the bag lady asked, now I too want to know about your kitchen counter;)

  6. Pictures totally help me relax, gain some perspective and leave me appreciating all the things I have rather than stress over what I have to do :). Another fantabulous post Saran!

    P.S. I cannot wait to see Italy myself, I love your photos!

  7. My mum always says to me “More haste less speed!” because I always respond to busy periods by rushing round and then I inevitably drop things/forget things/break stuff etc.

    It’s when we try to do too much too fast our brains overload and things just seem to go wrong endlessly and we have those awful Bad Days. If I take my time (even if pressure’s on – not always easy) and try to keep cool, stuff always ends up getting done faster and better because I’ve not created a hundred more problems to deal with by attacking everything in a Tasmanian Devil style whirlwind.

    It works for me, anyway. When I manage to do it!

    I’m coming to your house to steal your hat by the way, hope you don’t mind.

    TA x

  8. Beautiful pics! I love looking at old vacation photos and remembering the great times I have had..

    Bad Days suck. But remember they DO END!

  9. Mark- am trying to keep positive, anyways!

    Bag Lady & Charlotte- I'll get pictures up once our apartments looking a little less messy, but basically there's this tiny bit of counter space big enough for a coffee maker and that's it. There's space for a table to go in the corner of our kitchen so we're searching for a high enough table that it can act as a counter for mixing things in bowls and cooking etc.

    Rhodeygirl/sabrina- thanks for the comment! And glad to have been of some help.

    Kelly- that's so cool! Thanks for sharing!

    Danielle- sometimes its really really nice to forget about the stress and just appreciate life, isn't it?

    TA- thanks for commenting and you are so right. Slowing down can be a huge help. I love your mums line!

    Missicat- this is true. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel:)

  10. I love the idea of looking at old photos! You have motivated me to get out my slides of my studies in France and look at them again!

    That will be my “small step back before the great leap forward” 🙂

  11. Some days are tough, aren’t they? Hang in there. I like the idea of looking at old photos, it is always fun to reminisce about the past thru pictures. I like to take some time just to quiet my mind too. That sometimes helps. And, I’m sending you a virtual hug…

    Have a great weekend!

  12. Dr. J- enjoy it! Sometimes its necessary to take that step backwards to leap forwards:)

    Lance- Thanks! Quieting the mind works wonders.

  13. I love that you lived outside the box, got a pic of it and live to tell the tale 🙂

    why do *I* always end up getting in trouble…

  14. It’s the sneakiness of being a tiny person, Miz… everyone looks right over your head so you get away with just about anything hehe.

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