So it’s stress week and I haven’t posted a thing. We spent a wonderful week in Hilton Head, SC. I’ll admit planning a stress-free week during a vacation week was sort of a cop-out. I mean, who gets stressed with their feet in the sand during the day and a plate full of crab at night? Well, come to think of it, I know people who’d get stressed about either of those things but that is neither here nor there. I was not.
Although I didn’t have my normal stress points like getting work done AND taking care of kids or having too many errands to count, I did find myself in a few situations that I could feel stress coming on. I tried to pinpoint the cause and came out with four trigger points
I shouldn’t be surprised. Fear is definitely always been a trigger for me in so many areas. But this week I realized that I get stressed when I have a fear of the unknown or fear of my family’s safety. I think, think, think too much about all the alternative endings to the point I’m tensed and stressed. I truly believe in so many cases I’m just being ridiculous.
As a small example, the kids this year decided they could jump the waves by themselves. I sat in a chair at the edge of the water but then I’d get worried and go stand in the water 10 or 15 feet closer. Standing there, I realized that being 10 feet closer was not going to help a whole lot. In reality, they were doing just fine by themselves and I could just LET GO of the stress. The only thing it changed was my stress level. Seriously. Me being worried did not make the kids handle the waves any differently. It didn’t make sharks not swim near them. It didn’t emit some sort of force field so jelly fish wouldn’t sting them. Worrying did not one single thing to help the situation.
Sure, we have safety issues to consider as parents but I’d guess most of the time our stress is fear-induced and POINTLESS.
Lack of control
I’ve been coming to the realization I can be a control freak. When I feel things slipping, I get stressed. This is especially difficult when I’m dealing with other people’s problems. In my “real job,” I’m a problem solver. People come to me with problems and we figure out a technical solution to them. And getting to the solution involves even more problems to fix. I like to know all the variables, pick a solution and go with it. Again, I think, think, think until I feel like I have the best solution. I try to do this with other people’s problem and it just creates a ton of stress for me. Again, the solution to this is to LET GO. Sure, I can care but that doesn’t mean I have to solve everyone’s problems. I couldn’t even if I tried.
I’m not sure if the result of unmet expectations is more anger than stress but I got that tense feeling come over me when the girls just did not want to do what I wanted to do one night this week. When we have something planned or expect something of someone and it doesn’t happen? Stress! We want things to happen the way we planned OR ELSE. Can you think of the solution? Yep. LET GO. It’s totally fine if plans change or you have to maneuver around a new set of circumstances. Just GO WITH THE FLOW.
The most stress I felt all week is when we were trying to get out the door to the beach. I realized I had not planned enough in advance and I was washing clothes and dishes as were going out the door. I must have gotten out of the van at least 3 times to grab things I remembered last minute. I realized if I’d have just prepared a little more in advance I could have prevented a lot of stress. And even more than that, the things I did need should have been organized into a place where I would have known right where to get them.
The ironic part of this point is that hard work sometimes leads to less stress. You might think that being lazy and not working as hard would lead to a stress-free life but I’ve found just the opposite: work hard now and you can play hard later. I just need to learn to balance that when all my plans don’t quite go as expected.
My take-away from this week can be summed up in the words of Timon and Pumbaa "Hakuna Matata, it means no worries for the rest of your days…” Seriously, I just need to get myself organized, plan a little more and then LET GO.
Read more posts from the Summer of 7 participants on Stress and link up below!