Dealin’ With It

Charlie is two years and four months old. For the first six months, I put out fires–failing heart, bleeding brain, wonky kidneys, brain filling with fluid, and then, just for funsies, seizures followed by a strict protocol that involved never leaving the house for two months.

On top of the clear-cut medical stuff, there was the fact that his brain had bled and all the implications that come along with something like that. I had intellectual programs to design, books to read, alternative therapies to research. I could feel Charlie’s formative moments slipping away from me and the pressure was on.

At this point in the game, things seem to have calmed. The doctor’s appointments are farther apart, the tests are fewer. Therapy is a constant, but it’s definitely not unmanageable. Things feel stable.

So what I’m asking Ye Wise People of the Internets is, what do you do with stress? Not the crazy, life-and-death stress, but the day-to-day, normal variety. How do you unwind at the end of a long day of minutia? I’m trying to be a little more laid back; a little more care free. I’m discovering that I may have forgotten how to do that. Is that possible?

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  1. I smoke crack.

    No, I kid, but I do kick back with some wine, not infrequently.

  2. I do the following, depending on my mood… shop/window shop, talk to my husband (which can sometimes backfire, leaving me more stressed!), watch TV (lots of shows on my DVR), read a book or magazine (I find Ent. Weekly or US to be relatively mind-numbing if I don't want to think about much), read blogs (or write mine), look at old pictures or dvds/videos, listen to music, call a friend, take a bath or hot shower, clip coupons or something else equally as mind-numbing. As you can probably tell, I just try to turn off my way too active brain and try tou undwind a bit. "Try" being the key word here. =)

  3. Wow, I really should proofread before I post stuff! Sorry about all the typos… I promise, they are typos and not spelling mistakes… in my last comment!

  4. Mamá Terapeuta says:

    I got rid of all the unnecessary therapies and medical exams, and the stress disappear immediatly :)

    I guess it because with that came a normal life, one with phone calls to friends, outside time, and stuff… But I can't deny the do put a lot of (unnecesary) preassure one you :)

  5. Anonymous says:

    Have you ever tried Yoga? That's what I do.

  6. Katy, actually writing/blogging has been very cathartic for me. I have struggled with this same thing for the last almost 6 yrs. I also do lots of crafts, which I know you do, too. I wish I had magic wand with all the answers.

  7. Melio (MelissaInk) says:

    I craft. I also have a minor freak out every month and a major one every three months.

    I wish I cleaned.

    I also make a lot of lists. I have five notebooks for various things that I carry around with me.

    Oh, and I coupon. The clipping and sorting really does help me relieve some stress.

  8. Haha, Katie- I always feel like I'm at my best during a crisis (although I know the various fires we've had to put out in our lives are very different)…and then when life calms back down, I do find that I am prone to being over-vigilant, stressed out, and anxious.
    One of the reasons I work out so much these days is that it makes my moods much more level and keeps me fairly free of anxiety. (Oh, Endorphins, how I love them!)
    If you want to do stuff that doesn't require leaving the house, there are a lot of options for online yoga that I really like. Try for free 20 min. classes, for free 10 min. videos, and for a weekly free hour long class.
    Other than that, I do a lot of reading, goofing off on the internet (though I am actually trying to cut down), writing, cooking, hanging out with Benjy, and of course, plopping down on the couch with a big glass of red wine. :)
    Also- I find grilling out to be incredibly relaxing, and now is the perfect time of year to do that! We had shish-ka-bobs and chicken sausage a couple weekends ago and it was so nice. :)

  9. I find working out to be the best thing for relaxing. Yoga is definitely a relaxer and it is supposed to slow/stop the aging process.

    Other things that may help relax you are cross stitching, learning a new instrument, and cooking.

  10. ditto to the wine comments. I normally come home and have a glass or two. Healthy? Maybe or maybe not, but it helps. I also try to walk at night with Jude, and always always have a hot bath regardless of how late it is.

  11. It's almost easier when there is a crisis – you have a focus and go all out to fix it. I have found blogging to be a great release of stress for me, although this summer I really backed off for the most part to take care of some things at home and personally.

    Now I am trying to develop some daily routines based on our current schedule and ease my way back into blogging as well. Breaking things down into chunks of time seems to help.

    I am also focusing on the stuff we missed out on earlier – playdates with friends from school, swim class, teaching my son how to help with housework, doing family fun activities without a therapy agenda.

    Don't know if any of this relates to what you were asking, but that's where I'm at.

  12. Anonymous says:



    Walk the dog.

    Get someone, anyone, to rub your feet…

  13. I wonder if my dog knows how to give foot rubs?

  14. I don't, and that's one of my problems of late. I let stuff just build-up until there is an insane amount of pressure.

    I do sometimes get relief on Sunday and Monday Night, by watching the games. That takes me out of the moments. Unless of course my team gets crunched, then the stress builds even more. Crazy huh?

    Why yes…yes I am…

    So got nuthin' for ya. :)

    Except this…I love the fact that the Saints are doing great. Would LOVE it if they made it back to the playoffs and took a run at it. They are in my top ten of my rooting tier, so if some other teams don't make it in, I'd root for 'em.

  15. Kidnap Kat and go get Mexican and a drink in my behalf, since I am currently under the confines of General Order #1 and even the best food we have is still cafeteria food. Love and miss you girls!

  16. Overdose on a bottle of generic Pepcid Completes. Yup, you got it. I got nothing in this department cause I completely SUCK at it.