Even the word stress stresses me out! I have never been told “Go ahead stress a little. What can it hurt?” Everything I have ever heard or read is that stress is bad for you and yet I can’t seem to break the “habit”. Unfortunately now that I have DM, my skin condition even lets others know my stress levels because when I get stressed I flare up and get even more red and itchy.
I will never forget being at my Uncles memorial service 2 years ago. People kept asking me if I was ok and I assumed they were being kind and sympathetic due to his passing. After I walked into the restroom and looked in the mirror I realized they could quite possibly be asking about my face. Sure I had cried and that can be a telltale of stress and sorrow, however, crying with DM is a whole new ballgame! My face was a color I had never seen before and there was a distinct pattern to the butterfly rash lovingly left there by the DM.
Another vivid recollection of my stress revealing itself was on my sons first birthday. We had a gathering of friends and family at our home and I like to make everything as perfect as can be. (Yes, I realize I need to work on that) At the end of the day I was being asked if I was ok yet again. I thought I was fine because I was happy and having fun entertaining our guests and my birthday boy. Apparently my body thought I was doing a bit too much and I was triggered again into a flare up.
These days I have had better luck with the flare ups. Partly, I assume, due to the fact of being on my medications for 2 years. I continue to work on not stressing but in reality I think it is impossible not to stress. It is human nature. Here are some tips that I have found to help me stress less and feel better:
- Massages. Even though I don’t get them often, my gosh they are amazing!
- Dancing. My son and I have daily dance-offs and it is incredibly freeing.
- Communication. Talking with my husband openly really helps. Friends and family are great resources to have around.
- Tea. Even though I am reducing my caffeine intake, a good cup of tea (decaf nowadays) just makes me happy!
- Laughter. I try to laugh everyday and with a 2 year old around, that can be quite easy to accomplish.
- Do Nothing. Seriously, taking a break and doing nothing can be so refreshing. Take a deep breath and relax!
Do you have any techniques or advice on destressing?