From A to Z

S is for Stress

 S: Stress

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?


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