You know you're stressed out when...

You know you're stressed out when...

Credit: myRegence

You know you're stressed out when...


by JEANNE FAULKNER / myRegence Contributor

Posted on December 5, 2009 at 2:25 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 10 at 12:36 PM

You know you're stressed out when:

  • Your shoulders are so hunched up, your earrings are stuck in your sweater.
  • You've got acne on your face, back, chest and places where acne doesn't belong.
  • Your chocolate craving is your motivating life force.
  • You'd rather get a colonoscopy than have dinner with friends.
  • Your to-do list is so long you're tripping on it.
  • You can't keep track of your basic gear: wallet, keys, glasses and children.  
  • Your heart is racing faster than a greyhound on coffee.
  • There's not enough antiperspirant in the world to get you through your day.
  • Your default facial expression is a grimace.
  • People quit greeting you with "How are you?" and replace it with "What's wrong now?"
  • Getting out of bed is the biggest impediment in your day. 
  • Getting to sleep at night is your second biggest.
  • You can't find a good reason why you shouldn't kick puppies, slap babies or trip old people. 
  • You think road rage is good defensive driving.
  • Your personal food pyramid is made up exclusively of alcohol, cigarettes, Cheetos and coffee.
  • Your idea of a good lunch is leftovers from your child's Happy Meal.
  • You operate on two levels: Fight and Flight.
  • You're so addicted to cortisol (stress hormones) that your family's planning an intervention.
  • You've developed a technique for applying makeup to draw attention away from your facial tic.
  • You have no idea what a good night's sleep is.
  • You're so burned out at work, the fire department lists you as a hazard.
  • Your dominant personality traits are cynicism, negativity, frustration and impatience.
  • You own and use more than three types of headache remedies.
  • Your workload is so heavy your desk tips to one side.
  • Your stress busters are chocolate, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication and Scotch.
  • You no longer worry about baldness because your hair has already fallen out from worrying about everything else. 
  • Your mantra is "Grin and bear it," alternating with "I hate this."

You know you're going to be fine when:

  • You look up meditation classes on Craig's List.
  • You talk to your doctor about a nicotine patch.
  • You start an exercise program and have actually shown up for the first class.
  • You say no to another charity fundraiser.
  • Your kids quit leaving the room when you get home from work.
  • You remember how to chop vegetables and wash fruit.
  • You finally step on the scale and made peace with the fact that some changes need to be made.
  • You discover deep breathing. 
  • You realize you're not holding your breath anymore.
  • You go to bed at a reasonable hour and actually sleep.
  • You get your blood pressure checked and find out it's not as high as it used to be.
  • You realize you haven't taken any anti-anxiety medication for a while and don't need a refill.
  • You reconstruct your personal food pyramid and it now looks a little like the USDA's.
  • You no longer white-knuckle it when driving. 
  • You quit screaming expletives out your car window.
  • You're still overwhelmed at work but you've got a plan for how to manage it.
  • You figure out what freaks you out and eliminate it as best you can.
  • You haven't rescheduled cancelled dinner plans with toxic friends.
  • Your mantra is "This, too, shall pass."

You know you're balanced when:

  • You realize that puppies, babies and old people are gifts in your life.
  • You greet every day happy to be alive and well-rested.
  • You enjoy healthy food you've cooked in your own kitchen and eaten at your own dinner table.
  • You love your job and find it challenging.
  • You get enough exercise and appreciate toned muscles.
  • Your cravings are over and now chocolate is a pleasure, not a necessity.
  • You know you'll never smoke, drink too much or take drugs again.
  • You're a little tired, but that's what happens after a good day's work or play.
  • Your family likes hanging out with you.
  • Your kids are well-behaved and busy enough, but not running you ragged.
  • You and your partner have time for each other.
  • You're up-to-date on current events, the latest must-read novel and must-see movies.
  • You make playtime a priority.
  • Your house is clean enough, tidy enough and a joy to live in.
  • You have time for friends and look forward to being with them.
  • You have time for meditation, prayer or spiritual exploration.
  • You know when your next vacation will be.
  • You're excited about the holidays again.
  • You're grateful.
  • You have plans for a bright future.
  • Your mantra is "Life is good."

About the Author

Jeanne Faulkner is a freelance writer and registered nurse in Portland, Ore. Her work appears regularly in Pregnancy and Fit Pregnancy, and she has contributed articles to the Oregonian, Better Homes & Gardens, Shape and other publications.