For the month of April I’m blogging alphabetically about quick, easy, and practical ways to relieve stress. To see the other posts in this series, click here.
I’ve shared before that when I get really stressed I often take on a “stress project.” I used to think this was a maladaptive coping skill, but I’ve changed my mind. I used to think I was just trying to avoid the real cause of my stress. Now, I see that’s not the case at all.
When I take on a stress project, I am able to see something through to completion. I’m also stepping away from whatever is causing the stress. I mistook this stepping away as avoidance. In reality, it’s balance. When I get stressed about a particular situation, I often allow myself to become consumed by it. That’s not healthy. Stepping away from the stressor to take on another simpler project allows me to gain some perspective and restores balance to my life. Not to mention, it feels really good to step back and see the fruits of my labors.
It’s ok to put my usual tasks on hold so we can clean up the leaves, or take down a fence, or move a bunch of overgrown bushes. Not only is it ok, it’s good for me. It takes me out of my world of extremes, allows me to work off my frustrations, and gives me the opportunity to be proud of a task I accomplished. All of these benefits are good on their own, but they’re all also excellent ways to reduce stress.