Stress, Management

Here are a few of the things going on in my life right now:

We're nearing the final stages of a year-long immigration process and readying ourselves to make an international move in the coming weeks. 

We're trying to pack, see everyone before we go, file all of the necessary paperwork, and prepare lists for what we'll need when we arrive in the States. (Mattress! Bedding! etc.) We're also hosting family this month and, of course, working as well as trying to find time for creative projects.

It's a lot, to say the least.

Luckily I thrive on stress. I'm more comfortable in situations that put my naturally nervous energy to work.

The stress I'm experiencing right now is a lot, even for me, but I've come to find ways to deal with it. I look at stress and any sort of problem as one big project that requires management. I like to take the problem or issue causing stress and treat it like I would a professional project.

I start here, asking myself:

What's the first step that needs to taken to eliminate this problem? What will happen from there, and what will happen after that? Step 2? Step 3? Step 8?

I create lists, set reminders, and add piece by piece of the problem's puzzle to my to-do list. Before you know it, the work is being done – the problem is being solved – because you're doing it yourself. One to-do list item at a time.

This is the only real stress management technique that works for me. Try as I might, breathing deeply or stepping away to calm down just doesn't seem to do it.

Instead, I need order in the chaos of stress. I can't sit still and relax – can't ignore what's going on – I have to take real, concrete steps towards solving a problem before I can even think about resting. Otherwise, I'm left twirling my hair at unnatural speeds, tapping my leg(s), and chewing on my nails.

After my stress has been addressed head on, there are a few things that help me to come down from the craziness. I do yoga, even if it's just 15 minutes using an app. (I like this one.)

I read. I text a friend, Pin my heart out. I color.

And that is how I've handled this stress; how I handle all of the stress.

It's not easy, and it's not fail proof, but it does provide relief and a feeling of accomplishment. And somehow, through all of it, I seem to manage just fine.


Robin Reetz

I’m an expat currently living between London and North Carolina. I'm the Home & Living Editor at Clementine Daily, handle partnerships and more at DesignGood, and create content for folks like Teen Vogue. Also, I love independent designers. Find out more about me here: http://secondfloorflat.com/about-me/