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I don’t like dealing with stress, and I like to pretend that I’m fine. Even if I do that, my body will break out into a rash or eczema or something. I’m not kidding. One year, I was so stressed out that I developed an allergy to the aluminum in my deodorant (sorry to those of you who don’t like that kind of info!!). I’ve been using Tom’s of Maine ever since, which has to be reapplied a little more often, but it’s effective.

Anyway, stress is just a part of my life, since I like to accomplish a lot of things and feel poorly about myself if I don’t. I think that’s part of why I was having some trouble a few months ago. My life was at a standstill, and I was working a job that was slow and gave me lots of time to think…about how I wasn’t doing anything. Blogging regularly has helped relieve that, but I’ve had to find other ways to calm down.

When I was younger, I used to call people when I felt stressed, but I think that can cause you to feel more worked up. If you’re only venting and dumping on people, you are only relieving those feelings temporarily. Not only that, but you’re passing that stress along to someone else. Personally, I think it’s counter-productive.

Because I went all hermit on everyone for awhile, I ended up leaving myself alone with my general daily turmoil, angst, and overthinking. I’m best at getting through things. Not always well or successfully, but regardless, I get through them. So I adapted. What helped the most was going on walks and taking baths. An activity in solitude seemed to help the most. For my self-esteem, I fixed my hair and put on make-up nearly every day (the university I went do did not have many women who put on make-up, and I got very lax while attending it!). I lost weight (and am still losing). I read and read and read.

Somehow, after doing all of those things, I found some relief. Alone, they may not seem like much, but all of them together added up to be enough to pull me out of whatever stress-filled funk I was in. And now we’re at present-day…

I’m still stressed. I can tell by this new weird rash on my arm. One of these days, I’ll go see a dermatologist. And I’m still tense in my shoulders. Last night, I was able to get some good sleep, after a relaxing bath. It’s just adding those little things together; God gives us mercies every day, if we can find them. Sometimes they’re big, and sometimes they’re as little as having enough time to take a bath.