Wednesday, December 1, 2010

the nuclear option

Dear friends,

For the last week or so, I've felt like I have an iv in my arm feeding me essential oil of adrenaline. This is not a good feeling.

I haven't been this stressed out for years, and maybe not ever: I'm tired but can't sleep, or else I have moments of crashing where all I can do is sleep. When that happens, I have uncomfortably vivid dreams so when I wake up it's like I haven't slept at all. I'm sitting perfectly still, have been for hours, and my heart is pounding. I feel vaguely sick pretty much all the time. Not sick like having a cold sick, but that horrible pit-of-the-stomach sick feeling you get when you know something really bad is going to happen soon. This is a brand new kind of stress, and friends? I don't like it one bit.

I realized last night, tossing and turning in bed, that this is not sustainable, so I'm going to try to deal with it. I'm hoping to actually drag my sorry butt to the gym today, for one thing, and I'm trying to manage my time more efficiently, since the slow accumulation of things checked off the list is one of the better stress relievers I know of. But I'm not sure it'll be enough... what do you do when you're so stressed out it's making you sick? Put another way, what is your stress-relieving nuclear option?

Seriously. I really want to know.


  1. Faith, Haylie. Make time in your unbelievably hectic day to rejuvenate your spirit. Take a few minutes to read the B of M in the morning while you're eating and don't forget to pray (pour out your whole heart)and ponder. P.S. Don't forget to count your blessings (I know you do!) Aunt K

  2. awww! haylie i'm so sorry! don't let grad school get to you...i try to remind myself how long i've wanted to come here, and how hard i worked to get accepted. that helps give me perspective.

    also i take walks. and i get up early and try not to have to work late into the evening, because that stresses me out.

    also running. also putting on my ipod and listening to really fantastic slow calming music like bon iver while i lay on my bed. also ditching town every once and awhile.

  3. Thanks Aunt Kim and Mr. Chris! Helpful and lovely, as always. I actually made it to the gym today and feel significantly better as a result, and your suggestions are excellent. I needed some perspective.

  4. My input: do something creative. I've found my ultimate stress reliever was when I used to do stained glass. I would crave Thursday evenings when I could go into studio and cut some glass and piece it together. When I went home afterwards I was always refreshed. Maybe you can do some sketches or paintings once a week or whatever is your creative outlet.

  5. BALANCE. it may not seem like you have time, but make time to go out with friends, have dates with ross in the city, participate in extra-curriculars, etc. i've found that having a balance in my life makes me far more productive because i fill all the time i would be spending stressing out with fun things. and then when i get back to my work, i'm not as stressed, i am happier about life, and more ready to work/more efficient.

    give it a try!

  6. Last time the stress made me sick, I quit my job. That fixed it!

    Sorry. Not helpful. Should I send bubble bath?

    Also, a countdown to when you'll next see me will help! March March'll be here before you know it!

  7. massage. that's what always gets me through.

    - mel