The Odd Ways We Deal With Stress (I Do Fake Karate)

I got to thinking about all the actually weird stuff I do to keep calm and carry the hell on and my list is as follows.
Publish date:
December 20, 2012
stress, the holidays, stress relief

Does it always seem like the end of times or is the countdown to 2013 special? I've never been one for stress. I'd rather go take a nap than freak out about whether or not I can meet a deadline, get dinner ready on time or get my hair to do something right. But I am a sucker for Frustration and Annoyance, which are probably like Stress' second cousins twice removed.

The holidays, of course, don't help any. So, for the past few weeks, I haven't been "stressed" -- but I have been frustrated by and annoyed with people, guns, grocery stores, recipes, my brain, my butt and my boyfriend. So when I came across this tweet from a lady magazine about weird things to do for stress relief I figured, "Why not take a look?"

And then the suggestions pissed me off so bad I got even more frustrated! Warm your hands? Breathe? Give yourself a hug? What in the Romper Room?

Do I look like the kind of sweet and not-at-all wacky maniac who would take the time to hug myself? I can just see it now. Helena's getting ticked off at the remote control someone programmed for Einstein and instead of shouting at said inanimate object then pretending like she didn't want to watch "Nashville" anyway, Helena gives herself a squeeze until the bad feelings go away. Nope, not going to happen.

So I got to thinking about all the actually weird stuff I do to keep calm and carry the hell on, and my list is as follows:

1. Primal scream

There is absolutely nothing like bellowing out loud from the bowels of your insides. I'm not talking those high-pitched throaty horror-flick screams that bikini clad blondes do just before they run upstairs to get murdered. I'm talking the deep, bass-heavy roar a lioness would give if you tried to fuck with her babies or, in my case, make me figure out something I don't want to.

2. Online window shopping

There is nothing more soothing then picking through the virtual aisles of online chain stores, especially if you have no intention of actually buying anything. For some backwards reason choosing the perfect unnecessary tools for the imaginary life I don't have somehow makes the one I'm currently living seem less bad. So what if Miles runny-pooped on that rug I just bought, there are more rugs in the online sea.

3. Fake karate

You guys didn't know I was black belt in badass foolishness, did you? Whenever something really gets my goat I go all Bruce Lee on its proverbial ass. I have never taken a martial arts class in my life. I do not know karate, kung fu or tae kwon do. But what I do know is that kicking and punching the air for a few minutes makes me feel good and awesome. Has anyone seen me do fake karate? Yes. Has anyone laughed? Nope. Because they're too scared.

This, of course, is my short list. My stress relief speed-dial programmed over a lifetime of figuring out how to calm this sometimes crazy train on down. But I'm open to suggestions.