Stressed Out

I’d planned to try a new workout this week but I had a week at work (more than one 16 hour day) and didn’t have time to go much of anything. I was offline other than work related stuff for 2 days. So I thought it was more appropriate to talk about stress and health.

I’ve had a long week. I was at work by 6am every morning and by 5am a couple of mornings. Those 5am mornings I worked til 10pm at the office one night and until 9pm at the office and then home that same night to work from my couch until 1am. I got 3-5 hours of sleep each night. By the middle of the week I could literally feel and hear my body buzzing from stress, adrenaline, exhaustion. Even though I was tired, my adrenaline and desire to bring this major milestone in this project to an end was strong. I needed it to end today (as planned). So I put in ridiculous hours. Fortunately, I wasn’t alone because my coworkers are amazing. But I learned some things about how my body handles stress.

1. My body buzzes (see above).

2. I drink too much coffee and not enough water. However, I do recognize that sometimes a good cold glass of water is more energizing than a cup of coffee. See this article for signs of dehydration. I had almost all of these symptoms.

3. I can paste on a smile and get the job done when the going gets tough. But I get so tired that I can’t control my emotions at times. For instance, I got so overwhelmed at one point I could do nothing but cry. I couldn’t stop. On the other hand, one of my friends got me laughing and then I couldn’t stop.

4. I will cry “uncle” when I need to. This one was a big one for me. I have a perfectionist personality type and I’m extremely hard on myself and set my expectations high. But when I get to a point that I say I can’t do it and I’m not just talking to a close friend, I mean I can’t do it. I’ve reached my limit. But more important is the fact that I can say it.

5. I tend to eat crap when I’m stressed…if I eat. I tend to eat breakfast and work through lunch and then skip dinner after gorging myself on snack foods all afternoon. One day I ate a lot of Starburst pink and red jelly beans and cashews for lunch. Last night my roommate bought me McDonald’s. Today? My co-worker bought me a chopped chicken cobb salad from Panera. That was the most nutritious and delicious thing I ate all week. But man that salad was delicious.

How have you handled the stressful times in your life?



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