25 Ways To Relieve Stress

I’m not a drinker. Never was. You can ask the people who’ve known me for years. They’ll tell you. It’s a control thing. Since we all know I’m a control freak, alcohol can get the upper hand and I don’t like that. Plus I hate the way alcohol tastes. Yup, I said it. It’s bitter and gross. Not for me. Not to mention wine gives me a migraine and beer, even one, can make me sick. I must be allergic to an ingredient. It’s never been worth it to me to drink. Why waste the calories?

But I understand why people do drink. If you’re having a bad day, week, month, year and you need a quick way to untie the knots in your shoulders a glass of wine will do it. There have been many times recently I wish I did drink. I’d like something to take the stress away without me breaking a sweat to do it. I’m having one of those moments right now. (And I already worked out today) So instead of drinking I’m going to blow my calories and maybe ease my stress with the one thing I do like.

cookieI’m sure I’ll hate myself later.

As I write this, I don’t know if I should vent out my stress here for all of you to read (honestly, I’m not a good sharer like that) or educate us on ways to relieve stress, but we know them, don’t we?

  1. Pray
  2. Meditate
  3. Exercise
  4. Sit with nature
  5. Listen to calming music
  6. Take a drive
  7. Scream at the top of your lungs
  8. Take a bath
  9. Call a friend who makes you laugh
  10. Read (big one for me)
  11. Play an instrument
  12. Write
  13. Paint
  14. Get a massage, a pedicure
  15. Shop
  16. Cry
  17. Walk on the beach
  18. Help someone else
  19. Jump on a trampoline
  20. Roll down a hill
  21. Watch a baby discover his toes
  22. Smell freshly cut grass (unless you’re allergic)
  23. Roast marshmallows over an open fire
  24. Eat chocolate
  25. Chase rainbows

I have my Healing Music playing. I’m sitting outside watching the trees push the breeze around. The sky is clear, deep blue marked by fluffy, clouds of cotton. The cookie is half-way gone. I barely remember eating it. What’s next?

Another moment. Another chance to catch my breath. A quiet place to read a book. Tomorrow, hopefully.

If I was smart, I wouldn’t get stressed out. In the grand scheme of things, nothing is that bad. Challenging at times, but manageable. I have what’s important. The rest I should surrender. When do you think I’ll learn that lesson?

Not before the cookie is gone, I’ll tell you that.

So, how do you relieve stress? I’d love to hear from you.


Do Puppies Relieve Stress?

photo 1 (7)
Do you want me to lick you now or later or both?

I thought I read somewhere dogs help people relieve stress. Well, my blood pressure is up and I have a German shepherd puppy. That sweet, fluffy, stubborn puppy actually has a mind of his own. It’s scary, really. He decides he doesn’t want to do something he’s not going to do it and I have to wait him out until he does. Let me explain.

We all know what a clean freak I am, from the first day we brought Munson home we have been wiping his paws off before he comes back in the house. Until recently, he was agreeable to this. In the beginning, if I said, “Munson, paws” he’d jump right on the towel. I’ll admit it, that was pretty darn cute. Now when I say, “Munson, paws” he sits down and looks at you. Okay, not ┬ábad, but when I approach with the towel that stinker either walks away or tries to eat the towel. Sometimes I have to let him chew on the end of the towel just so I can dry his feet. Who’s in charge here? Hmm…

He’s also decided his water bowl is a toy or maybe a mirror. I can’t decide which, but sometimes he sticks his paw in the water like he’s trying to grab something. Does he see his reflection and think, who is that handsome dog? You can guess what happens when he slaps at the water. Water everywhere and on his paw, which if I don’t wipe off, he will track wet paw prints all around the house and you know I can’t allow that. Now, I’m back to saying, “Munson, paws.” And he eats the towel. It really is a vicious circle. Do you think he does it on purpose?

But then there was the day I picked up Noodge 2 early from school because she wasn’t feeling well and when she got home Munson walked up to her, tail wagging, and give her a kiss hello without jumping once. Like he knew some how that she needed a calm friend and this moment wasn’t about him. Sitting with her puppy made her feel better.

You can’t help but giggle at him when he grabs his Frisbee, wraps it around his snout, and covers his eyes with it. I don’t know how he sees where he’s going, but he finds you and hopes you’ll grab that Frisbee and throw it for him. And of course, I do. It’s hard to say no to him.

I can't see  you, but I know you're there. You're playing with me whether you want to or not!
I can’t see you, but I know you’re there because I have supersonic German shepherd puppy hearing. You’re playing with me whether you want to or not!

And there’s nothing like his greeting when he sees me first thing in the morning, but I’m not the one taking him outside. I wish everyone was willing to choke themselves just to say hello to me.

Oh, that Munson. He’s Noodge number 3, the cutest puppy with his floppy ears and long soft, fur you just want to dig your fingers into and he doesn’t relieve any stress in my day. Not one little bit.