Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Problem with Stress

The problem with stress is that it tends to compound itself.  A bad situation wouldn't be so bad if it was just itself.  Yet it never is.  It creates stress and that sticks around.  I worry more and that makes me think worse, which does not help.  I worry more and that makes it harder to sleep, which does not help.

I've developed the habit of doing dishes before bed.  It's boring, which can sometimes mean peaceful.  I can play some music, not too loud, but with headphones it's enough to hear over the water.  The water is nice.  The little sense of accomplishment is nice.  It's a slow, unrushed process.  In the morning I can wake up to a sink full of clean dishes.

Being out working creates a problem.  I won't fill a sink of water for just a few dishes.  So I spend my day out, being stressed, and then my end of the day stress reliever is gone.  I could still do it, but I'd feel as if it were terribly wasteful, and that would be of no use at all.

Then just to make it worse, when I'm done with something and can legitimately relax for a while, I can't.  I'm still anxious, wondering when something is going to go wrong.  Surely I made a mistake somewhere.  Surely I wrote something poorly and someone is going to catch it.  Some problem will emerge.  This means that any relaxation is at best a temporary state, an anomaly.  At worst, I forgot to do something and that's going to catch up to me.  Then I can think back on that next time I have a rest and wonder if I'm just wasting my time that I don't have.

Soon my semester will be over.  Then I can focus on worrying about being unemployed.  If I get a job, I can worry about my career and personal life.  I wonder what I could worry about after those.  Maybe I should know already, and that worries me.

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