Last week was one of those “can’t win for losing” type weeks for me. Monday was fine – my Mondays normally are, oddly enough. Tuesday was rough though, and things just sort of spiraled downhill from there. Things broke that I didn’t know how to fix, so I had to learn how to fix them, which means I tried about five billion (okay, it was three or four, but the former is far more dramatic, don’t you think?) ways of fixing the problem before I stumbled over the easiest couple. It was stressful, though I think I did a fairly decent job of staying calm, and it was a great learning experience, which is what I try to remember whenever I need to do something I have no idea how to do.
Yes, it happens more often than you might think. I work in IT. Which basically means we spend a good majority of our time troubleshooting problems and figuring out how to solve problems that pop up out of thin air. It’s fun, but it’s also rather challenging at times, and it never fails to make me feel like an idiot at least once ever couple of weeks.
That’s not a bad thing. Gotta keep the ol’ ego in check somehow, eh?
In any case, keeping my “health as investment” perspective in place, there were several times throughout the week and weekend that I had to remind myself that while the stress of a challenge is good for your brain, stress from anxiety is bad for your health. I made a conscious effort to let that anxiety-based stress go (I wasn’t always successful, but I did pretty well, I think) on several occasions, and even re-prioritized some things on the fly when it became clear that it was either sacrifice my health, or put off the “thing”.
The net result had me ending up at Friday night still dealing with far more stress than I should have been, but a better outlook for Saturday. And after a brief bit of work monitoring early Saturday morning, I spent the rest of the day/night just relaxing and taking it easy. I did do the dogs’ nails and baths, but I felt like it, so I did it. I didn’t do anything I didn’t feel like doing, and for once, I gave myself permission not to feel guilty for just taking a “rest day”.
It was lovely, and if I’d gotten to bed just a little earlier on Sunday morning (forgot to turn my heated mattress pad on, so had to wait for the bed to warm up), everything would have been perfect. Still, I went into Sunday with a much healthier headspace than I’ve had lately. I didn’t get everything done that I wanted to, but it’s okay.
I was talking to someone at work last week about some pretty big changes coming up this next fall. This person was worried about what might happen and hoping it would turn out okay. My automatic reply was, “Of course it will. It always does, because there is no choice – the work has to be done, so somehow, someway it will get done, no matter what else is happening”. Things always have a way of working out in the end, whether we can see it ahead of time or not, and also whether we’re even around to see it at all.
So anxiety-based stress is really pretty much pointless, all things considered. Things are going to work out the way they’re going to work out, and for every negative, there’s always a positive somewhere, if you look hard enough for it. I used to be far better at remembering that and not stressing out over things. I’m not sure what changed or why, but I really want to get back to that attitude as my “default setting”.
Remain calm. You’ve got this.
So simple, and yet so true, if you nurture and maintain the right attitude and perspective on things.