Why I'm Stressed...But Dancing in the Kitchen Helps


I am stressed.

I won’t go into all the reasons.  But there are lots of reasons.
Besides being bipolar, I also have generalized anxiety disorder.  Usually the bipolar disorder takes center stage, but sometimes the anxiety jumps into the spotlight.  Like now.

It’s just been one thing after another.  A few things that I’ve taken personally.  A few things that have simply been irritating.  In the end, lots of few things that have caused me to be rather irritable and snappy.  I’ve called Andy a few names.  (I never mean it.  I always apologize.  I love you, Andy.)  The dogs barking at every blessed thing out the window doesn’t help. The “MOMMY!”  “MOMMY!”  “MOMMY!”  doesn’t help.  I’ve been uptight.  


A basket case.

There are just so many things on my mind right now…mostly dealing with the future.  And fear.  It really boils down to fear.  What if things don’t work out the way I’m envisioning them?  What if all this work is for nothing?  What will people think?
Right now I am probably in a mixed state.  This has been going on for the past few days.  It’s like I’m restless with this neverending energy, yet at the same time, I’m exhausted.  It’s weird.  It’s anxiety.

So what do I do?  

I try to sort out my brain…go through one problem at a time and attempt to resolve it.  When I try to organize everything into compartments, I feel better.  Better than when it’s a giant, jumbly mess in my head.

I take deep breaths.  I inhale deeply and exhale for a long time.  I look around and appreciate the pretty trees and the fresh air I’m breathing.

I spend time in the garden.  I pick tomatoes and just take in the scent – of the dirt, the leaves, the tomatoes.  I love it.
 I take bike rides and listen to my music and sing and dance.  (I can’t really get my whole body into it, but I can do some intense shoulder dancing.  The cornfields don’t judge.)  I love the breeze blowing through my hair and grazing my face as I ride.  I love the serene surroundings I’m taking in, the sun coming up, old barns (my favorite), wildflowers along the side of the road.  This all helps to melt my stress away, if only temporarily.

I play with my kids.  We snuggle when watch movies like Dumbo and talk about the animals and the sad parts.  We read books.  We play with blocks and color with sidewalk chalk.  We bake brownies or cookies or muffins.  We paint.  We color.  We take bike rides.  We dance in the kitchen.  I love it when we dance.

Playing with my kids is the best stress reliever.

It really is.  I forget about everything else.  And looking at them, I realize all the issues on my mind are really not that important.  Kids don’t have a care in the world.  They’re happy-go-lucky and just want to play.  Have fun.  And that’s what I should focus on more.

My worries aren’t the end of the world.  It will all be okay.  Life is just too short!  I have to remind myself of that more often.  Maybe I’ll tattoo it on my body.  Hmmm…for real!

The point is, yeah, I’m stressed out right now, but I have to let it go.  I have to focus on all the amazing blessings in my life.  We will encounter challenges and obstacles in life.  Things that will test our patience and sanity.  We just have to be strong enough to pass these tests and realize that everything will be okay.  

When the perfect song comes on while I’m riding my bike, when I take in a beautiful sunrise, when I draw hearts and stars on the sidewalk with my children, I’m not thinking about my stress.  I’m thinking that everything will be okay.  And it will.  I know it will.

In the end, everything will be okay.