I am off to spend a few days at the beach chilling out after a hectic few weeks and before I head off for Summer School...1. First, and before we start busting stress, what causes you the most stress, is it big things or the small stuff ?
So with that in mind this week's questions are looking at how you deal with the stress monster!!!???
Oh, man, it's the small stuff, definitely the small stuff. Problem is, what I consider small is often what others consider HUGE (new hymnals, confirmation schedules, baby showers, bridal showers, "cultural/ethnic Lutheranism" and power point in worship are a few examples that have recently risen to the surface). At the same time, the things I consider big (adult discipleship and faith education, family involvement in worship/church activities, stewardship, meaningful worship) seem to be unimportant for many, if not most, of our membership. I get stressed because there's a low-grade impatience and frustration (do I really have to spend my time worry about this?) that just builds until it's no longer low-grade; then it is time to take a break and regain some perspective.
2. Exercise or chocolate for stress busting ( or maybe something else) ?
Exercise, definitely, though a smidge of chocolate can do wonders. I also bake, mow the lawn and find hands-on chores around the house that I enjoy, like changing the oil on our cars, working on carpentry projects or something similar. I've also been known to get home from a particularly trying day, fire up the CD player, grab a good book and a good dark beer and relax, or pick up Red, my Ovation six-string and bust out some music, especially if Ainsley can listen in and try to sing along.
Oh, and the Friday Five is a big favorite!
3.What is your favourite music to chill out to?
Storyhill, Rich Mullins, Wynton Marsalis, the St. Olaf Choir, Sarah Hart, Norah Jones, Allison Krauss & Union Station.
4. Where do you go to chill?
I "cave": I go up to the office we've created in our house, sit in my grandpa's old recliner and read Christian Century, Word & World or, sometimes, just a good book. When I've had a particularly trying day at the church, this does wonders.
5. Extrovert or introvert, do you relax at a party, or do you prefer a solitary walk?
I am becoming more of an introvert the older I get. I definitely prefer my "alone" time. Sunday mornings wear me out so much that I need to just go home, find the Twins game on the television and read the Sunday paper. I get grumpy if this doesn't happen.
Bonus- share your favourite stress busting tip!
Go home and hide in my "cave": put on a pot of good coffee, pick up a good book, load the CD player with soothing music and just drop out of the world for a while. If I were a D&D player I suppose I'd call it my portable hole. Sometimes I imagine I live in Bag End and I've just GOT to hide from the Sackville-Bagginses - that usually does the trick.
Good movies on DVD are great, too, though when I'm stressed I find that comedies don't do the trick.
One should note that part of this is caused by depression: I do take a pill daily to combat the more debilitating effects of depression, and I've found that it does help to be aware of my need for solitude and try to honor it when healthy and conquer it when I've just been "caving" too much.