I took one of those online tests today to evaluate my stress level. I mean, I don’t need an online test to tell me that I’m feeling a lot of stress, but I just wanted to see how I would score. It was high. It actually said, “You have high stress. Take action now to reduce and manage your stress. Stabilize the amount of changes in your life and avoid unnecessary stress. Evaluate how you communicate, manage your commitments, and prioritize your time. Make stress-reducing lifestyle choices a priority: seek therapy or exercise.”
I scored high even without the following questions:
- Do you have a special needs child?
- Is your children’s other parent involved less than 50% of the time? Less than 30%? Less than 20%?
And that’s probably good that the test didn’t ask those questions, otherwise my results might have said, “You have immeasurably high stress. We’re amazed you haven’t had a stroke yet. Check yourself in at your local mental health facility before you completely lose it. Don’t bother seeking therapy or exercising. Those things can’t help you now.”
I feel like I’m teetering on a cliff and, at the same time, being pulled in several different directions. Homeschool, work, work projects, household stuff, autism stuff, SPD stuff, appointments, errands, meetings, trying to write. There are not enough hours in the day.
I try to schedule downtime. This past weekend, I visited a friend at her house one night, and the other night I watched a movie at home with my boys. And those things are important, so I do them. But they don’t eliminate any of the other dozens of things I have to do. Giving myself downtime doesn’t seem to solve the issue of not having enough time to do all that I have to do.
So I go back to what the little online test advised: Evaluate how you communicate, manage your commitments, and prioritize your time. I think this is the crux of the matter. Autistic kids aren’t the only ones who benefit from schedules – their parents do, too. I’ll make myself a schedule so I’ll be better organized. I’ll just put that on my to-do list.
Eventually I’ll get to it.