Managing Stress

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 inĀ 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.

9 thoughts on “Managing Stress

  1. Cheryl

    Hang in there, Tanya, and don’t forget to take care of yourself and…BREATHE! Remember – you don’t have to get it all done every day…some things can wait until tomorrow – they’ll still be there! :0)

    Sending hugs your way,


  2. Fearless Females

    um, 2 jobs, 2 kids, home-schooling, a household and no other help in sight is stressful and i give you a lot of credit–you take on more than most. If you can get away for a few hours a week, then get a massage or go to the movies or read–the escape always does well for me..and treating yourself to something that you like is so important!!

  3. babs

    Wow…we must all be hitting this at the same time. I ended in the ER just before Thanksgiving with something that felt like a heart attack but was apparently “just” stress. Man. We need to take care of ourselves even better—you’re right!

  4. Tanya Savko Post author

    Thanks, everyone, I’ll get through it somehow.

    Babs, hope you’re feeling better. That’s definitely a wake-up call!

  5. osh

    I don’t know how you do it. Everybody else seems so much more with it than I am, I always feel like I am about to jump off the cliff.


  6. Maddy

    I think I’ll skip the test as I don’t need any confirmation of the current reality. I have my decompression time when everyone else is in bed asleep, that’s it, in the house, no excitement just a couple of hours to clear my head and my ‘my schedule’ for the following day. It’s definitely a question of priorities. What three things MUST I do tomorrow so the sky doesn’t fall in – towit with four family birthdays this month I haven’t written any Christmas cards, and I doubt if I will write any this year. Thank heavens I don’t have to earn my own living. I take my hat off to you dearie.
    Hang on in there.

  7. kia (good enough mama)

    Wow. It sounds like you have way more than your fair share of stressors right now. I’m sorry. I’m not going to take the test myself; I’m afraid it might tell me to get a real life and ask me what the heck I’m pretending to be so stressed about. Yeah, I’m avoiding the test…

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