Handling stress

During tonight’s #journchat discussion on Twitter, one person asked how other participants handle burnout and stress, and it got me thinking.

In my two years in Phoenix, stress hit me far too often, and I didn’t always have a way to cope. The following methods helped sometimes:

  • Taking a walk
  • Watching episodes of old TV shows on Hulu
  • Chatting with friends on IM or the telephone
  • Talking with family
  • Playing Sudoku
  • Crocheting blankets

They helped, but they were like sticking a bandaid on a wound that needed stitches when it came to relieving major stress. Ironically, I figured out what I needed shortly before I was let go from the job that was causing me so much stress.

When I was young, I rode horses competitively, and I tried to continue to at least work with horses throughout college. After graduation, however, I moved to Arizona and stopped riding.

I started working with horses again at the beginning of spring, and throughout my last few weeks at the station, I was more relaxed than I had ever been. I had found my “third place” (away from work and home); I was exercising more; it was simply a matter of finding something I loved.

Even now that I no longer have a job, I’ve continued to visit the horses; they’re keeping me sane through my stressful move.

Riding has filled an empty space in my life, and I hope to keep spending time with horses, no matter where I end up.