How do you reduce stress?

Finding things that bring joy...

How do you reduce stress? Finding things that bring joy...

I have decided that I am not a superwoman. I am not a superhero. I just cannot do it all no matter how hard I try. It is a hard realization for many around me. They think that I am everything and more. Sometimes it is even a hard pill for me to swallow. Who wants to admit that they are not as fabulous as everyone thinks that they are?

Unfortunately, being fabulous leads to a lot of undue stress on individuals. I admit I am sometimes so stressed out that I do not know which end is up or why I am doing something at all. I just cannot do it all. I can’t. I feel that so many of my friends, family, and acquaintances are just like me–struggling to keep up with ourselves.

Stop it!

I am here to say, “Just stop it!” You do not have to be a superwoman (or superman). You do not have to be everyone’s superhero. You are you. Do you! Stop comparing yourself to others. Stop pressuring others to be more amazing than you are or that they have the strength to be–right then. We are all on this journey, or rather, adventure together. Let us do it together and do it together at the rate where no one person is left behind.

If you find yourself judging your abilities based on what you see on Pinterest, STOP IT! If you find yourself judging your abilities based on what you see on Facebook, STOP IT! Remember that what we see is often everyone’s best side, experience, or finished product. Their every day is usually not as glorious as we imagine it is. So, if you find yourself judging your abilities based on your neighbor, your friend, your fellow ward members, the classroom mom, the stranger in the store, or anyone else…STOP IT!

You are you. Be who you are supposed to be. If you need to figure out who that is, then do that. Do not do it by comparing or judging based on what you see around you.

Find your joy

This past week and a half, I have been kind of stressed out. More stressed out than normal. I did not have any small run manufacturing work to complete for my business, Stacey Sansom Designs. I canceled all sewing lessons last week due to Lance being sick with the not so fun stomach bug making its rounds through the local schools. I did have a new student sign up for sewing lessons this week. Yay! I had one student cancel due to a work commitment so I was not teaching a full schedule this week. I had no practical reason to be so incredibly stressed, but I was.

It could stem on the fact that I personally have been battling the same crappy respiratory and sinus bugs that have been making their rounds through the local population. Our crazy weather here in North Texas does not help–at all! I have done 4 rounds of antibiotics. I have done 3 rounds of steroids. I have tried just about everything under the sun and moon for that matter. I just cannot get the gunk in my respiratory tract, sinuses, etc to move or clear up. I finally gave in last week when Lance was sick and tried Elderberry. I have heard a lot of amazing stuff about it. When I was there picking up his prescriptions, I picked up a bottle. I can report that while I do not feel amazing 100% of the time, my asthma is still a flared up mess, and I am still sleeping more upright most nights, I do feel better than I have since Thanksgiving.

The realization came to me yesterday that I just have to do what I can to make sure that my coping skills are not outweighed by my need to cope. I had to manage my life in a way that I did not run my bucket empty. You have to replenish from time to time. Self-care is so important for your sanity.

I had a raging migraine yesterday. These have become fewer with my new magnesium and vitamin b-2 regimen. I am grateful for that. However, yesterday was one of those days where even the things that normally work would just not kick the migraine–at all. I pushed through. I taught two private sewing lessons in spite of the migraine. I am not my migraines. While I do sometimes let them run my life, I try to not let them define who I am. Yesterday, I was the amazing sewing teacher that everyone claims that I am. I do not even know who half these people are that recommend me to their friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. I hear over and over, “I hear that you are amazing” or, “Someone said that you were the best so I looked up your information.” For this, I am grateful.

Yesterday, I did not feel so amazing. I recognized that I was not as patient as normal. I realized that I am just not as patient in general when I have a migraine. Who is?!. What I heard from my students was not that I was less patient, however. I heard, “You are so patient.” That caught me off guard, to be honest with you. My other student is younger and her mom says that she can be really flighty from time to time, which I witnessed yesterday; however, I managed to pull through that class with no 14-year-olds being harmed.

I was exhausted though. My head hurt. Throbbed. My body was tired. I just wanted to lay down and go to sleep. I still had a crap ton of stuff to complete for my BYU-I Pathway Worldwide classes as I had not focused on them much yet this week. I just felt blah...

I did not want to go out and drive in the bright sunshine and have to deal with not so kind customers at the different stores. I sat down and took my list of “pantry staples” that I had prepared the week before and started to do some online grocery shopping. This is not my default. I am one that likes to touch my groceries. I am a visual person. I cannot always look at the measurements online and look at the picture and equate them together. I also like to be able to physically handle the product in the store simply so that I can read the labels. I have food allergies and sensitivities. I have family members with sensitivities and allergies. I try to keep my house, kitchen, and pantry as allergy and sensitivity-friendly as possible.

As I sat there, loading my carts via InstaCart and Walmart Grocery, I quickly created a dinner menu for the next 2 weeks. I sat there going through the list of items on the list and the items on the menu and I got the essentials. My intention was to do a “pantry staples” stock-up when I sat down. I went to make something for dinner the night before and went to grab the pickle relish from the fridge to find none. I went to grab one from the pantry and again found none. I was done! I had to restock my pantry. An empty pantry brings me stress. Big stress. I have not done as much “thorough” or consistent grocery shopping since Thanksgiving as I normally do. I had not even made a menu consistently since then. I have been so lazy. Justifiably lazy, but lazy still the same.

It dawned on me that simply sitting there getting the grocery shopping done in spite of how I felt was reducing my stress. I felt better. I felt more accomplished. I did not feel like my entire day was wasted. I even got dinner started. My Power Pressure Cooker XL is also a great stress reducer for me. I held out on the whole InstantPot craze but I caved at Christmas a year ago. I am so glad I caved.

The best part of this whole exercise? I had groceries for the week. I had some pantry staples that we had run out of or very low on. I had my menus made. I had a plan. I had all the groceries ordered for morning pickup or ordered and delivery within two hours. I was done with the task. I did not have to go be miserable in the store. I HAD LESS STRESS! I felt better–emotionally.

Confession #1:

I pay for three shave club memberships.

I have zero stress when it comes to the fact that I have 3 (soon to be 4) shaving males in my household. I do not have to watch for sales, clip coupons, or hop from store to store trying to find the right blades to go on each of their preferred razors. I do not worry if one of them says, “I just put my last blade on my razor.” I simply log-in and adjust their shipment as needed. I can speed it up or slow it down.

I love it! No more razor shopping stress!

Confession #2:

I pay for a household air conditioning filter club.

I have my air conditioning filters delivered directly to my front door on my desired schedule. I no longer have to watch for the sales. I no longer have to hop from store to store trying to find the right sizes–in stock. I no longer have to make myself crazy over the right filtration. I get the level of filter that I want. I get the filters on the schedule that I want them (every 2 months). I can even speed it up or slow it down.

I love it! No more filter shopping stress!

Confession #3:

I buy my fridge’s water filters in three packs. I wish there was a fridge water filter club.

I hate the price of them in any of our local stores. I hate that they are only good for X number of months and you end up paying that price multiple times per year. This is especially true if you drink a lot of water. I do. I get the filters that I want and I always have one on hand when the filter needs to be changed. No more waiting 3-6 months with a mostly spent filter trying to find one at a price that I am willing to pay–again.

I love it! Thank you, Amazon for being that amazing source. No more stress or kids whining that the water tastes funny.


In spite of these confessions, I have a hard time embracing online grocery shopping with either delivery or pick-up. I just do. I do not understand it.

Yesterday, however, I realized that it is not different. It is making my life easier. It is reducing my stress when I need it reduced. It is helping maintain a level of coping ability with migraines take over my life. It was a sanity saver yesterday.

Today, when I drove home and placed all the groceries on the counter so that they could be put away appropriately, I realized that I was smiling. I felt good about that “chore” being done. Yesterday, it was a chore. Today, it was a delight.

Find those joys

Going forward, I am going to try and embrace the bits of help that my local community offers me. This includes online grocery shopping! Is it worth the delivery fees?

For the razors and the filters, I feel that it is. It is not always cheaper. The razors and fridge filters have shown huge savings for our family. The AC filters save me in time. All of them reduce my stress. This brings me joy. I do not feel that any of them are luxurious lifestyle habits. This makes me happy.

I feel like I need to focus on how to bring myself joy and “savings” in the grocery department. This is hard for me. I was an avid couponer in recent years. I have strayed away from certain tendencies and habits over the years for time savings. The struggle is real. Today and going forward, however, I am going to focus on what I can do to save my sanity and my joy–focusing more on self-care.

To top it off, I had $25 to spare in my weekly grocery budget this week. I got what we needed. I did forget a couple of things (I did not realize we had run out of cheese of all things) and one item was out of stock. I still have funds to make that quick run to another store later to get those few items.

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