Stress Anyone?

It’s not a surprise when we hear that we have high levels of stress in our modern world. It’s kind of a ‘No Kidding!’ moment. So finding good ways to de-stress is important. My favorite stress-reducer? Laughing at the absurd things we sometimes do as stressed human beings.

I was reminded of this recently. It started like this. After a long day, I was falling asleep watching television. So I paused the program, turned off the TV, and went to bed. Unfortunately, I forgot to turn off my sound bar, which plays the sound from the television programs even if the TV is off.

At 12:38 am I was shocked awake by an “EMERGENCY ALERT” klaxon. I was in Full Adrenaline Alert. Jumped out of bed. We are in “high fire danger” weather after all.

But I couldn’t find the source. I even called the police department to make sure there wasn’t an evacuation alert I had missed. No. Thank Goodness!

Finally I realized it had been a ‘test of the emergency broadcast alert system’ on my television, which had played through my sound bar. Whew! Double Whew! Crisis averted.

Any guesses about how long it took me to fall back asleep? Yep. You know it.

So, of course, this morning, I was tired. It registered how very tired I was when I nearly tossed my nightclothes into the trashcan instead of the laundry hamper. Oh, good grief!

At that point, I started laughing at myself. Totally absurd. (Bad joke warning: Of course, putting your dirty clothes in the trash would dramatically cut down on the amount of laundry you need to do.)

Why was I able to laugh about nearly throwing away my nightclothes? Because a few years ago, my sister and I decided to make ourselves a ‘life tips’ list of the silly things we have done or nearly done when stressed. Now, rather than getting upset, we laugh about it. My latest of course is ‘Dirty clothes belong in the laundry hamper, not the trash.’

Hoping this might bring you a smile, I’m sharing a few ‘life tips’ you may have experienced, too:

  • Your morning coffee will taste much better if you remember to put the coffee beans in the coffee maker before turning it on. (I think that’s why coffee makers now can be set up the night before. There is a real flaw in the logic of a tired person who hasn’t had any coffee trying to make coffee early in the am.)
  • Water will boil faster if you turn on the burner.
  • If you’ve already put your keys in your pants pocket, you will not be able to find them in your purse or on your dresser.
  • You cell phone won’t be in your pocket, or anywhere else in your house, if you are currently talking on your cell phone. (Discovered this one several times!)
  • Your glasses can’t be found on your desk, table or countertop if you are wearing them on the top of your head.
  • Milk goes in the fridge, not back in the cabinet with the cereal. (Happily I caught myself as I was doing that one.)
  • If you step in the bathtub to quickly wash something off your feet, be sure your shower lever is turned to ‘off’ to avoid unintentionally baptizing yourself.
  • Ladies, your green eyeliner pencil will not create the effect you want if you accidentally use it as your eyebrow pencil. (Unless, of course, you wanted green eyebrows)
  • If you have more than one tube of products in your bathroom, be sure that tube you squirted really was the toothpaste tube before putting your toothbrush in your mouth.

You get the idea. So when the inevitable happens, and we do something that demonstrates that yes, we are stressing, feel free to join me in laughing at ourselves being human. Create your own list to share. It’s a delightful way to de-stress. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Terry Turner

As a military brat, Terry’s early life was spent enjoying other countries and cultures. Add to this her forty years of teaching Communication Skills in both aerospace and education, and she has many ideas to share and stories to tell. Now happily retired and living in Northern California, she spends her time writing and enjoying life.

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