The stress, it’s real.

You know what?  I’m stressed.

There, I admitted it.  That’s the first step?

I’ve dealt with stress in the past; don’t we all?  Generally, I’m a good stress handle-er.  At my core, I’m an optimistic person, and for the most part, stress usually doesn’t get the best of me.  Sure, there are days when I’ve got more on my plate than others and I feel a bit overwhelmed, but I typically do a pretty good job of keeping my shit together.

And no, I’m not totally and completely wigging out over here, but my metaphoric plate is heaping over right about now.  And guess what? It’s not filled with just clean, healthy stuff either.

Red wine.  Red wine has been a good comfort lately.  Not to escape the stress exactly, but a nice glass after a tough day, sitting on the couch in my favorite jammies and warm socks, drinking a glass of Pinot, well, things feel a little bit better right then.

Some yummy recipes that I have been trying out lately have been keeping my plate full too, but that’s not really what I’m getting at. The stress that I have that’s weighing my plate down is manifesting in a few different ways lately, and some of them are new to me.

Emotionally- I’m having trouble quieting my mind.  Usually I’m a pretty outgoing person who loves to spend time with others and laugh and socialize, but I’ve been feeling the need to retreat a little bit.  I’m definitely more irritable and edgy, and my husband? Let’s just say the combo of us has been a bit … tumultuous this past week.

Physically- Hello headaches!  And goodbye a restful night’s sleep.  With my mind going a million miles a minute, resting and relaxing has been tough, and sleep has been hard to come by.

Mentally- Worrying, I’m doing my fair share of it.  Though I’m able to keep a good perspective and my optimism usually wins out, I’m human and I’m still nervous by nature, and a lot of it is about things I have no control over.  The worst. 

So where’s all this stemming from?  My husband and I are smack down in the middle of buying our first home together, and damn if that’s not a good way to test a relationship.

Truth be told, we’re doing pretty okay.  Of course this whole process is just inherently stressful based on what it is- finally picking a place to make your own, hoping beyond hope that you’re making the right decision.  Throwing all of your money towards that decision and hoping that the sellers will pick us, choose us, love us (cue Merideth Grey’s famous plea to Derek).

It’s a lot of stress over here, and I’m trying to find balance.

Trying to continue to eat healthy.  Exercising often.  I took a wonderful ten mile run yesterday and so enjoyed every bit of the brisk autumn New England weather we’re having.  Talking with family and friends- our parents and close friends who have been through this process have been awesome and so valuable to us these past few weeks.  Having fun.  My husband and I are still trying to make time for the things we enjoy.  Watching a comedy special on Netflix.  Grabbing a couple beers or dressing up as Forrest Gump and Jenny for Halloween.  Cooking together.  Being silly.

Because the thing is?  Life goes on.  Stress happens.  It’s real, and it’s not awesome, but it’s life.  And we can either find ways to cope with it the best we can, asking for help when we need it, or what?  The opposite?  Let the stress totally consume us and tear us down?

It’s all about the balance- finding a way to balance a full plate without toppling it over and making a total mess of everything.  It’s not easy, but it’s life.  And we’ll get through it.

How do you handle a stressful time?  Best go-to stress reliever?

Some helpful resources for managing stress: