Monday, April 6, 2009

I feel better already

Can I just say how thankful I am to Good Housekeeping magazine for its sage advice? I mean, seriously, here I've been feeling all stressed out and anxious about life, and apparently the people at Good Housekeeping have discovered the 52 secrets, yes secrets, to rid my life of stress.

In the off chance that some of you also experience stress, I felt obligated to share some of these groundbreaking, scientifically-proven tips with you. Because I'm great like that. And because they couldn't put it in a magazine if it wasn't scientifically proven right?

1. Take a Mental Vacation:
When you need to deflate stress, treat yourself to a vacation that’s all in your head: Close your eyes and imagine a relaxing place, such as a beach, a mountain view, or a cozy room. Notice everything you can about your spot. What can you see and smell? The more vivid a picture you paint in your mind, the more your body will respond to the invitation to relax.

Yeah, pretending I'm in Tahiti drinking something with a little umbrella in it when I'm really cleaning pee off the bathroom floor for the third time today is going to help me a lot. I may be able to pretend I'm seeing a sunset and sand, but all the imagination in the world is not going to make this pee smell like coconut. Maybe if I put on some sunscreen first. Then David will be all, "Why do you have to wear sunscreen to clean the bathroom?" and I'll be all, "Because I'm pretending I'm at the beach," and he'll be all, "Well, why don't you wear a bikini, too, then?" and I'll get all mad at his supposedly helpful, but really just self-serving, suggestion.

Actually, I'm starting to see how this could seem like one of our real vacations after all.

2. Bring Out Your Inner Radiance:

According to Ayurveda, the ancient tradition of medicine from India, a facial massage promotes health and brings out your inner radiance. Using your middle fingers, rub these points on your face in a clockwise direction for 20-30 seconds each: middle of the chin, corners of the mouth, middle of the area between your upper lip and nose, outer edges of both nostrils, center of the cheek bones, temples, and the space between the eyebrows.

Okay, aside from the obvious question (which, in case you were wondering, is "If India has such a firm monopoly on medicine, whey do all of their doctors work here?"), I have a few others:

What would happen if I rubbed in a counter-clockwise direction? Would it bring out my inner dullness?

Do I have to do this in private? Because, really, my stress happens more when I'm surrounded by people, and this could really freak people out. On the other hand, maybe if I did it while I was at a red light (which I find highly stressful) and acted like I didn't know other people were watching me, it would be kind of funny. I would have to find a really long red light, though, because by the time I rub all of those places for 30 seconds, that would take me like 4 minutes, and I don't think most traffic lights stay red that long. Maybe I could do it while I'm in line at Walmart. That's a stressful place.

3. Swallow Truth Serum:

Declare your independence from hiding your true feelings by choosing one day this week to pretend that you've swallowed truth serum. The goal isn't to drop bombshells ("I've always hated you in black"), but to be honest in loving way. For example, "I'd love to meet for dinner this weekend, but I am tired and need to rest. Let's pick another time." It's incredibly liberating and is a quick way to reduce your stress levels.

Now this one I could really do something with. Here's how I'm pretty sure it would go:

Josh: Mommy, can you play Monopoly, Jr with me?
Me: Yes, but I don't want to.
Josh: Why not?
Me: Because you stink at it, and you're a bad loser, and I don't want to listen to you whine.
Josh: [crying now]
Me: Stop crying, I didn't mean to hurt your feelings.
David: What did you say?
Me: That he stinks at Monopoly
David: Why'd you say that?
Me: Because I'm pretending I drank truth serum.
David: Huh?
Me: You know you sound like a neanderthal when you say, "huh?"
David: What's the matter with you?
Me: Nothing. I think I need to go rub some sunscreen on and pretend I'm at the beach again.

4. Do Less:
World-class travelers offer great advice: once you've finished packing, remove three things. You likely won't miss them, your remaining clothes will be less wrinkled, and you'll have room for souvenirs. This week, look at your to-do list cross three things off. Whether you move them to next week or decide they're not necessary, this exercise helps you keep enough time to accommodate the unexpected or spend an afternoon doing whatever you darn well please.

Seriously, people get paid to write articles like this? First off, I'm taking life advice from people known as "world-class travelers?" Second, who packs and then removes three things? That makes no sense.

However, the idea of crossing things of my to-do list without actually doing them definitely appeals to me. If I had a to-do list, I would totally do this. In fact, right now I'm going to make one just so I can scratch things off:

1. Be nice
2. Cook dinner
3. Spend more time playing with kids

Wow, I feel better already.

Just so you know, these were only four of fifty-two such helpful secrets. If you read the whole article, your life will no doubt be dramatically tranformed. And, if it's not, just pretend it is, because this whole thing seems to be pretty much imaginary anyway.


Christi said...

One that they should have mentioned it reading your comments on their article. It made me laugh several times which is relaxing.

And safer around little kids. They are fast, and seem to move even faster when it comes to mischief.

Room116 said...

Okay, so that is one of the funniest things I think I've ever read! My husband actually asked me why I was laughing. I have to say, you need to write every day just so I can laugh! No exceptions :)

midamericanmom said...

Thank you, Rebecca, that was the funniest thing I have read in I don't know how long. I read it to Harold and we laughed out loud. I had tears in my eyes and had to pause at one point because I was laughing so hard. I am going to have to make a point of visiting your blog more often.
Heather Dyche

Char said...

Love it! Thanks for making me smile even before the first coffee of the day. And thanks for making me feel normal- if I could cross three things off my list without doing them- I would SO use yours!! Lol!