Good week to be a gin-drinker. Am I right or am I right? What the eff, universe?
For the record, when I talk about needing a drink, I’m kind of kidding. Don’t get me wrong—I like a good glass of wine or a well-crafted cocktail same as the next person, but when I’m stressed, it does absolutely nothing for me in terms of problem-solving. My real go-to’s are actually exercise and sleep (if I can get it). A phone call or a coffee with a friend helps a lot too, not to mention time-outs in the park to read a good book from the library on a beautiful afternoon or taking a notebook and sitting near the reflecting pool at Lincoln Center at dusk.
The impulse I wrestle with is the intense need to get to the bottom of a situation ASAP and be in intense communication with the person or persons it concerns. Sometimes that accomplishes something, sometimes not—I’ve had to learn how to ask myself when it’s a good idea to follow that impulse. Oh, the life of a Sagittarius…
Even if I didn’t know exactly why, I’d still be able to tell I was stressed, given my difficulty sleeping and my inability to take a freaking rest day lately. When I was younger, I didn’t really know how to deal with that, so I’d end up wearing myself the f*** out. Luckily, I’ve learned to recognize when I’m “in it,” and do things to balance it out. For example, when I woke up at 5 a.m. yesterday morning mentally eager to hit the gym, I acknowledged that my body was tired and did some gentle yoga while listening to music that made me feel ready to take on the day, wound rounds and all. I also take melatonin sometimes to help myself get into a better sleep cycle, Benadryl for the occasional sleep emergency. I breathe deeply, watch movies—years of trial and error and tips from trusted sources.
I think that as women, we’re conditioned to think first of food/things we consume when it comes to vices/coping mechanisms, but in truth, it is so much more complex than that. I think we do ourselves a disservice when we lament our chocolate cravings or the way we gravitate towards certain kinds of unhealthy food when we’re needing some comfort and leave the rest in the dark—what about the more insidious, emotionally destructive impulses? Like, um, texting toxic influences or beating ourselves up over things we wish we had or hadn’t said? Over-apologizing when we shouldn’t apologize at all?
I know that I work with food, but if there’s one thing I continue to see it’s that it is rarely about food—that’s just a socially acceptable way of talking about difficult things. It’s so much easier to be, like, “Omfg, I just ate [ ] !!!” than it is to be like, “So, I just did that thing I know I shouldn’t do but feel like I can’t help doing because…”
Anyway, on the positive end of the spectrum, I found a ring that had been missing for a year–it was in a plastic bag hanging from a hook in a closet where I’d been storing other plastic bags. I also enjoyed a lovely dinner with a girlfriend the other night. It doesn’t get much better than thinly-sliced steak with arugula and grilled tomatoes & zucchini. If nothing else, at least my iron stores are happy.
What are some of your “vices?” What are some of your go-to good habits for tough times?