The main headline on Drudge this morning–well, that one above the headline–is that eight out of every ten Americans feel stress sometimes or frequently during the day. Gallup did the poll, and you can go and read all about it. Turns out having kids makes you more stressed, and not having any money makes you more stressed.
Here is my shocked face.
Who could have ever believed such a thing.
But seriously, I’m here for you man. I’ve been quietly working on my lifestyle brand–Have A Perfect Life of Self Care–and so here are some ways you can destress Today. You don’t even have to wait till tomorrow! You can Start Immediately! [You’re welcome.]
One–Turn that frown upside down
Look, I know you feel like crying because you’re not done shopping and you either have to have fifty people over for Christmas dinner Or you have to travel and you haven’t had time to bathe in like four days, but research shows that if you smile more you’ll be happier (look, you don’t have time for a link, just trust me about this important “research”). And it’s no good explaining to me that your whole psyche is so brittle that if you try to smile your face will literally crack open and all your nerves and brains will fall out. This is Science. If you want to be happy you have start out by first Pretending that you’re happy, and not stressed. The holidays are there for you to enjoy. WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU. Stop frowning and just enjoy them. And stop crying. Just stop it.
Two–Spend more time on Facebook
Or Pinterest. And even Twitter. The main thing, though, whatever your preferred social media space, is to closely examine other people’s happiness so that you can see how far you have to go. That’s Part A. Seeing other people cool, collected, and enjoying themselves is bound to make you feel that way too. Part B is that you grit your teeth and stay abreast of all the news during the holiday festivities. For the love of all that is pretty and expensive, don’t for a minute think that you can stay away from politics and regular updates about international terrorism, poverty, injustice, upticks in crime, and the general horror of all life everywhere. Whatever you do, Don’t Unplug.
Three–By sheer force of will, meet everyone’s expectations
Do not, I repeat, do not lower your standards or let yourself and others off the hook during this sparkly joy-filled time. Those presents better look gorgeous, and be beautifully arranged. And those children had better be clean and have their Christmas clothes ironed (this is the most important one–ironing the clothes). And garland. You Don’t Have Enough Garland. What! You don’t have any garland!? What’s wrong with you!? And you really need to spend some time carefully planning your sit down elegant dinner for a hundred people. And I hope you’re not about to explain to me that you invited friends and family to dinner, against the express wishes of Jesus who commanded you, a long time ago, to invite people you don’t know and who can never repay you. And no, your children don’t count. True, they can never properly pay you back for the hours of disappointment and anxiety, but you can make them try.
For me, I’m not good about flossing my teeth more than three times a week, so I’m going to stake my all on being able to Floss Every Day starting Now. And I’m going to restart my workout routine that I let fall. And I’m going to begin a daily fasting meditation for all the children of the world. And some other things. Starting something new is a great way to experience less stress.
Just hit the ground running every morning without lying in bed for a few minutes of quiet desperation with the Creator, Savior, and Redeemer of the world. He knows everything anyway so you don’t really need to spend even one moment telling him anything. Don’t, whatever you do, ask God for help. God, like you, is repulsed by your own weakness and is testing you to see if you’re good enough for him to pay attention to. In other words, don’t make spiritual eye contact with Jesus right now, just readjust your smile (see number one) and remind yourself that if you fail in even one point of the law you’re guilty of breaking all of it.
Six–Don’t ask for help from anyone else
This one is obvious. If you can’t pull of a beautiful and perfect Christmas celebration that amazes the whole internet, you don’t deserve to be happy and unstressed. Your true worth is determined by how well you do everything By Yourself.
Seven–Lose some weight
You’ll be happier if you’re healthier. And everyone will love you more, including Jesus. Spend some time trolling goop looking for weight loss ideas and fun holiday decorations and outfits.
Eight–Don’t go to church
You don’t have time and it’s not that important anyway. What are you going to do? Just sit there quietly in a pew for an hour, not running your feet off, being still? What a useless idea. You don’t need to rest ever, but especially not in church where someone else nstead of you (Jesus) is feeding everyone for once.
Nine–Don’t sit down for any reason
If you stop moving, everything, including the universe, will crash to the ground and you’ll have to stand up and put it all back together in the morning. If you never stop moving, it will never have time to fall apart.
Ten–Keep your fists clenched
It’ll be easier to punch someone in the face that way, sometime on Christmas afternoon, when it’s all over, and all the presents have been strewn all over the house so that you can more perfectly contemplate picking it all up and trying to deep clean and reorganize for the New Year, because why would you want start 2018 in chaos? That’s crazy. You’ll want to start the new year all calm and unstressed in a clean house without too much stuff. Which, if you punch someone, you’ll probably be guaranteed.
–Just kidding. Seriously, do the opposite for less stress and a happy Christmas.–