Monday, December 8, 2008

Baby, you're stressing me out OR Peace of mind in three easy steps and 3,000 easy calories

It's finals week at New Mexico State University and you know what that means: STRESS! And lots of it. To survive, I’ve come up with some time-tested, foolproof methods for dealing with stress.

Method #1: Yell at family or roommates

Stressful situations make the average person want to yell. Family and roommates are the perfect people to yell at. You can satisfy your need to yell, and since they are related to you by blood, marriage, adoption or lease, these people are stuck with you, barring some kind of legal action. Friends can tell you to get lost, but family and roommates are always there, at least until the lease runs out. And they will probably all return the favor someday whenever they get stressed.

In stressful situations it is never a good idea to yell at the people who are stressing you out (teachers, employers, police officers, politicians) because that will only get you flunked or fired and it generally doesn’t accomplish anything. So just stick with family and roommates and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

Method #2: Yoga

Everyone knows that yoga brings your mind, body and, uh, chi into harmony with all the wisdom and nature spirits and so forth. It also refocuses all of your energies and stuff so that you will have nothing but good vibes and your feng shui will be top notch. Something like that, anyway. It will fix your aura right up. Plus, you get to sit on a rubber mat, play with foam blocks, do sweet poses like "downward dog" and use cool words like “namaste.” Just say it out loud: “namaste.” Ahhhhhhhh. I feel calmer already! Maybe I won’t have to yell at my roommates after all. Bless you, Confucius. Or Ghandi. Or whoever invented yoga.

Honestly, this one is kind of tricky for straight dudes to get away with because people kind of look at dudes who do yoga kind of funny, you know? I know I shouldn’t care, but can’t bring myself to do yoga. But I’m sure it’s great. So let me know how it goes.

Method #3: Emotional eating

Nothing cures stress like chocolate chip cookies. Or a bag of almond M&M’s. Or an enormous blue Symphony bar. Or a slice of peanut butter cup pie. Or all of the above. In a bowl covered in chocolate syrup. Topped with jelly beans. And Swedish Fish.

But the magic bullet for stress is Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream. “Phish Food” deserves a Nobel Prize for chemistry because of the mind-blowing chemical achievement of fitting a whole day’s worth of calories into one tiny carton. In my mind it deserves two more Nobel Prizes: one for peace and one for medicine. Eat a pint and you won’t be stressed any more, I guarantee it. It will take years off your life, but you will be so relaxed.

Ben and Jerry hold the universe together as far as I’m concerned. My whole life could be coming apart at the seams (actually, it seems to do just that this same time every semester) and Ben and Jerry, being the magical, dairy farming hippies they are, can hold it all together.

The sad part is, I’ve been trying to quit sugary stuff so I am struggling. First, there are the withdrawals: shakes, headaches, flashbacks. And now I have to figure out a different way to deal with stress.

Coming home after a bad day and eating an apple is just not the same.

PS - If you have other cool/effective methods of dealing with stress, please post them in a comment for the benefit of us all.