GR US

Dealing with Stress

Αssociated Press

A woman wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of coronavirus, walks in front of a graffiti by artists Open/Esem in Athens, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

In this awful Coronavirus era we all have to deal with stress. And, there’s plenty of it out there. There’s no way to avoid it excepting if you’re a zombie. Sitting home day after day wondering when our reprieve will come through isn’t productive. My telephone bill is equal to the national debt. I’ve called friends and cousins, some in Greece, whose names and existence I‘d almost forgotten.

Yet, they were so glad to hear from me, saying, “Gee, Kiki! I thought you were dead!” So, I am writing this because I am worried about your stress level. Let me suggest some ways to help you cope. First, turn off the news. Watch the chefs on the Create channel who show you how to make stuff you’d never have thought to eat before now.

Get into your car, take a road you wouldn’t usually travel on and get lost.  But, just a precaution; I did that once and had to call my daughter to find out how to get home. Thank God the natives were friendly. Visualize yourself winning the lottery – think about how you’d spend your winnings. It’s fun spending the money knowing you aren’t going to get into any trouble with the IRS. Stand up and stretch. It’ll feel good. Do meditation if you can find a corner of your house that’s without telephones, unpaid bills, work, or a family member who’ll want coffee or a snack. Listen to a symphony.

I like Chopin, Rossini and the guy who wrote Ta, ta, ta, tatata dum dum. Sing aloud. But, make sure the windows are shut. You don’t want anyone calling 911. Bake homemade cookies and eat them fresh out of the oven. That way no one will get to them first. Go outside and gaze at the stars. But, make sure no neighbor observes you and wonder what you’re doing out there, then, noticing the next day that the neighbors begin avoiding you. Buy yourself a present. It doesn’t have to be expensive; something like a pair of designer sneakers, maybe. One thing I advise you to do in any case; whether now in this ugly time or in another crisis; get rid of toxic people. 

Nothing is more damaging than having someone telling you, ‘Gee, Kiki! You don’t look too well. Have you seen a doctor, lately?”, Or, “I know a great plastic surgeon.” Walk in the rain. But, don’t go too far just in case you end up in a flood zone. Make a paper airplane and fly it. Do something you had been meaning to do for a long time like mend your husband’s socks. You know he’s been nagging you to do that job years before COVID-19. Take a nap on the sofa. If your husband’s on it tell him you feel faint. Read your horoscope; the one written for you when you were born.

That way, you’ll learn why you didn’t become the famous artist – even if you never wanted to be one. Just think! You were right all along. Say, ‘no’, more often. You’ll be so pleased you did so when that three tiered coconut cake is offered you. Or, when someone suggests parachute jumping. Rent a classic film. I can’t tell you how many times I’d seen, The Wizard of Oz. I could be a stand-in for one role. Maybe one of the munchkins. Give a rival a compliment.

Tell that neighbor that she’s got a real nice dog and that you’re surprised he hasn’t been entered in a contest. Maybe, she’ll pick up his ‘doings’ in your yard after that. Be yourself! Never mind that there are opinions out there that believe you should be deported. That’s just one crowd’s opinion. Write a jingle or limerick. It’s fun! Start out with – “There once was a woman named – “ (use your imagination). Read junk mail. I found a catalog offering redecorating my kitchen for a five hundred dollars discount if I call before the end of the month.

Of course, when I showed it to husband, he analyzed it and put the ‘kibosh’ on it, saying, five hundred dollars isn’t much of a discount when the whole deal costs eight thousand dollars. But, just think! It was interesting watching them measure, make a map, discuss it and then, explaining it like we were members of World Climate Change Committee. Anyway, dear inmates of the Solitary Confinement League just hang in there and, maybe, everything will change for the better and then we won’t have to deal with this stress anymore. We’d only have to worry about the next tornado, Flu epidemic, fire, flood, nuclear war.