When Garbage Cans Get Dirty

I like to think of myself as clean, but not necessarily a clean freak. While I don’t like clutter, I also don’t spend hours on my hands and knees scrubbing my floors. But, once in a while I realize that things you somehow don’t expect to get dirty, get dirty. Like, the outside of garbage cans.  So, what to do when the unexpected happens?


I have been reading up on how people can handle the unexpected, and how they do handle it. We experience changes all the time, but I think we can all agree that it is the major changes that tend to really upset us; losing a close friend of family member to a major illness, being laid off, having your house damaged by a major force of nature. Responses to these major life changes can range from remaining calm to full-on panic.

The Mayo Clinic does a good job of explaining in simple language the impact that stress can have. Minor and major life changes add to our stress levels. Some of the techniques I have been working on include the following:

  • Deep breaths
  • Counting to 10 before responding (trying not to overreact)
  • Taking a walk at various parts of the day (trying not to get stuck at my desk)
  • Changing my diet (this is a pretty decent overview of why)

Things that I want to investigate are:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • More sleep (ok, maybe this is just because I like to sleep)

While none of this is news, I think it’s important to determine what the triggers are as well. Avoiding stress is part of managing it. It’s like de-friending people on Faceboook. If something is directly causing a problem with your stress levels, remove it from your life. Stop being your own worse enemy. You are in the driver seat. To borrow a phrase from a movie (who’s name I cannot remember), “Be the verb!”

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