People have many different ways of handling stress. Some talk it out, some write it out, some eat themselves out of house and home. (What does that mean exactly? What if your house and home are the same place?) When I’m stressed, I tend to exercise more. I can’t even type that with a straight face because I am completely kidding. I haven’t exercised on a regular basis since the early ’90s. But thanks to any of you who read that sentence with a straight face and actually believed me. It proves that you obviously don’t know me, but thanks for believing that I actually could work out without causing injury to myself or those around me.
No, I have my own methods of coping with craziness, and none of them require much coordination or athletic ability. Today I’m going to use one of my de-stressors to tell you about another one. I’m going to blog about cooking. First, I’ve found that writing in/on (not sure if you write in or on blogs) this blog has been a great outlet for me. Writing about assorted “whatevers” has made my life feel a little bit more normal than it actually is right now. And today, I’m using this outlet to write about my compulsion to cook or bake whenever things get stressful.
Once during a particularly stressful period, I attempted to cook through the COMPANY’S COMING: COOKIES cookbook. I was living at home at the time, and my dad finally asked me to please stop baking because he’d gained eight pounds. Luckily for me, I think my crisis ended at about that same time, so I was able to stop.
Now before you get excited and try to book me to cook for your family for the next few months, I need to explain. The cooking frenzy is usually short in duration. Kind of like Girl Scout cookies. You enjoy the time while it lasts, stock up if you can, but understand that this, too, shall pass.
This weekend, the frenzy hit. I pre-cooked chicken and beef, just like my friend Meredith suggested, I shredded cheese, I perused my cookbooks, and recipe cards, and friends’ blogs looking for good recipes. Then I made a list of ingredients and headed to the grocery store to participate in another one of my favorite stress relievers, retail therapy. Yes, you can do retail therapy at the grocery store. Well, I can, anyway. I truly love grocery stores. I don’t like shopping with time constraints and three children, but if I have a big block of time by myself, I really don’t mind the grocery store. I used to LOVE the Stop & Shop in Newport, RI. They played great 80s music (the real artists, not the Muzak) and they had a great international food section. I’d always bring home something we’d never had before from another country. We found a lot of fun foods that way.
So I spent this weekend making crescent roll chicken, white chocolate popcorn, and shamrock cookies with icing (more on those tomorrow!). I have the ingredients to make Meredith’s Rolo Pretzels (Welcome to the “Apparently I Stalk Meredith’s Blog” post!) tomorrow for small group tomorrow night. And I have to make more Shamrock cookies for the neighbors tomorrow. The only problem with all the cooking (besides having to clean the kitchen eleventy million times in one weekend) is all the eating that seems to always follow. I may have to learn to exercise to relieve stress after all. Or just buy bigger pants.
So what about you? What’s your go-to method for getting rid of stress?