Wednesday, December 03, 2008

They Call It Eustress

Holiday stress. One thing we have to get our heads around is that the word stress isn't necessarily a bad thing. There is a difference between distress and eustress*. The latter is a happy stress, like the arrival of a new baby or...the holidays. While eustress is positive, it is manifested much in the same way distress is. For me that's holding my head in my hands while rocking back and forth.

I've got many tentative dates flying around the ones in ink. I've got a big custom order on which I'm awaiting the go-ahead. I've got holiday entertaining to plan, school concerts to attend, shopping to do, gifts to wrap. I've got a show this week, a store to stock, a boutique to clear out. This weekend I have a nine-foot tree to put up and decorate, as well as get the entire house decorated for Christmas.

Of all those things, not one of them is bad, or makes me feel bad, but I tend to be a little tight in the shoulders. So I announce my feelings as eustress. If I seem a little agitated or like I'm in the midst of a brain schism, just know I'm trying to get it all organized in my tiny head, something I shouldn't really be doing while you're talking to me, but it's going to happen. Things are good. Things are hectic. But you know, I love this time of year. And you know what else? Everything always works itself out.

*I looked up the word "eustress" in the dictionary and it wasn't there. It's a word I learned in a mandatory training session through my employer, the great State of Minnesota. Distress and eustress is similar to the contrasting dysphoria and euphoria. So, if it's a make-up word, I apologize. It's a wonder anything presented in one of those mandatory training sessions stuck with me after all this time anyway.

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