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Weekly Update #24- Handling Stress


I hope everyone has had a great week.

I want to talk to today about how I and everyone else handles stressful situations- both financially and non-financially. This week has, for whatever reason, been particularly stressful for me with regards to work related items. Nothing too bad- just timing, in the sense that a lot hit me at once this week. Between starting projects up and closing old ones out, it created a perfect storm of having to do it all at once.

Adding to this, late last week I got a bill from my dentist. It appears that they under quoted me when I went it and paid after the appointment, and now they want an extra $100. It’s minuscule, but with being crazy busy at work, it was enough to really stress me out.

In situations like this (and the roof leak, for instance), I would have normally turned to over analyzing the situation and making a bigger deal out of it than it was. If you recall concerning the roof leak, in 2 minutes, my mind wandered from a minor repair, to having to repair the entire structure. Not only was it counterproductive, but on a health note, I’m sure it made my blood pressure spike and my heart rate to go crazy (update, I fixed the leak with a tube a roof sealant and a caulking gun. Pretty easy, and all for under $10.)

Since the time of the roof leak, I’ve consciously tried to minimize how the stressful situation gets into my head and even use the stress to be productive. During the summer, I’ve used stress as my motivation to get into the gym and the weight room everyday. But this past week, I found myself mostly playing video games during the time I was home as my way of “unwinding”. And when I wasn’t playing video games, I was playing guitar. One of these habits is probably healthier than other, but regardless, I couldn’t get myself to do anything other than these hobbies. Now that’s it’s the weekend, I can really loosen upĀ and get to the things I’ve put off this week- blog posts and chores.

How do you handle stress? Do you have a go to hobby or task that eases your mind?

For those interested in my debt totals, here they are as of Tuesday 9/15:

Loan NameInterest RateOriginal Balance- May '09Current BalanceTotal Paid OffPaid Since Last Week
Sallie Mae 015.25$27,837.24$23,719.92$4,117.32$0.00
Sallie Mae 024.75$22,197.02$18,604.04$3,592.98$0.00
Sallie Mae 037.75$20,692.10$0.00
Sallie Mae 045.75$10,350.18$2,895.78$7,454.40$446.32
Sallie Mae 055.25$6,096.03$0.00$6,096.03$0.00
Sallie Mae 06 and 074.75$6,415.09$0.00$6,415.09$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 015.25$5,000.00$0.00$5,000.00$0.00
Sallie Mae- DOE 025.25$3,000.00$0.00$3,000.00$0.00

I’ll see you back here on Tuesday!

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  • Reply Sue |

    I tend to let little things bother me much more than I should – I have OCD and I think that makes me blow things way out of proportion….for example a cabinet left open would make me not sleep at night. I guess my best way of dealing with stress is to cross-stitch or take a bath with whatever book I am reading at the time and just relax.

    • Reply Matt |

      Yes, I’m a bath taker too! Especially when I have a particularly rough day. I’m a little embarrassed to say, but we get US Weekly in the mail every week. When I’ve had a bad day (usually once in awhile, not a stretch like this week) I can’t wait for it to come in so I can soak and read it, lol.

  • Reply Jackie |

    I love too read to get away from it all. I just had a 2 week period of stress on my newer job (I’ve been there 1.5 months). All of us new people inherited a mess. We had a deadline of Sept 15th to get all the work caught up. We were over a month behind. During that 2 weeks I worked 140 hours. Talk about exhaustion! If we didn’t do that we would have mostly likely not have jobs anymore do to the contract being cancelled. After that I literally took 2 days of just reading and sitting on the couch and just RELAXED. It felt amazing. I am happy to say we are caught up and got it done a week early.

    • Reply Matt |

      Arriving at a new job can be SUPER stressful, especially when you’re thrown right into the fire. I’m glad you’ve got it all figured out and was able to take some time for yourself.

  • Reply Brooke |

    Whoo hoo! You are so close to getting rid of Loan #4. Will it be gone in Oct? Nov? Super exciting.

  • Reply Kate |

    Do you ever just talk to your girlfriend (or some other person) about your stress? I know it might sound obvious, but sometimes when my husband and I are “spiraling” as we call it, we’ll say to each other “I’m imagining that …” whatever our irrational fear is and then the other one of us can point out that it’s not likely to be as bad as we’ve imagined – whereas if I just hold it all in, there’s nothing to stop me from imagining the worst.

    • Reply Matt |

      Yes, thankfully I do. I’m super lucky in the fact that GF is half way through her program to be a licensed therapist. We actually talk quite frequently on a day to day basis. She really, really, helps me through a lot of my issues. What you described sounds like a really good way to get your feelings out on the table and we do very similar things to stay open with each other.

So, what do you think ?