Stress Talk #1: I Don’t Know How to Relax

After speaking to my dietitian/therapist this week, I decided to start this weekly series as a way to de-stress from everyday life, to scream at my inner voice and so forth. It might be very random things and some might be humorous. I’ll try to keep it light.

I don’t know how to relax. Is that a weird thing to say? I don’t know how to relax. There, I said it. Can you blame me though even though I’m sitting here now writing this, feeling stressed to the brink?

From what?

From work, family, life.

Do you sometimes feel like you’re being rushed from place to place and never have a moment to just stop and look around you or contemplate on the present? That’s been me for the past twenty-some odd years. My mom wants things done right away. When I was living with my step-dad, he, too, wanted things done in the moment. When I was living with my relatives in China, everything must be done in an instant. It was what was expected of me but it’s never reciprocated.

You know what’s strange?

I never really noticed it until the recent years when I began working multiple jobs while going to school and then I’d come home and my mom would want me to do this and that. Maybe my internal stress meter has been slowly peaking and I didn’t realize it. Or maybe my age is catching up. I’m not as young as when I started this blog 7 years ago. I sometimes would look myself in the mirror and would find crow’s feet at the corners of my eyes.

I recently watched a documentary about stress. In it, eating was mentioned. It turned out sugar is less sweet when a person is stressed and foods are more delicious when one is stressed. Really? I decided to do a test and it’s absolutely right.

Maybe it’s why I’ve been overeating again, even being on an anti-diet. I think I am overeating because I’m stressed. “I feel like pulling my hair out,” I told my dietitian and honestly, I feel like I’m about to break down into one big sob.

I’m overeating because I’m constantly working excess of the 40-hour standard work week. My mom was saying, “the more overtime you work, the better.” I overeat because of the constant disruption. Everybody wants something from me and it seems like that’s the only time I worth something to them. Other times, I’m just a “silly” girl.

My 24-year-old cousin needs help registering from college classes, guess who he turn to? My uncle needs to shop for a car, guess who’s going to do that for him? The family needs health insurance, who will help them buy insurance?


23 thoughts on “Stress Talk #1: I Don’t Know How to Relax

  1. You are not alone in this struggle and as you are stressed out doing some favors for others, also do yourself a favor. Overeating is not always a treat. Find a healthier outlet. Jounaling is one 🧡💙

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yinglan, it can be very rewarding to do things for others. Putting things off can also add stress. Try a prayer each day that offers up a promise to the Lord to do something for Him each day. And realize that as you serve others, God gives back to you. You are very important to me, Yinglan. I care that you have peace and feeling of accomplishment. I see that you read my blog today, “Luxurious Nothingness.” I don’t know if you received any “carry away” from ii; thank you for leaving me a like. You did something for me today that you probably did not even know was that important. It was.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Oneta, I absolutely agree, it can be very rewarding to do things for others but I think that’s when the person you’re helping doesn’t criticize you for helping them. I feel rewarding for helping someone when that someone is showing positive appreciation. It’s the negativity that makes me not want to help and it makes me stress because no matter how I try to help, all I get is negativity in return. I hope you understand where I’m going with this.

      And I do pray, give thanks, and ask for guidance and sometimes, that guidance appears in the most unexpected ways.

      I enjoyed your story, “Luxurious Nothingness” and loved the message of the story. Nice work.

      Thank you for your comment and I am trying to slowly make my way back to writing and blogging.


      1. Thanks for your reply, Yinglan. I don’t want to come off as not recognizing your reason for stress. I agree that you have a heavy role to play in your family. I just wanted to point out your importance to them, even when they do not seem to appreciate it. I’ll be glad if you can get more self fulfillment be getting back into journaling or blogging. Thanks much for dropping in on me. I care.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I certainly can relate to this story, but if it’s not going to go away then you need to practice a little self-care. Have you tried doing yoga for stress? There’s a few on Youtube (one with Adrianne is great because she practices mudra breathing at the start). You can get yourself a reboot in 25-30 minutes. It’s not enough to change your whole life, but it will help with the day-to-day. Good luck, Yinglan!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I tried yoga before – went to a few yoga classes – didn’t really enjoy it and didn’t really feel relaxed afterward. I’m trying journaling and listening to relaxing music for an hour before bed every night. The journaling is helping a little but I will need time to fully know the effectiveness.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel this 100%. If I may offer advice, as I am certainly quite a bit older than you…I have lived this way most of my life. Everyone and everything needed me 110%. I don’t feel stress. I never feel anxious. I got this. And then my body said “oops, no you don’t”. While you are still young, please practice self-care. Find something that works (journaling is good) and carve out time for you. I struggled against things like deep breathing and such (who has time, right?), and if you aren’t feeling stressed, how do you know when to take a break? But my doctor said it should be like medicine…every day. It has helped. Just take care of yourself…you are all YOU have. And hang in there!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I used to deal only with my mom but when her family came, I went from dealing with 1 person to dealing with 8 people and I think that’s when my body and brain went into shock. I think I might just have to go back to the old ways – writing and journaling about my stress. I don’t know why I stopped. I totally agree, finding ways to de-stress everyday should be like medicine because otherwise and I have been there already multiple times this year, the body will find a way to rebel until I give it what it wants.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I hope the journaling is a good thing for you. You probably do have too many things on your plate. Only you can decide if there is something you can delay or cancel. You would think with all the Covid restrictions you would have extra time. I don’t find that to be the case, however.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not when you’re working 10, 11 hours a day you’re not. I wish there was extra time but my work has been busier this year especially with all changes dealing with Covid but I think with the holidays on the horizon, my work load might lighten up a little bit.


  6. I like to try and help my clients with issues like this, it’s always been down to…just…stopping! I’ve succeeded in making one busy stressed out lady just take 10 minutes a day to meditate. It took a while, but she now is a totally different athlete because of it.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Just want you to know I’m thinking of you this Sunday night. Near time for me to go to sleep – at least go get started to go to bed. I always do a couple Sudoku and crosswords puzzles before sleeping. They relax me. Hope you get good sleep tonight. God will take care!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, no, I don’t go there in Sudoku. Just the plain ones that can be figured out by logic or at least in the head. I don’t like trails begun with a guess. But I do them in pen so I am pretty confident. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s the reason I quit doing the very hard. You know when their seems to be two tracks that work, so you pencil in possibilities. I stop there. I’ll join you in saying, “Thanks, Lord, for Sudoku. It keeps my brain trained.” Happy time of giving thanks to you, my young friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hear that all the time from people who want to learn to Meditate!
    There can be a resistance to relaxation, often a sense of responsibility or guilt or even anxiety about interrupts that might happen.
    It helped me to start trying for 5min or more a day and slowly building upon the habit and also used guided tracks to get into relaxed states until it became like muscle memory and I could more easily get relaxed on my own!
    Or just starting with other activities that are relaxing like doodling, create writing or journaling, painting, being in nature, photography!
    If you want to get better just continue beong open to it and trying new ways to get there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have tried to meditate. I did a few sessions and found I would become more anxious the longer I sit and do nothing. I am someone who has to be doing something at all times. I wasn’t always like that until I went through a period of unemployment. That period of my life changed me forever. I have been doing a bit of journaling and story-writing. I think that’s help a little bit though I still feel riled up and anxious at time. I suppose those things take time.


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