Relieving Pressure

I have the propensity to be a bit... Obsessive. Or maybe the word I'm looking for is compulsive? I get sucked into things that I feel I HAVE to do, or get started on something and cannot stop. 

Puzzles, for example. I love the satisfying problem solving in a very low-stakes scale with the added benefit of listening to a podcast while I puzzle. The problem is, once I start a puzzle, it is very, very hard for me to stop. First, I sort the pieces by edge/not-edge. Then I sort the remaining pieces by color as best I can, using handy dandy puzzle sorting trays. Then I put the edge together, and then I pick sections to complete. I had better have nothing pressing to do when sorting or doing the frame, because it is near impossible for me to stop. I can literally lose hours. Bryce has had to turn the lights off in the room I'm in to help me step away. 

I try to find puzzles with sections, puzzles with mini-puzzles inside them (like book covers), so that I can chunk it a bit. And, the other day, I started doing a puzzle and it frustrated me so I said, NOT TODAY, FRUSTRATING MONARCH BUTTERFLY PUZZLE and put it away. Progress.

Another thing I wish I hadn't known about (and now curse you with) is peeling canned chickpeas. They are so much less gritty without their skins, and they taste somehow "fresher," and it is SO SATISFYING. Slipping them out of their skins with a gentle pinch is glorious. Now I can't NOT do it. I do think the texture is worth it. 

I quit doing Wordle, Quordle, and Worldle. It became something I had to do, and especially with Wordle I would get obsessed with my high win record. Which you lose if you forget to play. After a while, it would be 10:00 pm and I would realize OH SHIT, I FORGOT TO WORDLE! and I would do it, joylessly and under a clock when I knew I should be in bed. No fun. It took a lot to miss the first one on purpose, but I haven't been back. It caused me too much stress for something that is supposed to be something entertaining. 

I also took a hiatus from Facebook for January. I typically don't feel great while scrolling through (and the ads keep convincing me to buy crap! Although I stand by the Uproot thingie for cleaning cat hair from carpets and upholstery, that thing is magical). It can easily suck time away. I'll probably go back, but it's nice being on a bit of a cleanse. A dry January for social media, since I don't see the value in actual dry January. Damp January, maybe. 

This propensity to take things to a stressful level is a pattern for me. I think. I'm trying to let things that are meant to be relaxing diversions actually be that without putting all that pressure on myself and undoing any possible relaxation. 

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy! 


  1. I think it's inertia. It's just easier to keep doing something than it is to stop and transition to something else. I'm the same way with sewing. Choosing, sorting, cutting, sewing, pressing... Especially when I get to the sewing part, it can be mindful OR it can be delightfully mindless and... I. Don't. Want. To. Stop. :)

    I used to check social media multiple times a day (and even that sounds like an underestimate). Now I don't have any so I don't check any. It's not a superiority thing. It's just what works best for me.

    Maybe just be sure to stick to a bedtime? Although, it sounds like you're doing well if you stop when Bryce turns the lights off, haha.

  2. Due to an unexpected happening I have been forced to let go of some habits. In due time, some of those habits and the time spent doing them will be filled withe other things. Even if one of the things is sleep. ;-)

    Good luck with the letting go and relieving stress levels.

  3. I've been thinking about this since you wrote it. I know what you mean. I've stopped doing Wordle and all the others (up to Duotrigordle or some such name) every day. The time zone used to wipe my streaks anyway, if I did them an hour or two later than normal, let alone when I forgot to play (which was frequently)! Which frustrated me enormously. So now I do them when I feel like it. And not, when I don't. Mel's Microblog Mondays cause me some pressure (eg. right this minute!!!) but I fear if I stop doing them, I'll never start again! And I wish you hadn't told me about the chick peas. lol
    Puzzles can be good when they take you away from your problems (and let your subconscious work on them) etc.
    Your last paragraph always says what I want to say! So I'll just add that I hope your stress levels fall as a result of the steps you're taking. Sending hugs.

  4. Not that you need me enabling you, but I have a daily reminder set for my Google calendar on my phone for 9 a.m.: "Play Heardles." I often don't get around to doing it until (much) later, but it does help me remember.

    I'm not sure I'll ever be able to give up social media entirely, but I reached a point last year (around the time I was having all my medical issues) when I just couldn't keep up with my feeds and notifications. And ever since then, something has shifted. I used to sort of panic -- huge FOMO -- but these days I just sort of shrug. I realize I'm seeing most of the important stuff from most of the really important people, and I don't HAVE to read EVERY. SINGLE. THING from EVERY. SINGLE.PERSON that I follow. I do still feel guilty/anxious about keeping up sometimes, but I'm mostly at peace with these days.