, ,

It’s a silly thing, stress; and, yet, it’s amazing what stress can do…what we do to ourselves.

This time last year, our little company was in the middle of Healthcare Reform Hell.  We had too many meetings, too many spreadsheets, too many emails, and too many phone calls, trying to help our clients make sound business decisions about their benefits.

We were struggling, my boss and I, trying to retain clients and get through to the end of the year.  I had a lot of stress headaches, and woke myself up several times, grinding my teeth.

This year, we’re ahead of the game.  Many of the same clients that went down to the wire on their renewals last year have already made decisions and have cleared our slate.

This morning, after a nice weekend, I woke up at three a.m. in the midst of a raging migraine.

I got up, got a drink of water, and went out to the couch and sat down in the dark.

I started ticking through that list we all keep in our heads…you know, that running tab of things that you think you need to worry about.  

I worked my way down the list, talking to myself while fireworks went off behind my eyes.  If I can get to the end of the list before the nausea sets in, I know it will be ok.

I have to address each item specifically.  Usually, I have to tell myself that it’s something I can’t do anything about; or, if I can, I have to talk myself through whatever it is that needs to be done to fix it.  It’s like a coach giving the players a great halftime speech.  “Here’s what we did in the first half…here’s how we’re going to adjust in the second half.

Finally, after about twenty minutes, I reached the end of the rundown.  The aura was shrinking, and I felt like I could go back to bed and not wake up with a headache.

At forty-seven years old, I’m grateful that I at least understand how to manage a stress headache.  I spent too many years getting a three day migraine every month.

Talking myself out of a headache may not sound like a big deal; but, in my world, it’s stress management at its very best.  It’s something I am thankful for every day.