Distressed Relief – Eighteen Ways to Manage Extreme Tension and Latent Hostility in Your Life

  1. Don’t pay for therapy. Stress management that costs that much and doesn’t involve a beach house and a hot tub is counterproductive.
  2. Do exercise. Vigorously. Every day. Then you’ll be too tired to choke the living s*** out of all the idiots you have to share the planet with.
  3. Don’t turn on the news. Just because the world is going to hell in a bucket, doesn’t mean you have to watch.
  4. Do have furry pets. (Not hamsters, though. Hamsters are little balls of evil with teeth. And it’s hard to reduce your stress while you’re bleeding.)
  5. Don’t drive. Ever. Sharing a road with maniacs who speed, tailgate, weave through traffic, or honk at you for stopping for the school bus in front of you (true story) all while talking on a cell phone will do nothing but make you fantasize about choking people again.
  6. Do spend as much time as possible outside. Away from people. That part’s important. Away from people and by the ocean is ideal.
  7. Do lighten up. If you don’t have a pirate hat or a puka shell necklace, buy one now.
  8. Don’t open your kids’ progress reports. If you feel obligated to see it, be sure to have a couple of cocktails first. (Points for style if you put little umbrellas in the drinks.)
  9. Do listen to Jimmy Buffett. The man is a master of stress reduction. And he sings too.
  10. Don’t go to dentists. They are harbingers of pain and misery and they own tiny drills. Not a good combination.
  11. Do read funny books. It’s hard to be stressed when you’re laughing.*
  12. Don’t teach your teenager how to drive. You’ll be doing him a favor, because bracing your feet on the dash board and screaming every time he steps on the gas won’t do much to improve his skills or build his confidence.
  13. Don’t allow your children to make any major life decision on their own until they are at least 25. Add 5 years for boys.
  14. Do watch The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon is the funniest character ever written for TV. Watch it if you haven’t already. You’ll see.
  15. Don’t go anywhere you may have to stand in line. A little known corollary of Murphy’s Law dictates that the person directly behind you will either be a bitter old lady who will bump you in the butt with her cart until the line moves or a large sweaty man in a dirty t-shirt who has no concept of personal space.
  16. Do eat mint chocolate chip ice cream. (But send someone else to the grocery store to buy it.)
  17. Don’t talk politics with friends (that you want to keep) or family. I think every American kid knows this one by the time they’re old enough to join an adult conversation, but it’s good to review the basics.
  18. Do throw away the To-do List. (Ya’ll know why.)

*My favorite funny authors: Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Tom Holt, Christopher Moore, Janet Evanovich, Bill Bryson, David Sedaris.

Leave a comment


  1. Kate

     /  March 23, 2012

    In total agreement with #4: I still wear scars from my childhood hamster (who happened to be named Dinsdale from “Monty Python”. Should’ve known he was going to be a beast from Satan). And yes, Sheldon and the gang are THE funniest people on TV. : )

    • My sympathies for your injuries, Kate! But I’m glad to know that someone else sees through the hamster’s clever guise. Not only are you wise, but you have excellent taste in sitcoms!

  2. I am potentially going to be the bitter old lady in #15 but only if I need to pee.

  3. Oh I love this. going to print it out, stick it to my bathroom door and memorize it. Have stopped making to-do lists as per your earlier instruction already. This has seriously improved my quality of life!

    • Atta girl! Free yourself from stress and agendas! I’m afraid I haven’t been quite so successful myself but still trying. Thanks for reading.

  4. Oh man… would I love to be sitting in that chair right now! As far as those lists go, yes I’ve still got a couple going 😦 But I totally agree with Munira, this list is getting printed. I think I will put mine on the fridge! That way I’ll see it every time I get ice for the blender full of booze whipping up that “frozen concoction that helps me hang on…” Thanks for the Fabulous Friday vibe! 🙂

    • I’d like to be in the chair, drinking the frozen concoction. Here’s to refrigerator wisdom and Jimmy Buffet! Happy Friday!

  5. Love #2, #6 and #14! Okay #10 dentists – have they heard of lasers??? Have a Great Weekend!

    • Another Big Bang fan! Yay. And dentists using lasers is a brilliant idea. At least they wouldn’t make that awful noise. Hope you get some exercise and outside time this weekend!

  6. I agree with virtually all and particularly with the Mint Chocolate Chip. Also, Bill Bryson and David Sedaris are two of my favorites as well. I’ve read “Neither Here Nor There” at least ten times.

    • I love those guys. Funny stuff. I loved A Walk in the Woods and Me Talked Pretty One Day had me in tears. Now I can’t stop thinking about ice cream. I will have to try to convince my partner to go to the store.

  7. I would add Modern Family to #14, but the rest are perfect!!

  8. I’m a firm believer in number 5. I drive as little as possible. Unfortunately today was one of those days when it couldn’t be avoided–and I have yet to recover. Think I’ll go do #11.

    Truly, T, this post was hysterical! Hope you have a great weekend, doing a lot of #6.


    • It’s been raining all day! So sadly, no #6 today. But no #5 either so that’s a happy thing. And I have a new book so definitely some #11 tonight. (Hey, this is kind of fun. I’m a code-talker.) Thanks for the nice words, Kathy. Always glad to make you laugh.

  9. Loved this….needed a good laugh. Still laughing….thanks. Love Sheldon and yes my imaginary brake on the passenger side while my teen daughter was learning to drive didn’t work so well. Need to print this out and keep this list in an easy to find location for emergencies. 🙂

    • Another Sheldon fan. Yay! Glad to hear you survivied your daughter’s novice driver days. We got through one son’s training, but have two more to go. I’m a little (a lot) scared. Good luck with emergency stress (mis)management. I hope the list helps!

  10. Anita Gallagher

     /  March 24, 2012

    Love it ! Especially #12. I remember teaching your brothers to drive…..

  11. Anything that makes you laugh until you lose urine belongs on the list.
    And, hey! We’re mutual subscribers now! thanks a bunch for following me, too.

  12. I swear you’ve been walking around in my head.. Love the posts that I’ve read so far. I love Sheldon too. And I think our last child was conceived after I found my spouse the same shower gel that Ranger wears. Janet evanovich is our favorite guilty pleasure (though he will deny it if asked).

    • What a great story! I love Janet Evanovich. There was a scene in her first or second book, at a beauty shop I think when all the elderly women started talking guns and every one of them pulled some kind of monster handgun out of her purse to show her friends. Made me spit up my coffee and I’ve been a fan ever since. (And any scene with Lula is comic genius. She is to serial mystery novels what Sheldon is to TV sitcoms. I love them.) Thanks for visiting!


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