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Jenny in Florida

Feeling overwhelmed - What's your go-to relaxation?

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Take the dog to a dog friendly beach and buy yourself and ice cream

Do a longer than usual yoga routine

Walk in nature (take the dog unless the dog makes the walk stressful)

Get a good quality art book and pencils and practice drawing

Collect some natural bits - flowers or greenery etc and make a beautiful arrangement.

 

If it's just too much stuff in your head sometimes doing a brain dump can help.

 

For me I read all the time as well. It's like my bread and butter mental health treatment. When I'm really needing a boost I have to do something that takes me out of my natural mode (intuitive) and into sensory mode.

 

Edited to add... a gluten free vegan gelato! I missed the bit about food issues.

Edited by Ausmumof3
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Take a nice notebook to a beautiful place (for me, the lake) and write poetry, allowing yourself to write *anything* and then edit afterwards?

 

I'm not a good poet and I generally don't like poetry, but I find this really helpful and calming when stressed. It takes me about 1 hour because I walk a quarter mile to the lake (yes, I'm lucky), observe/collect words for a while, then write, and then go home feeling much better.

 

I started this when I was hanging around a friend going through a mental breakdown and I needed an out.

Emily

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A Japanese garden sounds nice.  Don't know how far this is from you.  I like to relax with nature (sit and watch wildlife, ponds, aquariums, waterfalls, beach).

 

Harry P Leu Gardens 

1920 N Forest Ave, Orlando, FL 32803

 

I'm like you.  Most of the normal pampering things do not appeal to me.  Honestly, a day at home by myself would be great but that never happens.  It's introvert hell sometimes.

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Sometimes to deeply relax I need to just make myself sleep more.

 

To do that I go to bed early with a few books, turn off the light when I get drowsy, sleep as long as I darn well feel like, get up and have a bite of cheese and a glass of milk when I wake up, and then make myself lie down again with a book.  Usually I can get drowsy again after an hour or so, and sleep for 2-3 extra hours.  Then I'm energized for days.  

 

I only do this a couple of times a year, but it is VERY effective.  

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One thing I love is to go with my husband and dog to a beautiful, isolated spot and walk around for a few hours. I don’t know if it will work for you in Florida, but here we have lots of state and county parks that are technically closed for camping during the winter, but we like to go to them and just walk for hours while letting our dog explore off leash. We usually stop for a cheap bite to eat on the way home.

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Is there something you can binge watch at home? Just get in bed with the dog, your laptop, and lose yourself in a series of some sort?

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Do you like to go to museums?

 

I spent a day last year at a museum (with my sister who was in town from out-of-state for work).  We had a really nice time.

 

I have found that I like going to museums without dh and the kids.  The kids want to fly through the museum to see the next thing.  Dh likes to read (almost) everything.

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Is being home alone possible?

 

Is there any nearby takeout that is affordable and special? Our Whole Foods sells nori rolls that are vegan. (Not sure about gf.) That's my special treat.

 

Is there something you could watch and get "lost" in? Iiwm, I'd binge watch Selfie on Hulu or watch nature documentaries or watch some Great Courses lectures (and take notes because I find that mindful).

 

Hope you have some relaxing moments this weekend!

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If I can leave the kids with DH then I recharge by slowly strolling through a thrift store, then an antique store, then maybe a small local art museum. Followed by a quiet meal by myself eating whatever amazing food I crave that my family hates lol

 

If I’m stuck at home with kids, then I make a trip to the store and grab some indulgent foods, put a movie on for them/put them in bed, and then binge stuff on Netflix.

 

I’m simple [emoji23]

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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A walk or bike ride is both relaxing and energizing 

Sitting or walking on a beach and just watching the waves and birds

Listening to classical music - if you can't get to something live, then watch something on youtube with the best quality screen and speakers you have

 

However, if you do love live music and are near a major city, look a little harder at all musical possibilities as there are often small chamber music performances or concerts in churches that are pretty inexpensive. These are sometimes far more satisfying than going to the really big halls because they are more intimate settings where you are up close and personal with the musicians. 

 

And if you've never been to a classical guitar performance, try to catch one or Spanish guitar/Brazilian soul. There must be something available that far south. It's absolutely mind blowing. 

Edited by wintermom

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I am very food motivated.  If I lived in or near as big a place as Orlando, I'd go right off to a vegan restaurant or bakery, take a book or the newspaper, and plan to spend a couple of hours savoring whatever.

 

I looked at vegan restaurants in your area for kicks and I am jealous.  This would be my first stop:

https://www.yelp.com/biz/dandelion-communitea-caf%C3%A9-orlando-2?osq=Vegan+Restaurants

 

Then I'd go here:

http://dajeneats.com/cafeandcreamery/

 

Vegan ice cream shakes!  Red velvet cheesecake vegan ice cream!

 

I'm sorry the driving sucks :(

 

Every time we go anywhere, I research the vegan restaurant and bakery options ahead of time and go out of my way to check them out.  Right now I live approx. 2 hours from the nearest vegan bakery, in Denver, and I would totally drive myself up there for an afternoon if I were feeling super gloomy (and if I didn't have this darned GD).

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If you enjoy the ballet and plays, but tickets to professional performances are expensive, check and see what lower cost, local alternatives are available.  Is the local high school putting on a play?  Is the local university dance department doing an exhibition?  Some schools in my area even offer "free" dress rehearsal performances.  There may even be something like a high school one-act play competition that you could go see.

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I am not into massages, spas, pedicures or manicures but I do enjoy a long bubble bath at home and sometimes splurging on bath bombs.

 

Aqua aerobics at the YMCA or anywhere else is okay with knee injuries usually if that is sometime you might like.

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Learning about and practicing mindfulness has helped me tremendously. It enables me to relax with whatever I'm doing rather than spending my time "chasing" the next thing that I (used to) think would help me relax.

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When I'm experiencing more anxiety and depression, I have to physically beat stuff out of me before I can relax. This means I have to do some sort if hard cardiovascular workout for an extended time. Because my work schedule is wacky, I don't have good schedule of when I will exercise. I throw it in whenever I see a blank and it takes priority over most anything else.

 

I do get a decent amount of daily movement according to my Fitbit. It's the heavy cardio I need.

 

So today, before one of my jobs I will hop on an elliptical machines for at least an hour. This is my least stressful job, but I've got a lot of pent up anxiety from another job that I need to release before I can do today's job well. This morning I am having a meeting with someone about what a hostile work environment is legally and going over events related to that which affect me personally. So far the long sweaty cardio sessions have been good for keeping me emotionally in check. At that point if there's time to kick back and do something more relaxing I can. I can't relax until I do the physical work of getting stress out through exercise.

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Time in nature.

If you can't hike, just drive to a beautiful spot, walk a bit, and sit. Waterfall, beach, forest, desert - does not matter. 

Take a journal to write or a sketchbook to draw.

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Time in nature.

If you can't hike, just drive to a beautiful spot, walk a bit, and sit. Waterfall, beach, forest, desert - does not matter.

Take a journal to write or a sketchbook to draw.

This is good. I make to get outside if I can. I'm lucky in that I live in a congested suburb, but my community was planned with open space and trails through wooded areas. Anyway it's important to get outside.

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Take a middle of the day nap?

 

Sometimes when I'm overwhelmed (like now), sleep the only thing I can manage.

 

Otherwise, get outside, even if it's just sitting in a park. I find sunshine and silence to be helpful for re-setting.

 

((Hugs)). It's a hard time.

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A good jigsaw puzzle? Ravensburger makes great ones.

 

A scented candle? My husband gave me a Paddywax soy candle in Mandarin and Lavender, and I love it. I save it for when I'm working on finances, as a reward for doing unpleasant things.

 

New music? With the free Spotify account, it's easy to try new things.

 

A great fruit salad? You can splurge on the fruit that's already cut up.

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Are you an introvert?  

 

When I am down I call a friend or meet a friend for coffee and have a nice LONG talk.  Not everyone likes that, but it really helps me.  

 

Solitude makes me more depressed, so anything crafty or hobby-like or spending more time alone will NOT help me.  But you may be very different in that regard.

 

Things that make me happy:

 

1. Friends

2. Family

3. Coffee

4. Disney (and since you in Orlando.....but it sounds like that isn't your thing either.....when I lived in LA I would pop down to Disneyland for an afternoon and feel much better afterwards.)

 

YMMV

 

I am sorry you are out of sorts right now.

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Do you drink coffee or tea? Maybe going to a coffee house or tea shop with a book or maybe a magazine or print newspaper for a change of pace? Drunken Monkey I am positive has vegan and gluten free snacks (ok, almost positive) and teas and coffee and such and a funky atmosphere. I know money is tight but a cup of tea shouldn't cost much - the magazine would be more, lol. Infusion Tea is another option - they have a lovely tea menu and have samples out to smell.Definitely have vegan food, but not sure about gluten free. But the teas are great. You could sit and drink one or two, then if you find one you like get some loose tea to take home. Lots of cute artwork and jewelry and such from local merchants to browse as well. 

 

Go to one of the local art museums? The Mennello Museum is small, cheap, and has an outdoor area where you can sit in an Adirondack chair and look out over a lake.

 

Get a new vegan cookbook and buy the ingredients to make some special treats?

 

Go to Whole Foods, pick up a few treats, and go home and rent a favorite movie or five?

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Not sure where you are on so I apologize if I am suggesting you cross Orlando because I know the traffic is unbelievable currently but take the dog and go for a long beach walk. https://www.bringfido.com/attraction/beaches/city/new_smyrna_beach_fl_us/ The weather appears to be wonderful right now!

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I like very sort of mindless repetitive activities when stressed.  Stuff like sudoku, jigsaw puzzles, apps on my tablet, etc.  It's a pretty good escape for me. 

 

I imagine this is very individual though, in terms of what works. 

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I'd be tempted to purchase myself a bunch of flowers, put them in a vase on my table, and then spend a happy afternoon engrossed in a movie that I picked out from the library. If I didn't want to watch something (and I'm not a movie person myself), I'd probably ask DH for a foot rub, maybe listen to music or make something to eat that I really liked.

 

If the weather was good, I'd go sit on my front porch and just look at things and think about them, maybe sketch out some ideas for a story or a painting and just enjoy the sounds of nature. I typically make an effort to just let the thoughts skip across my mind. I try not to dwell too long on any one thing.

 

I also find that cookbooks make me relax. Fiction is what I write, so I typically read with a writer's mind--so, not so relaxing. I take note over every one that gets me lost in the book, because that's special and what I'm wanting to do with my own writing. So for escape, it's going to be non-fiction or poetry. I happen to like cookbooks and books on art that are filled with pictures. These help me to relax. 

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Yoga/meditation videos? I used some from Amazon prime for a stretch and it was helpful. I need to do that again.

 

Painting your nails

 

Sitting in the backyard. We bought nice chairs and a fire out about a year ago and it’s so nice to sit out at night, listening to music.

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Poor thing. I don't know that we can help if you don't want to stay home and you don't wanna go anywhere. That pretty much rules out everything, LOL.

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I totally get the traffic thing. I would rule out anything that involves the highway. But surely there are some places that you wouldn't need to get on the highway to get to? Traffic shouldn't be that bad during the workday or on the weekend. Or splurge and get a Lyft. You can sit in the back and read a book and not interact at all with the driver if you want. And then you were reading and relaxing instead of fighting the traffic yourself.

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For me, when I feel overwhelmed, I literally drop a few activities and baby myself.  This means I don't have to think about going anywhere or being with people or doing homeschool.  Stay in pajamas, sleep more than you think you need.  Eat easy foods, and not too much junk because that will make you feel icky.  Literally act like a kid who is home on a sick day and is not really sick with the flu, but needs to stay home to rest.  That's what helps me get off my crazy hamster wheel.  Sounds like you have a lot of hobbies and activities which at this point don't seem to sound good to you as a 'stress reliever', so just drop everything and sleep, eat, repeat.

This too shall pass.

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Poor thing. I don't know that we can help if you don't want to stay home and you don't wanna go anywhere. That pretty much rules out everything, LOL.

 

And it is times like this that you really need to force yourself to do what you don't want to do, in order to get the results you want to get.

 

Go out, spend time with a good friend, see if it helps.

Get whatever meds you need to make your life manageable.  If you need them, you need them.

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With the traffic issues, I'd strategize--find out when stores/cafes/whatever opens and head out early for some combination of a walk or time sitting in a beautiful natural place, going to a vegan cafe or bakery and picking up ingredients for something special later in the weekend, grab a movie to watch at home, etc. Pick out whatever activity or experience has some appeal for you, then make ONE trip at a less-trafficky hour to a select few relatively close destinations to stock up on some things you can enjoy for the rest of the weekend at home. Meditate in the parking lot between stops.

 

Or Netflix!

 

Amy

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Poor thing. I don't know that we can help if you don't want to stay home and you don't wanna go anywhere. That pretty much rules out everything, LOL.

 

Really? 

 

Huh....

 

I enjoy staying home.  And if I'm stressed or anxious, the last place on earth I want to be is anywhere but home.

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I'm also really introverted, and like to be home. But I do understand the need to get out and be "around" other people from time to time. I just have to be very selective about what people I'm with and for how long.  :001_smile:

Edited by Critterfixer
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I'm also really introverted, and like to be home. But I do understand the need to get out and be "around" other people from time to time. I just have to be very selective about what people I'm with and for how long.  :001_smile:

 

Exactly.  I have no trouble with people, but I am particular. 

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We had a long thread about 'wherever you go, there you are' recently .....

Don't go anywhere. Stay home. Go to https://www.tarabrach.com/guided-meditations/

 

and do a meditation morning & evening 

 

in between

clean out a closet;

dig out paper and pens and draw something (watch a youtube 'how to draw' video and try to follow along; I cannot draw at.all and still enjoy doing it);

write a short story (here are prompts: https://thinkwritten.com/365-creative-writing-prompts/);

go to the garden store and pick out a new house plant or plant for the garden and plant it; 

try to write a haiku;

write a list of 50 best insults of all time;

find someone to play charades with 

 

 

 

 

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Really? 

 

Huh....

 

I enjoy staying home.  And if I'm stressed or anxious, the last place on earth I want to be is anywhere but home.

 

But she said she didn't want to stay home either.

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I have this ridiculously stupid app called Cross Stich World.  It's the only app I've ever spent money on.  It's oddly relaxing and it's portable.  So when I'm waiting somewhere or feeling anxious or bored or whatever, I play with that thing.  I like to read, but I can't read with noise so this is particularly good in those instances.

 

 

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But she said she didn't want to stay home either.

It might be nice to have some friends over or have a friend pick her up to go somewhere? That way there wouldn't be driving for her, and there would be nice conversation to enjoy in the vehicle.

I wonder if the OP would like to go to a farmer's market or someplace like that. We don't have any open here right now, but in the summer there are usually markets open on Saturdays, there's often music, and it tends to be pretty relaxed.

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My favorite thing to do is go walk in nature or on a beach. Just sitting on the beach helps me refocus. But, I live in Orlando, so the beach isn't always possible. Sometimes, I like to just window shop or bring a book and go to a coffee or tea shop. 

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It sounds like you're in a rut, and you are NOT enjoying things you "enjoy".

 

I chalkenge you to try doing a whole day of things you don't normally enjoy so you can have a re-set back to appreciation and gratitude for what you do "enjoy".

 

Don't like girly things - go do something girly. Get a facial.

 

Don't like chick-lit - read a trashy book. The whole thing.

 

Listen to music that you don't normally enjoy for at least 30 minutes.

 

Go watch an action movie if that's not normally your thing.

 

Step up. Step out. Do something different, because doing the same is not working for you right now, and hasn't been for a long time.

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when I've been in overly stressed times - all non-essentials were cut out.  (I was babysitting my brother's GF clock - I turned off the chimes/strike because of the sound.)

 

if you can get it into your schedule - yoga is very relaxing and can increase your ability to deal with the stress.

 

when my stress level had gotten particularly bad, and I wanted to hit something . . . I was able to get a bunch of used brick that needed to be cleaned.  I got it for free, so the bricks were stlll in chunks attached by mortar.   I got a brick chisel and a hammer and went to town hitting them.  I could do a max of ten before my arm gave out.  It was very satisfying to hit something as it helped to give an outlet for my raised adrenaline levels.  and . . . i had a bunch of used brick afterwards I could use in my garden.

 

- I did the brick before I started yoga.  I do have other friends who found exercise was their best stress outlet.

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Girly stuff doesn't work for me either.  Really, the only thing that works for me if I'm at a really bad point is forced distraction.  Having to meet up with a friend or go to a social commitment, or attend a conference that seems only sort of interesting that I signed up for but now don't even want to go to, etc. etc.  Something that forces me to leave the mindset I'm in.  A book or movie or coffee time out by myself or a long walk wouldn't do that of course, because I can stop it or ignore it and walk out or put it down or whatever.  

 

But something forced that causes me to have to interact or put my focus onto something else works.  It doesn't even need to be my #1 idea of something fun to do.  It's more the forced change of focus in my mind.

 

Edited by J-rap

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Maybe you could try something new? Here are a bunch of ideas:

 

- Go to Home Depot or Lowes or something and buy yourself some flower pots and have a lovely time picking out which flowers to fill your pots with

- Try some art- find something you would like and get some new materials- watercolors, pastels, a fountain pen and sealing wax, Prismacolors and a coloring book, etc.

- Explore a new place- Google nature center or preserve or botanical garden or hiking trails and try something new

- Go to the grocery store and buy supplies for a picnic- try some new fancy cheese, and a lovely crusty bread, some fruit, and a bottle of Martinellis or some other fancy drink then go to a special place and enjoy your lunch

- Try a new coffeehouse or bakery

- Go to a fancy kitchen store (like William Sonoma or Sur la Table) and buy yourself a new item to make your life easier or try a new recipe. Wander around and explore the different gadgets and try something new

 

ETA: I was cross posting with GardenMom5! Sorry!

Edited by 4Kiddos

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Things I need. If they are not helpful for you that is fine.

First I treat myself like toddler

Sleep- I put away the electronics and sleep. A lot. Like 12 hours.

Food-I make myself something I really like. I enjoy cooking. If you do not a special snack or something.

Love-calling kids, relatives or friends if they are not physically close. The dog. The cat. I look through old photos.

Sunlight and air-even if it's just the backyard.

Nice words-I actually write down all the things I do right, ways I make/made a difference or my good qualities. No one has to see it but actually do it on paper.

 

I will be thinking of you.

 

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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Sometimes to deeply relax I need to just make myself sleep more.

 

To do that I go to bed early with a few books, turn off the light when I get drowsy, sleep as long as I darn well feel like, get up and have a bite of cheese and a glass of milk when I wake up, and then make myself lie down again with a book.  Usually I can get drowsy again after an hour or so, and sleep for 2-3 extra hours.  Then I'm energized for days.  

 

I only do this a couple of times a year, but it is VERY effective.  

 

I was going to ask how your sleep is.  I spiral down badly when I don't get enough sleep--depression, sluggishness.  Every now and then, I have a weekend where I sit around all day reading or watching tv and then go to bed early and sleep in late.  

 

Is there something you can binge watch at home? Just get in bed with the dog, your laptop, and lose yourself in a series of some sort?

 

I would love this.  Stay in jammies, watch Netflix on my ipad all day, probably in bed.  Something like Stranger Things where you need to watch all the episodes to get to the end of the story.  

 

Learning about and practicing mindfulness has helped me tremendously. It enables me to relax with whatever I'm doing rather than spending my time "chasing" the next thing that I (used to) think would help me relax.

 

If I didn't want to sit still watching tv all day and going to bed early, then I'd do the above--be mindful--while decluttering something or re-organizing something.  My dh has a highly stressful job and he spends a few hours every other weekend ironing.  It destresses him and he likes seeing all the balled up clothing come out pressed and pretty for his efforts.  I get that way when I clean out the medicine/cleaning supply closet.  

 

If you have books, maybe now is the time to alphabetize them on the shelves?  That's super satisfying.  Or if you have a bunch of recipes all different slips of paper, now is the time to organize them.  Or something else like that.  A little victory.  A little bit of organization that you can control in a few hours so that you feel like you've accomplished something.

 

 

And maybe see if a friend will be willing to come over for dessert or something and chit chat for a few hours.

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Thank you so much, everyone, for the suggestions and the commiseration.

 

"Taking the dog" anywhere is, unfortunately, the opposite of relaxing. If my dog can go there, so can other dogs, and she hates/fears other dogs. So, the whole time I am at that place, I have to be watchful that she doesn't fight with or run away from another four-legged beastie. (And, before someone suggests it: We've been through several weeks of training, twice. She's now 10 years old and is just an anxious dog.) I love her dearly, but she's no fun to take out into the world. 

 

Driving anywhere is also not beneficial for me these days. My 15-mile commute to work runs close to an hour many days -- last night it took me almost 90 minutes to get home -- so by the time the weekend rolls around, the very last thing I want to do is fight traffic again. Even if the activity at the other end of the drive is marvelous, I'll be stressed an weepy again by the time I drive home.

 

I am a pretty serious introvert, and my job is people-intensive. However, I'm also struggling with being alone these days, because too much time to think allows me to focus on all of the things that are upsetting/stressing me out.

  • So, yeah, I can't take the dog, but I feel guilty leaving her home.
  • I don't want to interact with people, but being alone makes me spiral.
  • I don't really enjoy being home, but it's stressful to go anywhere.
  • I love movies and movie theatres, except that there's almost nothing I ever want to see and theatres are too often full of people whose behavior irritates me. (Most of the time, I can't even find a DVD to rent from Redbox. I check every week, and I can't remember the last time I found something that made it worth going to pick up the disc.)
  • I love live theatre and music and opera and ballet, but only if it's good. I raised two performers, and so have sat politely through more bad-to-mediocre performances in the last 10 years than most people will see ANY kind of live performances in their entire lives.
  • I like going out to eat, but now have a diet so limited that it's almost impossible for that to be either fun or easy. And the one or two places I know where eating is a relatively pleasant experience require either a significant amount of driving or dealing with crowds or both.

Now you can see why I posted begging for help. 

 

Sigh.

 

Thanks for the effort.

 

So you're certain that you've checked out all local music and it's all below your tolerance level?  You are a tough lady to please. There is still youtube. ;)

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