I’ve been under a bit of pressure lately. I’m hoping this week might get a little easier, but I’ve still got a lot on my plate.

I’ve got two weeks of holidays from TAFE, so that’s pretty cool. One less thing to worry about.

I deliver pizzas on weekends. Usually no biggie. I like driving. When there are no deliveries, I get to chill at the restaurant.

I’m doing volunteer work for my local political candidate. I love this, though it’s still a lot of work that isn’t always the easiest. I’m also quite involved in party politics generally.

I’m volunteering my time for a small slew of other local things. I have to study (occasionally), job search, do my army reserve training and occasionally eat and sleep.

On top of all this, I try to find time to write my blog, my short stories and whatever novel I happen to be working on at the time. At the moment I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and failing horribly.

Blowing off steam and just relaxing are hard to do when there isn’t much time left. My responsibilities have lately been shifting here and there to ensure I’ve got little free time left.

It might be understandable that I’m a little stressed at the moment. I’m coping fairly well, but grumpiness and stress tend to go hand in hand.

Where I can, I seize the opportunity to meditate, or spend time with friends (when they themselves are no longer horribly busy).

The thing is, the only real cures for stress is doing less stuff, or finding better coping mechanisms. If you don’t have time even for the coping mechanisms though, you’re in trouble. Oh, and sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors in combating stress and for health and happiness in general.

For anyone who knows me well (or at all, really), they’ll understand that I’m quite a high energy person. I’ve got lots of nerves and I’m constantly talking. Being very busy is actually good for me, to a point.

I’m not good at staying still for long periods of time. For the purposes of this post, understand a long period of time as anything longer than about three minutes. Perhaps the fact that recently I can lie down on my bed and do absolutely nothing for half an hour and count it as leisure is a good thing. Having too much energy can be uncomfortable at times.

If these things don’t mesh well together, then my stress can end up getting the better of me. A person dominated by stress can be something of a monstrosity at times. You can’t be true to yourself or true to others when you’re overcome by the pressures of life. Pressure causes things to crack, and so it does with human beings.

When I crack it’s not pretty, but I’m learning more and more every day what it means to bend rather than break. Stress has a useful role within our lives, but too much of it harms us awfully. Learning to cope with stress is possibly one of the most important skills that we can ever learn. Life’s always going to be a challenge. Without challenges, we cannot grow. Without growth, we cannot truly live.

So take a step back from your life for a moment. If you cannot deal with your stress at the moment, what can be changed? What can you do to make your life better? Don’t let the stress break you. Take the initiative and break stress first. Combating stress will change your life better. I can’t stress it enough.