“One way I handle stress is to separate myself from my emotions temporarily. For example, recently, when going to the real estate agent to sign the papers for a house I began to get very stressed and upset thinking about the financial burden (which I knew I could handle, or I wouldn’t have been doing it) and the idea of being stuck (what if my job didn’t work out, what if I suddenly wanted move away, I would feel trapped by the house). So at the real estate office I let my partner go in and I stayed outside by myself for a few minutes, took slow breaths, and made myself think logically about the decision I was making. When I thought about it with my head, it made sense, and I went inside. However, upon entering the office upstairs, I could feel the panic again so I went to the bathroom, let the tears flow for a minute or two, then washed my face repeatedly and focused my thoughts. I was in there for a few minutes, but I didn’t care. I needed that time to THINK about my desicion without my emotions taking over. When I thought about it, I decided to go ahead with my decision, and understood (maybe not fully) why I was so emotional. I did not look myself in the mirror while I was thinking because if I saw my red, glossy eyes, that would have triggered the stress and fear again. After I had calmed down and decided again that I was making the right decision (even though it was scary), I went out of the bathroom, with my red eyes, and met with the real estate agent.

Getting a few minutes alone to focus on myself and not what is going on around me helps me deal with stress and tough situations. It allows me to think logically and try to understand why and how I feel.”

Roxanne Dibbley
New Home Owner