A Response to Stress

In addition to the regular spending (car is out of gas, it’s Thursday and that means derby, etc.) I spend more when I’m stressed. I spend more when I’m tired. Not taking care of myself is bad for my health and it’s bad for my bank account.

Yesterday I didn’t pack a dinner (I worked the afternoon/evening. My lunch break was my dinner) so I went to my local Trader Joe’s to pick up something. I’d had a rough day, probably the roughest day I’d had since this summer at horse camp (or as I remember it The Day Eleven Kindergardeners Made Me Cry), and I was exhausted. I bought a Trader Joe’s felafel wrap and three Cliff bars. Because two Cliff bars were not going to get me off the edge of my own Cliff. They were good. I needed them, and by “needed” I mean, I needed to go to bed, but Cliff bars would do in the meantime.

I haven’t parsed the full reasons why consuming (as in spending and also as in eating) are my reactions to stress. Energy comes to mind, but it seems like a false positive. Comfort also, and maybe it is comfort without the difficulty of what I really need, like saying to my coworkers, “I can’t handle this right now. I need to take ten/the rest of the day off.” It’s easier and more acceptable to eat a snack, get some energy and force myself through it than to take what I really need.

But it’s tough on me. I’m getting sick. I’m buying coffee like it is something that you cannot make at home (note to self: you can) and I’m justifying it because I’m too stressed out/anxious/tired to think about it.

Today was better. Minus gas and derby (aka the usual) I haven’t spent anything. I didn’t need a chai tea latte to get me going and I didn’t “need” a pick-me-up after work. I know it’s only the Sixth, but February has been hard.

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