06 December 2011


I suppose writing a blog about the life I lead brings with it all the ups and downs, which eventually help write my daily story. It’s not too often that I like to write about stressful situations here, often because I don’t need to be reminded of the stresses every day (or in years to come when I look back at this blog). I like to micromanage my stress. I love the task options on electronic calendars, I am forever making list (and then forgetting them some where…), and I love to be able to reflect on the day to see what I did.  I like to be in control of my personal stress.

I do not cope well with stress that is not mine.

I am sure it’s been mentioned, or at the very least implied, but being a wife of a medical student is not a walk in the park. If you ever read blogs about spouses of medical students (yes, I am a reader of such blogs) you will find a common theme. Stress (or anxiety or nerves or disappointment or happiness) that is related to the student, yet some how educes the same dizzying effect on the cohort.  I find it to be one of the most difficult parts of  being a spouse of a student doctor. I don’t get to spend hours upon hours of studying until my brain hurts, yet when exam day comes I am a ball of nerves waiting for the results.  It’s like being a coach, getting your athletes ready and then leaving the win to them.

My husband (thankfully) is going a fantastic job at school, his grades have shown that he works hard. He does get stressed (read: restless) before big exams (like those coming up next week) and some how I end up stressed too. There are days when I feel like I can’t  fully concentrate on my job because I know he is taking a huge test. Or nights when he has to study for 4 hours and I wonder if he is getting all the information he needs. I worry that he needs more time away from me (and my nagging about taking out the trash) or more resources (as if the 20 pound books he has now are not enough). I get just as restless, and perhaps as sleepless.

Does all this stress show that I care or does it have a negative affect on my husband?
I would hate to add more stress to his life (but I really do hate taking out the trash…).
I struggle with this question a lot.  Just because stress is present doesn’t mean I have to make my self-stressed too. I tend to think having two people stress under one roof brings more problems than solutions.

So selflessly I try to ignore these stressful thoughts, concentrate on the things I can control while trying to be as helpful as I can to the stressed.  It is not easy. I want him to do so well, yet I can’t go in and take the test for him. I have learned that this mother-like quality has reared its head as my husband and I grow closer (I am thankful for the growing closer part though!). As mothers try to make your day just a little brighter, I try to make my husbands stress a little smaller. This in turn reduces my stress. A win-win when you get the combination right.  I am not at my best every day, and like today I end up trying tirelessly to de-stress.

This brings me to think of things that allow my husband or myself to de-stress:

  • A warm bath (a post college luxury I never knew I missed!)
  • A good meal (Chicken & Rice from my Grandmother’s recipe always hits the spot)
  • A long talk with a good friend
  • A hot chocolate, tea or coffee (especially today since it has been 40 degrees and  rainy all day in Erie)
  • A long run (I’ll try that one for sure. 7 miles on the docket for today!)
  • An even longer stretching or yoga session (If it fits in I will do this too)
  • A good book (paired with that hot drink would be nice)
  • A back massage (I might be able to convince my husband to help with this one)
  • Knitting (There is something so soothing about this hobby)
  • A good laugh (made even better by those I share it with)

What do you do to unwind or de-stress? What stress do you carry? Is it yours or could you be more helpful by trying to lessen the load? Is there someone or something that helps you figure out what stress you can leave behind? 

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