By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

Two years ago, on March 17th, 2020, I was at a dinner party with five friends.  COVID, or as we said at the time, “a new flu”, had just started to take hold in the U.S.  One friend asked, “What do you think we’ll be saying about this flu in two weeks?”  We all agreed that it would peak and that by the end of the month things would be back to normal.  Turns out that we were only off by two years.  It’s been a stressful two years: important family gatherings were missed, friends died, and, in general, people became crabbier.  A couple of weeks ago, just when life seemed to be back to normal, Putin decided to invade Ukraine.  So now we wake each day wondering if World War III started while we slumbered. The images and stories coming out of Ukraine are horrifying.

We’ve all been through a lot, so I thought this week I would offer some stress management advice and, hopefully, bring you a chuckle or two.  God knows we need it.

Stress Management Tips for 2022:

Stop being on time.  The more you care about being late, the more you stress.  So stop caring.  If you lose your job, so much the better.  Jobs are stressful.

Drink alcohol.  You can’t stress about stuff if you’re drunk.  So go ahead and grab that bottle of tequila and drink away.  Aim for being inebriated 60% of your waking hours.

Yell at people who don’t deserve it.  If you have followed step 2, this should come pretty easily.  Never take responsibility for being a jerk.  Accountability only makes you more anxious.

Pare down your possessions. This is essential.  You no longer have a job and you have an alcohol addiction to support.  See if you can fit all of your belongings in a backpack.

Spend more time outdoors.  Without any means of income, this is good preparation for your future living arrangement.  You are mere steps away from living under an overpass.  You will alleviate any pressure to work or pay rent.

Make new friends.  Ask strangers for their spare change.  By now you have no job, no house and your tequila is running low.  You’d be surprised how many people will throw a dollar bill your way.  Hold up a sign that says, “Need money for gas” and you might double your income.

Finally, if all else fails, I have two tips.  First, eat cake.  Yes, that is my remedy for every problem, but there is nothing like a good sugar high to make you feel better.  Second, learn to handle stress like a dog: if you can’t eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away.

My prediction is that in two weeks the world will have calmed a bit.  I hope I’m a lot more accurate this time.