Building Mastery Decreases Stress



It’s that Weird Wednesday challenge again, coordinated and directed by Mental Mama.  I know that last week, I had a hard time coming up with weird things about myself, but I just thought of one.  I sometimes don’t know the day of the week, and I certainly never know the date.  I guess it’s not that important in my little sphere (other than to know when “Under the Dome” or “Extant” are on), because every day is so much the same.  Maybe that’s a little weird in and of itself, like I am Bill Murray in the “GroundHog Day” movie.

Moving on, this week’s topic is:

What weirdest thing you do to relax?

Well, I do things like this.  I learn a tiny bit of something new from a friend, and then, even though I don’t quite understand it, or what I’m doing, I make the text of my entire post purple.  I would have made the font size bigger, but I couldn’t remember how.  Maybe in an upcoming edit.

One of the best things for me for stress relief is to try and do something new, something I have to concentrate really hard on.  This is called “building mastery” for all you DBT folks out there!  For example, when I was having my little mental health breakdown earlier this past month, I tried to teach myself to crochet.  It was a wicked failure, but it felt good to try and it definitely kept my mind off things.

crochet starter kit

And because I still have the supplies and the links MM sent me, I can whip out this project at any time.  I have a few needlepoints, too, that I should work on but it gets too complicated for me when the color of thread changes every fourth stitch.  Unrelated note, QoB is the ultimate needle-pointer.  Her hands are too bad to do it now (not sure she’d be able to find time, either), but back in the day, she rocked it.

Another thing I like to do when stressed is put lotion on my hands and then enjoy the smell.  Yes, that’s me over there, sniffing my hands.  It’s actually a combination of several DBT skills — distract, TIP/Chemistry, self-soothe.  My therapist could probably list off several more.

When I need to relax of calm down in a hurry, the best thing I can do is talk to someone.  Be it my mom, my dad, my sister, one of my online friends — I’ve really got to talk things out sometimes.  I think that’s pretty ordinary, though — venting about things.

My final answer to stress reduction is to clean my kitchen and dining room area.  These are the two areas where I spend the most time, so they get trashed out the most easily.  It usually only takes about ten minutes, just throwing some trash away and then unloading and reloading the dishwasher.  Those ten minutes, though, can save me from an entire day of antsy-pantsying.

11 thoughts on “Building Mastery Decreases Stress

  1. I guess for some people on the outside looking in, the DBT techniques can be kind of weird, but they do work!

    Let me know when you are available to clean my kitchen and dining area, please and thank you 🙂


    • Well I though they were a little weird when I first started, but they are also so life-changing that you just learn to accept them!

      As soon as you give me that bacon cheeseburger you promised, I will clean your dining room and kitchen. 😀


  2. Since I stopped working in an office, I haven’t known what day it is without looking at the calendar on the computer. You’re right. One day IS just like every other day. And most of our friends are retired too, so they don’t know what day it is either. I don’t think this is bad. I think it means we have relaxed and moved past schedules and calendars. And alarm clocks!

    I only need to know one day each week — the trash goes out on Thursday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure if it would be easier, but there’s a kind of cross stitch called blackwork that’s fairly easy to do. It’s worked on Aida cloth, nearly all outlines, and damn near always just one color. And there are tons of free patterns online.


  4. Forgetting the day and date is a problem for me as well. I must pick up my phone a thousand times a day to remember. I finally learned to program all appointments and tasks in it, otherwise I’d forget everything. Enjoy your hand sniffing. 🙂


  5. My days tend to run together so much that I am constantly forgetting what day it is. I set an app on my phone to rinderpest when Under the Dome & Extant are going to be on or I’m afraid I might miss them as well. Best prime time tv on right now in my opinion.


  6. DBT… Oh Rosa, remember when I used to tell you to hug a tree and it would center you? And you’d laugh at yer crazy momma? Didn’t that technique turn out well, once forced to it by someone with the ol’ string of initials behind their name? 😉 Some of them DBT skills may seem weird, but many are older than dirt.

    By the way, anyone who enjoys lotion on their hands is super weird. Just sayin’. Blech.


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