What is stress? For that matter, what is Sunday stress? Is there such a thing as Sunday stress? Have
you never sat down to watch the big game and endured the emotional roller coaster as your team's
playoff hopes slipped away? What about your firstborn child's solo bike ride without the training
wheels? Or what about when you realize that the washer you turned on this morning is off-balanced,
waiting for you to come to adjust the load so it can go about its business? Doesn't any of that ring a
bell? Let's face it, no matter what the triggering event may be, if we don't stress about it, we haven't
given its due attention.
Let's face it. Stress is all around us. For some, it's debilitating, yet for others, it's almost inspirational.
You put two people in the same scenario and get two different responses. One of them is going to
react to the event over the other negatively. So then empathy is added to the equation. Some
people can't make an emotional connection with someone else's drama. We all have felt stress at
one time or another; although you might not remember the event, you did experience it. Some people
cope with stress differently from others. When I look across the horizon and see that vast, golf-tee-
looking at water towers, I can only think about some giant coming from over the horizon, getting
ready to play his ball. The anxiety of thinking I will see giant triggers a stressful moment. Granted, I
have gotten better over the years, but in the beginning, it was H E double hockey sticks. If I am with
my family and they see me feeling squirmy, they laugh at me. Hence, the lack of empathy (thanks,
So why bother stressing? After all, your team pulled it out in the end, your kid kept peddling
and never fell, and let's not forget that the washer is getting old and worn out. Again, I ask, why
stress? Science suggests that experiencing it isn't healthy and that we should avoid it as much as
possible. Your doctor even tells you to find ways to relieve stress. Yet, with all that supporting
information, we still stress. To top things off, we do it on Sundays, the one day out of the week we
are supposed to avoid it purposefully. When will we ever learn?
Clinicians spend vast amounts of resources researching the effects of stress. The idea of seeking
medical attention is trusting our physicians with our health. But when we hear things like stop
smoking, get exercise, get more sleep, have fewer triggering events, etc., we move on with our lives
and ignore their advice. However, ladies? Do you react the same way? Do you dispel the science and
continue with your mysterious ways? Are men and women different when it comes to coping with
stress? I know I have been married for 29 years and how she deals with it hurts me more than her 0.
All cooing aside, we've talked about It, and in some aspects, we're afferent, but others are similar. Is
It even a gender thing? Are men and women designed to cope with stress different from one
another? Is that how we achieve balance in our marriages, or is that how we lose perspective for one
another? It's important to state that, indeed, we are built differently. Testosterone and estrogen are
two of the most polar chemical components society have blamed over time. If that's not scientific, I
don't know what is.
I'll quit while I am behind. Come back next week when we explore work-life balance and what that
might look like come...Monday morning
Ken Berry is a Communications Professional and all around amazing guy (He didn't put that last part in there, but it's true)
"There is only one like you in the whole world.
There's never been anyone exactly like you before, and there will never be again.
And people can like you exactly as you are."
- Fred Rogers