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The “ART” of Dealing with Stress in a Stressful Time!

Let’s get something straight, I am not a talented artist. Don’t get me wrong, I can draw a mean stick figure but that’s about it. So let’s relate that to how successful I have been with the “ART” of dealing with stress in a stressful time.

I should start off by telling you about my life over the last year. At the end of August 2011, Bonni Titgemeyer and I thought it would be a great idea for me to pursue the CHRP designation. Due to the fact that I earned my Human Resources Management certificate in California (Ahhh, the beaches, the palm trees, but I digress), I had to take some additional courses at Sheridan College. The total number of courses I completed between September and April….drum roll please… 6!!! That’s right, I said 6 courses. Each semester I took one in class, one online and completed a challenge exam at the HRPA. Plus I worked 3 days a week. Plus I have 2 kids (one of which is a competitive dancer) and a loving husband. (Thank you for your support Mike. And Bonni is happy that you still like her!). All the while I was trying to maintain my sanity amidst the assignments, textbooks, exams and, finally the NKE exam which I wrote on May 5. (That, my friends, was the exact opposite of FUN!).

During all this, Bonni and I were extremely busy with multiple projects which forced me to squeeze in the required reading and studying when I could manage it. My hubby helped a lot by providing me with some time to study and finish my assignments. There were a lot of late nights and, I’m not gonna lie, a few tears.

I found these next 10 techniques useful in managing my stress:

  1. Set realistic goals – if they are unrealistic your stress becomes multiplied.
  2. Delegate tasks to others (like house cleaning!)
  3. Take a break when you need it.
  4. Go for a walk and enjoy nature.
  5. Write your worries down and scratch off the ones you cannot control.
  6. Do some deep breathing.
  7. Meditate – who am I kidding – I couldn’t stop THINKING!!!
  8. Do something totally unexpected.
  9. LAUGH!
  10. Take Control!

Over the last year I have also learned a few things:

  1. When all else is said and done, family and friends count the most.
  2. It is ok to say “no” to things I cannot manage.
  3. Although I thought my schedule was super busy before, I managed to squeeze everything else in and still get everything done (and maintain an A average!). We are stronger than we think!
  4. Children bring a smile and a happy heart – most of the time, anyways.
  5. In my situation, balance in life seemed unachievable, but with practice I figured it out.
  6. When school ended, I felt that my accomplishment was much bigger than I originally thought it would be!
  7. Flexibility in life is just as important as organization.
  8. Although I have always been a bit of a book nerd, my approach to studying has matured over the years and I am very grateful for that! But don’t ask me to do it over right now…or ever again.
  9. Life is great, especially when you appreciate everyone in it!

What would I do differently next time? Knowing me like I do, probably nothing! I deal with stress how I deal with it and I think, overall, I did ok.

What are some techniques you have used to deal with stress? Take a minute to jot them down (and feel free to leave a comment!)

Remember, when life hands you a bowl of lemons, make lemonade. Just remember to share it with your family and friends because they will always be right by your side waiting for a cup.




  1. Hi Sherri,
    Great article!!. Thank you for sharing some wonderful techniques for dealing with stress. First of all congratulations on your achievements. I follow most of the techniques that you have listed.
    One other technique that I use is I write a general of all what I achieve on a monthly, quarterly and even on annual basis. When I get stressed, I read that general of all the things I have achieved so far. It gives me the confidence that if I have done it in the past, I can do it again.
    Thanks, Dinesh

  2. OMG Sherri…I got a little choked up reading that. It reminded me so much of my experience…almost exactly.

    I finished all 10 courses at Seneca, wrote my NKE then wrote my NPPA between June 2008 and May 2010…also with 2 kids, travelling wife, etc, etc. However, I wasn’t working (unfortunately)…I was job searching.

    I love the techniques you describe…they are bang on! One thing that I learned during my time was that you HAVE to make time for yourself. To stay focused and calm…it also helped ensure I didn’t bring my stress home…

    Congratulations on your achievements…I hope you gave yourself a HUGE pat on the back…you deserve it.

    • Thanks Tim! I am glad to hear you were successful in your endeavors! I did give myself a huge pat on the back when it was all over. Plus I took a really long nap!

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