Do you wake up with a sore jaw from clenching your teeth all night?
Are you nervous, jittery, irritable and gloomy?
Do you roll around on the floor shrieking, "Argh, argh, argh, I just don't know what's WRONG with me" and end up missing the Summer Reading Program party at the library because you refused to acknowledge that any of the pants proffered you are actually your pants? Even the puppy pants?
If so, you are either (a) my three-year-old daughter, and you are beyond hope; or (b) like a large part of the American population: just a little bit stressed out.
It doesn't make you feel any better when you take a little break to go on Facebook, and learn that everyone else in the world is, like, bringing their twin nannies on vacation with them so the whole family can enjoy a ten-day, all-inclusive getaway in the sapphire lagoons of Fiji and environs, and here you are at home with sticky linoleum and a broken fan, Googling "top stale baloney recipe."
As usual, I am here to help. Here are ten easy tips for beating your stress without breaking the bank or committing any major felonies!
1. Treat yourself. Sometimes a small investment in a single, ingenious product can make your entire day feel effortless. Even if you think you can't afford it, find a way to build it into your budget. The investment you make will be paid back tenfold in peace of mind. Consider, for instance, this incredibly versatile product:
(warning: this video may offend some viewers through its use of the "sh" word, the "cr" word, and a really distressing Boston accent)
2. Tweak your wardrobe. Even a single, carefully-chosen item of clothing can be enough to add a spring to your step, a twinkle to your eye, and a . . . well, just look for yourself:
3. Laughter is the best medicine! For some of the best practical jokes ever conceived, check out this brilliant list of ideas.
For the second best list practical jokes ever conceived, Google "accomplishments of Idi Amin."
4. Knock something off your bucket list, like I did last night, when I took a potato, wrapped it in tinfoil, and left it in the embers of the campfire overnight. In the morning, I took it out of the tinfoil, and sure enough, what was once an unbaked potato was now a baked potato.
Okay, fine, I don't know why I thought that would actually be any fun. I just wanted to try it, and guess what? We got a baked potato this morning. A black, wet, wrinkled, hollow baked potato with a bug on it. And that has made all the difference.
5. Be flexible. Or, be weak. Whatever you want to call it, just go ahead and order a Bug-A-Salt so you don't have to hear about it anymore. As an bonus, spraying salt all over the house will distract your children from spraying -- uh, whatever that is that they usually spray all over the house. I refuse to admit that I know what they've been spraying. I will admit, though, that there have been far fewer battles over territory lately.
6. Get the heck out of San Francisco. Seriously.
7. Gratitude is the attitude. Repeat the following mantra to yourself: "I don't even know who Roseann Barr is." This may or may not be true, but even just the sound of it coming from your lips ought to make you feel better.
8. Listen to what your subconscious is telling you! Your sleeping brain is a treasure trove of untapped intelligence for living. For instance, the other day, my daughter dreamt that she was in a supermarket and saw a display for a new kind of Pringles: "Robin Hood's Greasy Mustache Flavor." Then a bunch of apples rolled by, and I told her, "You know, apples are like people in New York. All of them are different, and they all smell bad."
In this case, her subconscious is telling her, "You are a weirdo."
9. Be bold. On your social media platform of choice, express a strong opinion about the efficacy of the whooping cough vaccine. Then pour yourself some iced tea, kick back, and let the waves of west and wewaxation start wolling in.
10. Argh, argh, argh, it's not working.