A Good Kind of Stress

I just got back from a wonderful vacation to Disney World with my daughter and my dad. It was a great week, but I feel like I need a vacation from my vacation! This got me thinking about the stress we experience from good things – it’s called “eustress.”

Whether it’s a vacation, getting married or getting a promotion, even good experiences have stress attached to them. At Disney, we did a lot of walking and waiting in long lines in a high heat and humidity climate. We had to navigate crowds and deal with air travel. So while we all had a fabulous time, all 3 of us are now taking a couple of days to relax from the eustress we experienced.

Many people don’t realize the amount of stress that’s involved with positive events. And if they feel stressed-out, irritable or anxious, they think that there’s something wrong with them instead of acknowledging the eustress that accompanies good events. Thoughts like, “How can I be feeling so bad? I’m on vacation!” can increase anxiety and cause guilt. But when folks accept that yes, even positive situations are stressful, the anxiety and guilt will usually decrease or go away altogether.

When we chose the dates for our vacation, we purposely booked the flight home on a Friday so we would have the weekend to decompress from our eustress before going back to work on Monday. I have been relaxing, watching movies and playing around on the computer all weekend. Laundry and other chores need to be done, but they will still be there tomorrow when, hopefully, I will feel recovered from my vacation eustress.

What are some of the coping techniques that you have used to dissolve your eustress? We’d love to hear what works for you!

P.S. We will be announcing the winners from our May Self-Care Challenge on Thursday! Stay tuned!