Super Secret Stress Relievers

Y’all.  Can I be honest for a second?  Like, no filter, no sugar coating, no bullshit?


First, Chris and I are off.  Like, way off.  Like, have never been this off.  And that is completely unsettling to me because he is normally my foundation and compass.  So, with a broken compass right now, it’s hard for me to find what’s up and what’s down.

Second, I am not transitioning gracefully into my new job.  I’m not used to working with a team.  I’m not used to working with ADULTS.  I’m not used to working at home.  I’m not used to sales.  I’m not used to the start up world.  And while we are being successful despite my hellacious entrance into this new world, it has me all kinds of flustered and frustrated and out of sorts.

Third, my doctor changed my anti-anxiety medication dosage.  When the shit hit the fan this summer and I just about broke in two from the stress, my blood pressure went through the roof and my insomnia was rampant.  So, when I mentioned all that was going on to my doctor, she suggested doubling what has been a very low dose of Citalopram (generic of Lexapro).  Sounded good to me!  But, turns out, there are side effects of increasing my meds and they are none too fun.  One of them is extreme fatigue or exhaustion.  As if I need more of that in my life right now.  Another is difficulty sleeping.  So, basically, I’m stressed and incredibly tired, but can’t effing sleep.  It’s like being tortured.

All of this is to say that life has been kicking my ass for a while and when that happens, I have a super secret obsession that calms me down.  It is super secret because it sounds insane when I tell people about it.  I know this because I had too much to drink at a dinner party one time and told the group of women I hardly knew about this particular coping mechanism and there was about 10 seconds of incredibly judgmental silence before one of them said, “That’s weird, Katie,” and the rest of them begin agreeing.  I also know this obsession is weird because I have told my mom, sister, and two best friends about it and all of them have insisted I tell no one.

Which is why I feel the need to tell you all.

(I literally just had to take a deep breath before I could go on typing here…)

I watch cleaning videos.

Yes, you heard me right.  Cleaning videos.  Out there on the deep, world-wide web, there are vloggers who post videos of themselves cleaning their houses.  That’s it.  Just them cleaning their houses.  Go to YouTube and search “Clean With Me.”  It’s like a whole world of videos that normal people don’t know about.


I don’t know what it is, but I find them so stinking soothing!  I watch them in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep.  I turn the volume on mute and just watch.  I don’t know if it’s because they are so methodical or monotonous or what, but something about watching people cleaning their houses soothes my tired, stressed out little soul.

And now here is the real dark secret that I have revealed to NO ONE yet.  NO ONE.

I’ve got Gracie watching them, too!


I KNOW!!!!!!!!!!  JUDGE ME!!!!!!!!!!!  IT IS SO WEIRD!!!!!!!!!  I feel like I’m in some kind of addict and now I have hooked my kid.  But it really wasn’t my fault.  Gracie came into my room in the middle of the night last week because she had a bad dream.  When she came to find me, I was awake and watching a cleaning video to try and lull myself back to sleep.  Without saying a word, Gracie crawled in bed next to me, snuggled right in, and started watching the video with me.  Then, the next day, she asked if she could watch another cleaning video on my phone.  And that’s when I realized that I had passed this odd obsession on to my second grader.

So, there you have it.  My secret is out in the open.  I watch other people clean their houses to calm my nerves and help me sleep.

Actually, that’s not my only weird obsession to help me sleep.  If I’m going to put this all out there on the internets, I might as well tell you the whole sick situation.  I also watch (…wait for it… wait for it…) Bob Ross painting episodes.  Now, for those, I definitely listen with the sound on.  His soft, soothing voice talking about happy trees and happy accidents just melts my stress away, guys.  I can’t help it.

Now you know. But that’s it.  That’s the only other weird stress relieve secret that I have.

OKAY, FINE!  There’s a third kind of weird video I watch to help soothe myself!  I watch cookie decorating videos.  No sound.  Just royal icing cookie decorating.  Specifically, the Hungarian lace cookie decorating.  It puts me right to sleep.

And in case you, too, have a little weirdness in you, here are some links to my favorite videos:  

Clean with Me with Beauty and the Beastons  

After Dark Clean with Me with This Crazy Life

Bob Ross Island in the Wilderness

Easter Egg Cookies with Hungarian Folk Art Flowers

Lace Cookies by Mezesmanna



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