When Life is Stressful -12 Tips | Video About Us

RVing during fall colors in Wisconsin.

Have you ever had so many things going on in your life that you just didn’t know where to focus? Well, that’s been me lately. Blogging has definitely taken a backseat these days. Perhaps I’m still recovering from our quick nearly 2,000-mile (3,218 km) return drive to Phoenix … 800 miles of which included a storage unit move and me driving a twenty-foot rented box truck while Al drove the RV. Ok, I’m tired just repeating it in my head. Yeah, exhausting and stressful!

But that move didn’t stop me from hopping in my daughter’s car two weeks later for an extended weekend in Disneyland to celebrate her milestone birthday.

Celebrating a birthday in Car Land Disneyland

While at Disney, I was thinking a lot about the items we moved and continue to choose storing and what it all represents: a life well-lived. Those Disney rides reminded me that going through life is a lot like riding a roller-coaster. There are lots of ups, downs, twists, and turns. Sometimes we experience an exciting thrill while other times we encounter a dizzying headache. No one is blessed with a smooth ride. Besides, wouldn’t life be boring without all those peaks and valleys?

Going through all our crap stuff in storage was an emotional journey. Special momentoes from when our children were little had us questioning where the time went. And then there were items from our deceased parents. Not a day goes by that we don’t miss them. Even with all the things I couldn’t part with, we were still able to whittle down our belongings so we could get one storage unit in Phoenix in lieu of the two we had in Colorado and we were able to get everything into a 20-foot truck instead of having to rent the large 26-footer.

Sinclair Dinosaur

And the move could not have gone any better, but that’s not to say I wasn’t a nervous wreck. I had every intention of catching up with a few of our friends while we were in our old stomping grounds, but I was suffering from a great deal of anxiety and worrying about what could go wrong on the drive. Could that be from too many years of full-time RVing? Ya, know … blown tires, broken landing jacks, engine issues, roof damage, etc. 🤣 Murphy’s Law is alive and well for those of us that RV.

I’m sure the guy at the U-Haul rental center thought I was a little OCD especially when he mentioned, “Wow! Most people don’t read all that”. I even made sure we went over a bunch of what if’s … flat tires, breakdowns, and roadside assistance. By the way, did you know if you rent one of those box trucks and get into an accident, your auto insurance policy probably won’t cover the damages? I called USAA (our insurance carrier) to verify our coverage. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being sold a U-Haul insurance policy that I didn’t need. I needed it! Yeah, renting a box truck is not like renting a car. So, do your due diligence if you rent any moving equipment.

And to think, when Al and I moved from Las Vegas, Nevada to Colorado Springs, Colorado we never asked any of those questions. Ignorance is bliss, huh! And crossing Vail Pass and Loveland Pass in Colorado was a real treat in a couple of 26-foot box trucks. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can went through our heads as we chugged up passes over 11,000 feet in elevation. The best those trucks could do going up those mountains was maybe 25mph in a 75mph speed zone. We were just glad the trucks didn’t roll backward which we, at one point, were concerned about 😆

Route 66 Casino Albuquerque
On the light post between our 5th wheel and the motorhome is a small white sign saying “No Overnight Parking”. Oops! At least we weren’t the only ones who didn’t see the sign till morning.

After six years of full-time RVing, I’m rather adept at planning and even though all my planning went off without a hitch, it took nearly 300 miles in the rearview mirror before I finally calmed down and said to myself, “You got this!” Since Al and I are well versed in caravanning in separate vehicles, we used our Walkie Talkies to stay connected while driving. He was an amazing cheerleader and knew just what to say and when to say it. Thanks, hun!

Later that evening, while we were parked at the Route 66 Casino near Albequerque next to the “no overnight parking” sign, which we didn’t see until the next morning, we discussed my unwarranted concerns of the day. My behavior was definitely out of character. I’m a rather strong and independent person and don’t usually suffer from anxiety. I’m guessing a lot had to do with my emotions regarding the cargo in the rental truck. So many special momentoes. Ah, the memories …

Baby ducks snuggled under mama
Those little ones grow up so fast! I can’t believe my little one recently turned 30.

Driving 800 miles alone in an unfamiliar vehicle without music or an audiobook (radio only worked a fraction of the time), leaves one to ponder, and trust me, my mind wandered aimlessly. But I did think about how life can get stressful and how Al and I have always found a way to get through those challenging times. This move was a prime example. We usually come out on the other side a little stronger and a little wiser. Or so we hope!

12 Tips to overcome stress.

  1. Trust. Trust in yourself and your abilities.
  2. Laugh. Sometimes life gets so crazy that you just have to laugh. Even when Al and I have been stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, we try to find the humor in the situation. Even if you are in a serious, sad moment, there is laughter to be had. Laughter makes everything better!
  3. Focus on what you can control. Sometimes there are situations beyond our control (weather comes to mind) and no matter what we do, we can’t change it. During those times, it’s best to just roll with the flow, make an educated decision on the best recourse, and accept you have no control over the situation.
  4. The path is winding … unless you’re driving on Interstate 80 through the middle of Nebraska, only then can one be assured of a straight path.🤣
  5. Tips to overcome stressEveryone goes through stressful times. There isn’t an adult anywhere who hasn’t gone through feelings of being absolutely overwhelmed and stressed to the max. Know you are not alone.
  6. Don’t compare yourself to others. While there are people who will think that it’s helpful to tell you how they handled a similar situation, smile and accept their advice with a grain of salt. Only you know how to best handle an event or situation. We’re all different. Remember, trust in yourself.
  7. Learn from your mistakes. There is no growth without mistakes.
  8. Plan. Prior planning prevents poor performance. Failure to plan is planning to fail. Having a good plan in place will make life easier and less stressful, but be sure you build in some flexibility to help keep that stress level manageable.
  9. What you want and what you need may not be the same. When you’re feeling stressed about something not turning out the way you wanted, ask yourself if it was actually in your best interest? It could turn out that you’re better off with a different situation that you didn’t expect or know you needed.
  10. Tough situations make life better. It might seem silly, but challenges in life are what make life interesting. There’s great joy from successfully tackling a problematic situation. When you gain the confidence to know you can tackle anything, obstacles no longer are seen as insurmountable. Per Kelly Clarkson, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger“.
  11. Understand that things will change. My favorite saying is, “This too shall pass”. Remember all things in life are temporary, including us. I no longer fuss over needing the perfect campsite, the perfect weather, or the perfect scenery… of course, I still want all that, but if I don’t get what I want, I don’t stress over it. Tomorrow is another day.
  12. Lean on your support system. We all have special people in our lives whether they are friends or family. Don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Studies have shown that leaning on friends or family makes it easier to cope with life. Don’t be afraid to ask for help during those stressful and overwhelming times.

Entertaining video?

So with all the stress behind me, … weeell ……….. except for that long list of RV repairs that we’ll need to tackle this winter, I’m sharing why Al and I moved into our RV full-time in this video. Life can be stressful and sometimes we need to make a change and close one chapter and start a new one.

Oh, and by the way, one of the things that I didn’t explain or it might not seem clear in the video is regarding our careers. We had transitioned from airline careers into a career in homebuilding. So when I talk about our business was slow, that would be our homebuilding biz. Our story is better explained on our “About Us” page if you’re curious.

How have you overcome times of stress in your life? Do you have any inspiration to share?

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66 thoughts on “When Life is Stressful -12 Tips | Video About Us

  1. Great post, Ingrid, you stress tips are spot-on!! I also enjoyed your video, and what a wonderful, relaxing waterside camp site….with a boat at your disposal, awesome! Loved how you ended the video with your soaring Eagle over our U.S. flag. Perfect. 😊

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    1. Thank you Donna. We did have a fantastic summer and I’m hoping for more and better images next summer. As RVers, learning to deal with those stressful days is just part of the journey. Although, I’m always up for less stressful excitement and am happy watching a quiet sunset 😎

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Life is so hard and stressful at times but whatever is going on usually passes, we just have to wait it out. I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine! Great video, hubby and I want to RV full time someday 🙂

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    1. Thank you and I totally agree, just have to wait it out! If I had it to do all over again, we would “part-time” RV, but for us, we didn’t want to keep living where we were. So, we remain on the search for a new home base. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can offer any insights to RVing. We’ve probably made just about every mistake in the book 😏

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful to have a succinct list of tips for managing our stressful events, Ingrid. And whew! what a long and stressful move of your things you two championed through. No wonder you’re tired, that’s a huge trip. 800 miles driving a rental box truck is enough to make even the strongest adventurers sweat. Congratulations on all your accomplishments on this trip, and thanks for sharing the event with us. You two are always an inspiration.

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    1. Thank you Jet. We are definitely glad that move is behind us. We still have some more purging to do but at least now the kids can go through the stuff along our side and decide what stuff if any they’d like.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Most people who know us (but are never around us) would be surprised to learn how stressed I am. All the time! And we both were for the last three years of running our business (which we quit last year)! The alternative lifestyle can be challenging – and is often challenging – but, as you say, that makes it interesting. Where my (our) stress usually exists is with combining work and making an income while being on the road. It’s a stressful combination.

    On top of the “real” work, I have hundreds of creative projects (mostly writing) that don’t get done and are weighing on me, plus being far behind with my blog posts as well. I need time, time, time! And then there’s all the sightseeing and hiking and taking care of the dog to be had… Yep, stress is just part of my life. 🙂

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    1. I can relate. I always have a full plate and sometimes it seems I barely get anything done. Since we aren’t 100% retired, we do have obligations that get in the way of traveling. It’s hard to find that balance. I think you’ve mastered the stress of juggling life pretty darn well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If it’s snowing, I’m not going…so funny. What a beautiful life you and your husband live. I am also an introvert and my husband once he gets talking he can’t stop, although lately we have been keeping mostly to ourselves because of some bumps in the road last year and this year that we are still healing from.

    So sorry to hear about loosing some parents. My husband and I both lost our fathers, who we were both closer to then our mothers.

    You are right about our kids growing too fast. Ours are still home because they both have Autism spectrum disorders but you wouldn’t know it by speaking to them. It is mostly anxiety every now and then.

    We home schooled them when they were little. They are both in college right now and my daughter is going to be attending Grand Canyon University next semester. My son is working on a scholarship just like his sister, so he too can attend Grand Canyon as well.

    He is 19 and for now he is interested in something in biology. We will see if he still is since he has Human anatomy next semester which he is already worried about. He started reading up on this subject as a head start, to keep his GPA up. You know how kids change their minds.

    Love reading about this latest adventure of yours. You are braver then me…I hate driving, but I do love exploring and taking photos. Also, going through and downsizing a whole lifetime of memories is not easy, good for you, you got that done. Have a beautiful day where ever you are. Happy World Kindness day.

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    1. My son received his MBA in Finance from GCU. Great school! Kudos for your kids working/getting scholarships. Not an easy task. We’re in Phoenix all winter (northside near Anthem) and aren’t missing those extreme temps back in Wisconsin that my sister-in-law is currently enduring. In a couple of years, they hope to join us in Phx to escape those cold winter months and embrace our slogan of “if it’s snowing, we ain’t going.”

      Downsizing was the best thing we did later in life. My only regret is that we didn’t purge more stuff!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. GCU does look like a great school and all the kids around during the tour were so mature and kind. I bet your son is great, especially from all the kids I saw that are attending that school. I can’t believe how huge it has gotten. My kids were so funny when they saw there were two Chick-fil-a’s in the school and they were happy about that. That and Taco Bell are their favorite fast food places to eat. We need to downsize too. We try to keep a monthly donation pile going every month. That will be nice when your sister-in-law joins you here. It is always good to have family close. I think she will like it here, we do have great weather most of the time, just stay away during the summer. Summers can be a little hard. You all already know that of course.

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        1. Yep, we’re well acquainted with summers in the desert SW and do are best to head to the high country/north during that time of year.
          GCU has really been improving that part of town and it’s a lovely campus that I’m sure your children will love.

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  6. I liked it earlier this morning then couldn’t watch the video (on my tablet), Ingrid. I am glad to read you and Al are safely back to Phoenix and hopefully back to normal! Years ago I helped my brother move from Houston via San Diego and then up to Sacramento, three whole days of driving 12 hour days. I drove his Toyota 4Runner (a delight) while following him in his moving truck. It was slow going and I was reduced to counting dead armadillos along the road! Your tips on dealing with stress are right on! I love to plan but I can over plan which can lead to its own brand of stress, so I need to keep my travel itineraries open a bit. Like I plan to do for this next trip out your way! Looks like you are having fun with your video recording!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, after your helping your brother with that move, you know exactly how overwhelming it can be. I’m glad it’s behind us and life is settling down. After my first 3 videos (Disney trip coming up this Sunday), I’m not sure what kind of video content I’ll be doing… Guess I’ll wait for inspiration to hit me 🤣. Therefore, not too sure how into video I’ll get. It’ll never replace my love of still photography!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have encountered a few people that look at me as if I have three heads when I tell them how many times I have moved cross country. It is a journey and an adventure! I think the craziest move was Out West to Florida. We decided to drive our small pickup truck cross country with enough stuff to setup once in Florida. We put the rest of the stuff in a professional moving truck and the car on a professional car hauler. We looked like the Clampett’s going down the road – should have bought a truck topper – hindsight – ha! The weather going through Texas was horrid. Little did we realize that would delay the moving truck and our car. The moving truck finally showed up at 4 p.m. on the Friday of Memorial Day Weekend and we lost the car for a few days time and finally resurfaced almost 2 weeks past when it was due to arrive. It was stressful at the time and now something we can laugh about. Happy Adventuring – Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

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    1. Hi Renee, I remember that cross-country move of yours and can relate. I’m sure during one of our long moves, we too looked like the Clampett’s. It sure isn’t fun while being in the thick of things, but makes for entertaining memories when we’re able to look back. Guess it’s all part of life’s adventures 😀

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  8. Hi, Ingrid,
    Loved reading the tips! Being a home builder myself, I relate to #7 and #10 very easily. Love seeing Al in the video— he’s live wire for sure😜! Looking forward to seeing the next episode. That eagle had me transfixed. I love to see soaring eagles.

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    1. As fellow home builders, we can sure relate to the trials and tribulations of life. Planning and breaking projects down into baby steps were my saving grace. I have a little more eagle footage that I plan on sharing. I’m still trying to figure out all this video stuff and where I should focus regarding content. Time will tell!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As you know, Ingrid, the time with your daughter, priceless. Interesting how Disneyland gave you some perspective on other parts of your life. Dealing with “stuff” is a continual challenge for me. We have only rented RVs a few times in the past, and still have some challenges on each trip. We have also been caught on rental car insurance situations. I have learned to take a lot of prephotos. Thank you for being candid on your emotions. You definitely had a lot going on. Great 12 tips. I reread #9 a few times. One to ponder. I love that your husband began with the concept of “outtakes.” Interesting, fun and thought-provoking post.🙂

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    1. Thank you Erica. Al and I sure laughed a lot making that video and I kept getting distracted. Between loons, eagles, and boats, my attention kept getting diverted. I can so relate to that Disney dog getting distracted, “squirrel’.
      Insurance is such a complex subject that I don’t think I’ll ever truly understand it. Thank goodness, I have two kids that work in that industry who help enlighten me. We love our RV life, but it can be filled with a lot of stressful moments.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sue. And it’s so difficult parting with treasured items, but sooner or later it’s time to let go and realize those items don’t define us. It was a stressful and emotional move and glad it’s behind us.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I often say that life is like a roller coaster. Sometimes you have to close your eyes, hang on, and get through it. At some point the ride stops – it always does. When I am stressed, it’s usually because I have tooo many things on my plate. So, I take small bites out of my to-do list so I can see progress, breath deep and exercise. I also love all of your tips as well. #11 is probably my favorite…things DO change and usually for the better. Congrats on the move!

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    1. Thanks Pam. Totally agree on those small bites otherwise things can get so overwhelming. I’m glad that move is over, but eventually we’ll need to thin out that storage unit… again 😐

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  11. Enjoy it as long as you can do it…We have been grounded the past 2 Winters due to health issues and family matters. Our poor Hiker is looking very sad parked out there by the garage. I would have gone full time, but Dennis wasn’t a fan of the idea…Hopefully we will do more traveling next year…Enjoy!!!!!

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    1. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend going full-time. Having a home base is the best of both worlds. It was easy for us to give up the house because we didn’t want to live there anymore and had no real attachment to the community.
      Hope you guys are getting everything squared away and can hit the road for at least a couple of months and escape that IL winter.

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  12. Hi Ingrid,
    I can totally relate to the “whittling down” of all those precious things. For us, all of it had to fit in our 640 sq ft cottage in NH…our stuff (that we chose to keep, which wasn’t much) my parents things that I kept after they died, and photos and mementos for the 5 kids. It’s daunting, but we did it.
    I can also relate to the anxiety piece…I struggle with this every day and it is even more acute when we are trailering either the sailboat or the rv.

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    1. When we first downsized, it felt liberating. Yet now, while we still have more than we need in a storage unit, I no longer feel that sense of liberation. Seems I need to whittle more 🙄 It appears that pulling something adds to the everyday stress while traveling. I know it does for me.

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  13. Love your stories! And you are right – laughter is the best medicine! When Richard finished grad school and we moved from Tennessee to California the first time, we did so with a Ryder moving truck. Drove that thing all the way! Our only “incident” was when we each thought the other had closed the back door when we left our hotel in eastern Arizona. When we stopped at Meteor Crater for fun along the way, we were shocked to see it open! Happily only a couple of pillows were missing and the microwave, etc. was still there on the edge. We called the highway patrol from Meteor Crater by satellite phone (this was 1987), and they said they actually had both pillows (still clean – no less) and we could pick them up in Flagstaff. What an adventure! Life is a journey – enjoy the ride!

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    1. Oh, that’s too funny about the Ryder truck incident. Glad that didn’t happen to us! For those of us that have done a fair amount of moving, laughter is usually the saving grace of all the stress associated with any move.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi, Ingrid – First of all, my hat is off to you for handling such a significant drive. I am very impressed!
    Secondly, your tips for stress reduction are spot-on. I especially like tip #12. It’s incredible how often we can resist doing this. Finally, your video was wonderful. And the scenery at the end — who wouldn’t want to wake up to that on a regular basis?!
    Great post!

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    1. #12 – Fortunately, we had our children somewhat involved with the move since some of the items would become theirs. I was grateful to know they were on standby for help and once we arrived in Phoenix, they gathered friends and did all the unloading. All I had to do was point a finger.
      Yep, with scenery like at my sister-in-laws and a pontoon boat at our disposal, it should be no surprise that we’ll be doing a repeat next summer. My sister-in-law and I already have a list of day excursions.

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  15. Saw the cutest Sinclair Dinosaurs on Hwy 50, in Mound House NV. They were facing each other. She had pink nails and lashes. He had a top hat with black lashes. If I could attach a picture I would share. So cute. Speaking of storage units, we literally just spent the last week emptying out 1800 square feet of storage that a tenant had left us. If was a job, but finally seeing the light at the end of a tunnel. A note to all who do have storage units, DON’T. Our tenants kids did not want the “treasures” in the units. Just something to think about. I am guilty of storage unit habitation, but we are between homes, so temporary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jana, nice to hear from you. I get such a kick out of those Sinclair gas stations. That dinosaur trademark has been around for eons and I still find them to be cute.
      I totally agree with you. If I had it to do all over again, we wouldn’t have kept the majority of stuff that we did and not deal with storage units. Are you guys still in Havasu?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes we are still in Havasu. We spent the last 4 months (well, 8 months if you do not include a 2 month layover in Havasu) on the East Coast. Loving it! Let me know if you are in town. We still owe you a lunch.

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        1. I’d love to do lunch and catch up, but I don’t think we’ll be heading to Havasu this winter. Be sure and keep me posted if you intend to visit Phoenix or even Sedona.

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  16. We too traveled across the nation this past Fall from our LakeHouse in Pennsylvania. It is a trip but so many beautiful sights along the way.

    I cant imagine driving a Uhaul from Colorado! That could put me into full ANXIETY!

    Great tips and great video. Loved the Eagle at the end!

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    1. Thanks Nancy. We’ve driven that same route between Pueblo, CO and Phoenix, AZ so many times that we knew exactly where to stop and what to expect which did take some stress off that drive. My biggest concern was breaking down. We’ve had so many mishaps RVing that I’m always on edge on a long travel day.
      I have more interesting eagle video which I’ll share in an upcoming video. Ever seen one swim?

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Ingrid, you nailed it with your 12 tips! All of these are good to remember when life throws us a curveball. Weather really is something we can’t control but we have to deal with the consequences. I can relate to the after affects of hurricanes. Thanks for these tips!

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