I've been having a lot of problems with stress as of late. The source of the stress is very confined, specifically two sources, but it's having a monumental effect on my life. I'm not particularly pleased about all of this, and try to keep a positive outlook. As Kris often says in a resigned tone, "What are you gonna do?" much in the same was as I imagine the question "Who is John Galt?" would be asked.
When I was in school, my way of dealing with stress was very much to escape it as best I could with books. I read a lot in school, probably too much, as I wasn't necessarily reading my textbooks. I read a lot of Heinlein back then.
I've recently noticed I've myself escaping in a different way. Instead of just reading a book, though I have done that, having run through all of the young adult series I have (Sisters Grimm, Percy Jackson, Septimus Heap, most of my travelling books: Charlie Bone), I've started spending more and more time programming.
Of course, there's POUNDS, and, of course, client work.
I have to wonder, though, if just disappearing into a computer is really the best thing for me to be doing right now. Sure, it's a productive form of escapism, but I'd much prefer to address the problems head on. Not doing so well on that front. A few people know why. I suspect in two months I'll be able to adjust the permissions on some past posts and let them be open to the world at the point when no one will care. That's the best plan.
I haven't stopped reading. I'm just not reading as much as before. The most recent book I've read was the Last Lecture, which is based on the last lecture Randy Pausch gave at Carnegie Mellon before he died (and if you didn't know that, crawl out from under that rock, and watch the video). As near as I can tell, Pausch lived as I wish I had and could. The book is full of a lot of gems. I've gone back to the book uncountable times after reading it all the way through, usually ending up saddened, though comforted, if that's possible.