Calculating Your Stress Index

Recently my company launched a new initiative for “Wellness” – promoting employee welfare through staying in shape, maintaining a good work-life balance, being responsible citizens, and being “prepared” – although that latter one mostly read like making sure you’re prepared to get old and die.

Being the responsible citizen that I am, I took the 6-question stress test offered on their new site, which will help you gauge your current level of stress. (I work in the Washington DC area, commonly cited as one of the most stressed out places in the known universe.) I noted with a certain incredulity that their first question asked me to rate my current level of stress, using 1 as low and 5 as high. This would seem to obviate the need for the other 5 questions.

After stressing about this for a minute, in the interest of helping all my loyal readers gauge their current levels of stress, I thought I’d create my own Stress Test, using a method that is highly scientific on account of it has more than 6 questions. Answer the following 20 questions as honestly as you can, sobriety notwithstanding, and I will present you with a scientifically derived “Stress Index Number” at the end of the test. Based on your SIN, I will present a variety of options to choose from to help reduce your stress levels, if needed.

Question Never Some-times Often All the Damn Time Not on Purpose
Have you been known to drink alcohol?          
On an average weekday, do you find yourself wanting to choke the living shit out of one or more people during the course of the day?          
Do you routinely engage in a little Hey Hey (with yourself or another person, doesn’t matter)?          
Do you include “going to the bathroom” as a form of escapism, like novels and movies?          
Say someone cuts you off in traffic. Do you fantasize about ramming their vehicle?          
Say someone cuts you off in traffic. Do you actually ram their vehicle?          
Do you find yourself muttering “Clean ALL the things!” to yourself more than once a week?          
Do people talk about your coffee habits in hushed tones when they think you can’t hear them?          
Would you consider the term “Self-induced ADD” to adequately describe your approach to task completion?          
Have you included your potty breaks on your schedule in Outlook because otherwise you know you’ll get stuck in some fucking meeting and nearly wet your pants again because that guy from marketing Won’t. Shut. Up?          
When you’re lying in bed trying to sleep, do you count tasks you didn’t complete today instead of sheep?          
In the past seven days, have you eaten more than a pint of ice cream while just sitting in the kitchen, just staring at the clock, just watching the goddamn clock on the wall, not thinking about anything, just sucking down a whole goddamn pint of ice cream while the second hand goes around and around and around?          
When you dream of winning the lottery, is your primary fantasy “not having to put up with this crap anymore?”          
When engaged in BDSM role-playing, is your usual safe word “chocolate?”          
Have you spent more time worrying about how someone would take interpret your email than it took to write it?          
Do you explain to your kids that there are other answers besides ‘Because I said so, now just DO IT!’ but that you can’t always remember what they are?          
Do you run marathons?          
Do you stress about all the people you know who run marathons while you sit on your couch and feel superior because really, that’s just crazy, but secretly wonder if you could do that, not that you would because that’s nuts, but you know what I mean?          
Do you feel guilty because you check Facebook more often than your corporate email?          
In the past week, have you used “FML” as part of your status on any social media site?          

Your Personal Stress Index:


Interpreting your Stress Index Number:

If your SIN is less than 11: You’re fucking lying.

If your SIN is between 12 and 20: You’re pretty relaxed for someone on the run from the law. They’re going to catch you eventually, but you’re a honeybadger, aren’t you? You don’t care. You don’t give a shit. It’s a grand adventure. You go, honeybadger. You go.

If your SIN is between 21 and 40: You’re doing ok. You’re not going to pop anytime soon, but you’re on a slippery slope of stress and sudden angry urges. Consider adding more alcohol and sex to your diet.

If your SIN is between 41 and 60: Just what you need, one more thing to worry about. You now have a number – a concrete, solid, put-your-hands-on-it digit – for your stress, to add to all the things you’re already stressing about. Try not to let it get to you. Just try. What’s going to help? Naked time!

If your SIN is between 61 and 80: You, my friend, are a beautiful mess. You’re past the saving embrace of booze – you’re going to need medical intervention. Try checking yourself into a sex therapy clinic and offering to be the release valve for the “guests” – you seriously need to get laid.

If your SIN is greater than 81: Put the gun down. Step away from the gun. OK, deep breath now. The nice people with the thorazine are on their way. It’s all going to be – I said step away from the gun. No. No! Put it down again. Come on, it’ll be fine. We have cookies.



12 Responses to “Calculating Your Stress Index”

  1. 62. I think the actually ramming vehicles is the one that pushed it over the edge.

  2. @Jen, yeah, that’s a strong indication that you might want to lay off the caffiene for a little while…

  3. 46. I’m sure my husband will be thrilled to hear of the antidote ;) Hilarious, as always dear BUMD

  4. @Kirsty – Naked time makes everything better! Remember, I almost played a doctor on TV once, and I’m a known expert in two relaxation techniques. (OK, yes, those would be booze and sex, but still, they’re known to relax people. Well, at least they relax me, which makes me an expert. Usually a snoring expert, but an expert nonetheless.)

  5. Ah, Doug….you make me laugh. A lot. Maybe that’s why my number isn’t as high as it could be.

  6. @Lisa – Glad to hear it! My work here is done; now to go work on bringing my own number down. It’s Gin O’Clock!

  7. 6 — I guess I’m a pretty good liar… ;-)

  8. @Jani – You’re totally lying, possibly to yourself. That, or he’s a *really* good boyfriend!

  9. Diagnose my stress index from this: Yesterday, my optimistic thought for the day was, “Well, at least I didn’t shit my pants.”

    Where’s my cookie?!?

  10. As there are pants in our house that run the risk of being shit in on a daily basis, I have to suspect that our reactions to this event might differ. Although, since they’re not *my* pants, I’ll concede your point. Put the gun down.

    Oh, and I left the cookie on your browser! :-P

  11. Cookie on my browser! *Snork!*

    Thanks for starting my day off with a belly laugh!

  12. @Diane – How could I resist that???

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