What if the president declared a day when it was mandatory everyone wore their stimulus “Be Happy, Don’t Worry” T-shirt? It could be beneficial in several ways.

First and foremost, everyone would look the same, so we could truly act, as we claim, “united we stand.” Second, maybe it would ease the stress that makes us do weird things.

There are all kinds of stress and even more ways of how to deal with it. Some of us worry about things that may happen, some worry about things that have already happened and a whole bunch of us stress out because everyone else is. I fit into all three of these categories although I usually have my fake-it-till-you-make-it game face on, so the only person I’m stressing out is myself.

My stress reliever used to be eating a bag of chocolate chip cookies. The sugar high would make me feel better for a while. Carrots and celery just don’t cut it. Since eating junk food shouldn’t be my first choice of finding comfort and exercising is just something I say I’m going to do, I’ve been looking for some ways to unwind. With freezing temperatures in the mornings, as of late, gardening season isn’t quite here yet and I can only mow the grass so many times in a week’s time.

Mowing is when I rest my mind. It’s not that I have anything specific to worry about, besides trying to get through a pandemic, but some days it’s just overwhelming, as if I need to get off the grid to be sane again. I often wish we could live in a time of simpler days – when a handshake was as good as a contract, and then, just like that, we can’t even do that anymore.

This time of year, if I’m not outside playing in the dirt (which, by the way, has been proven to be a stress reliever) I’m working in a home office, which now has certainly come in handy. The downside to a home office is knowing when it’s time to quit working, and with the stay-at-home order, it seems I’ve been working more than I’ve been playing.

We decided to replace the evening news with “The Andy Griffith Show,” thanks to the man of the house, who controls the remote. I’m not saying I’m going to start growing my hair long enough to have a beehive hairdo or have an apron as a permanent fixture around my waist, but Aunt Bee could be my role model. She made life simple, and nothing was so bad a plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy couldn’t fix.

As I sit here, nearly finished with this column, I realize I’m virtually stress-free, as the dog hopes to enjoy the crumbs from the last of the chocolate chip cookies. He didn’t like the carrot sticks either.

Sandy Turner lives in Independence, Missouri. Email her at sandydownhome@hotmail.com