I have decided to leverage the power of social comparison to manage stress.
Therefore, I am alternately reading the blogs of a). people who appear to have the most boring lives imaginable and never really seem to DO anything (interestingly this does not stop them from writing about it anyway) and b). people who had something really terrible happen unexpectedly.
I even found one with both elements - a saccharine and cliche-filled few years of blogging from a young wife and mother, followed by a total crisis when her 31-year-old husband dropped dead unexpectedly. (Interestingly, her writing got much better after the latter event - it got right rid of all the cliches and the saccharine).
This has the result of putting my worries totally into perspective: it has the dual effect of reminding me that things might be stressful, but at least there are interesting things going on; and that I better enjoy it because actually overall things are pretty great and you never know what is coming down the road. Something terrible could happen at any moment, and has totally happened to lots of people, which really puts not being able to travel for Christmas (should my visa not come through in time) in perspective.
This is working great so far.
Other, more healthy ways to manage stress include social support (had a nice chat with Judith today), the gym and crocheting like a mad thing. Always very soothing. This will all work out somehow, presumably... and at least I'm doing things and nobody has discovered an undiagnosed heart problem!