Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stress Busters- Part 2, 10.29.15

Have you ever had to deal with a stressor that was so ridiculous that you can't even wrap your head around how it even started in the first place? And one that is so affecting that you feel like someone has come up from behind you and hit you in the head with a baseball bat?  (Weird analogy, I know. But sometimes it does feel like I've had the emotional wind knocked completely out of me.) Well, this is my life for the past 6 months. SO crazy! But, you know, having lived almost 50 years of this life, I am now fully aware that things can change in an instant and you can really never let your guard down, completely. And, I've had a lot of opportunities to practice various coping skills to deal with these changes, for example- 32 years of motherhood, 11 years of teaching teenagers, a divorce and the unexpected death of the father of my children have given me a pretty decent range of practice. So, I'm pretty proud that this recent stress is only having intermittent effects on me. Don't get me wrong. It is way up there on the "stress-o-meter", as it has been a roller-coaster ride (bad, then better, then worse, then WAY worse, then a little better, etc., etc.) and it is affecting something that I've spent most of my adult life nurturing. But, if I am nothing else, I am very determined and stubborn! So I will ride this out, too, because I won't let it ruin something I've worked so hard for.

Letting go is not an option in this case, so I have to be willing to be dragged a little. And, that's okay.
Image found via a simple life afloat

So if you can relate at all to going through a roller-coaster-stress-ride, I thought you might be interested in some new stress busters that have been helpful to me (in addition to the ones I mentioned here a few months ago).

Here they are, in no particular order of importance or effectiveness :). 

1.) Brag on yourself, to yourself:   For me, my biggest and proudest accomplishment is raising three kind, loving, respectful people, who now have the opportunity to pass that along to their own children. And that is huge. And to top it off, I get to spend every working day until retirement helping other people's children become more kind, loving and respectful. (Well, at least I can wish for that!) Sometimes, when something is making you feel crappy, you have to pat yourself on the back a little, you know? :)

2.) Do some yoga: Sorry! I know I sound like a broken record on the yoga thing, but you have no idea how good it feels to force yourself to breathe and balance and the same time. It is incredibly calming.

3.) Go to Starbucks: Or any place where you can get a little treat for less than five or six bucks. Yes, I know this is a little thing. But sometimes a little treat (a grande, decaf, Flat White with coconut milk, please!) makes a big difference when you're having a rotten day.

4.) Listen to uplifting podcasts: This is my new addiction. I love podcasts! My favorites are those featuring Elizabeth Gilbert, Brene' Brown or Kelly Rae Roberts. Although their topics are mostly about creativity, just hearing their positive voices makes me feel better. Actually, if I have to find a silver lining in this whole mess, it has to be that it has taught me yet another way to cope- with excessive positivity. Even if you have to fake it, it makes you feel better.

5.) Force yourself to think about happy things:  In my case, spending time with my grandsons and looking forward to my granddaughters. Because how can you be negative when you are with a four year old, a one year old or newborn babies?

6.)  Make a to-do list: Keeping my mind busy is my best medicine. It could be things as mundane as paying bills, cleaning out a closet or giving my dog a bath. But the best lists are the ones that remind me to work on creative projects like stitching or painting (or writing a blog post!). Hours go by and it seems like minutes. Working with my hands always helps my head.

Having works-in-progress like this (my latest fiber piece) is like medicine for me.

7.) Read articles related to what you are dealing with:
When something is bugging me, I read, read, read- trying to find any kind of advice or solution to my dilemma. In this case, the perfect article showed up in my blog feed at the perfect time. To summarize, using a line from the article,

"We are not terrible people, even though we may have said or done some pretty hurtful things. In the end, we all want the same thing: to be happy, to feel loved, and to know that we matter."

This article reminded me that any kind of negative behavior is always driven by fear. And the best way to deal with it, even if you are the one affected, is with forgiveness and compassion. So that's my plan.

8.) And lastly, but I think most importantly, spend time with someone who is ALWAYS on your side and ALWAYS willing to listen. In my case, that person is my husband, M. Meeting him 12 years ago had to be divine intervention of some kind, on some level (if you believe in that!). I'm very lucky.

So there it is. Positivity, forgiveness and compassion are the words of the day, today. I hope it helps someone out there, in some small way. 

Now, I'm hoping this negative situation takes a turn for the positive very soon. Maybe you could send some positive vibes our way? We need it. Thank you in advance!  Juli

1 comment:

  1. You know, one day we should find a winery after work (know one?) and have a visit for an hour or two before we head home... You free next Tuesday? After school? :)