The word of the day, stressed. How could I possibly be stressed? I mean, think about it…this is my usual morning:
Where once I was rudely awakened by the alarm going off at 4AM, I now rise on my own some time around seven. I shove the cover aside, get up and let the dogs outside. (My front yard is fenced they are safe) I start my coffee and plug the phone in to charge. I feed the not so stray cats then come in here to start scrolling through the many gifts and offerings in my social media and blogs. Around 8:30 mom calls. All the while I am watching the sun rising up into the sky, unless its overcast or raining, and listening to the birds joyously greeting the day. I get changed from retirement uniform to day wear when the notion strikes. My breakfast, is usually brunch.
It wasn’t always this way. As I mentioned, I once had to get up at 4 to be at work by 6. I worked as first shift lead person in a manufacturing plant. I did this four months short of thirty years not counting the first four with the company when I quit and went elsewhere for a while. While it was not on the level of one responsible for the lives of others through health or safety, nor did it involve anything explosive, it held its own stress.
Machinery that had to be set up accurately. Dealing with harried managers or frustrated coworkers. Attempting to get orders done correctly and on time. Working extended hours and trying to find time and energy to take care of things at home. The things at home.
I have stated often, that I don’t feel it my place to attempt to be a teacher or guide in dealing with the things life throws at us. Even though from time to time I do exactly that very thing. I try to share only how I handled the various situations. Such as stress.
What better way to start than popping down the rabbit hole for a quick look around: https://www.stress.org/stress-effects This site is a treasure trove of information. There are many things listed here that one would not immediately attribute to stress, but in thinking about it, the items listed make sense.
I will say that yes, I have been stressed out before to the point of dealing with many of the above listed issues. No, I won’t do a detailed listing. I will discuss how I have dealt with my own stress and stress related issues.
I had to find my balance. The place where I am content with who I am and where I am in life. I do share a lot about my life and struggles. They say write what you know, and well, I know me. Some of the things I share, are things from the past, a few are current. I am always and will always be, a work in progress. I’m good with that.
I am a person who has a deep appreciation and need for solitude, even as I also enjoy time with friends. A sheltered childhood left me trying to comprehend that how too fit in thing even as I wanted to be who I am. That square peg in a round hole isn’t always easy when you see the expressions on those around you would don’t quite understand. Similar to that fine line between genius and insanity is the line between individuality and conformity. One has to find their comfort in being themselves while not scaring those around you too badly.
Contentment in what I have. Learning to enjoy the dream of a glorious garden but being content with the wildflowers and the flowers shared by friends. To find pleasure in seeing the yards of others and the photos in those home and garden magazines. The same with all that home decorating inside and out. I dream of what would be nice, and then settle happily with what I have.
When the effects of stress, even the hidden kind, try to rise up, I take a hike weather permitting. I head for the woods, the quiet, the cool, the peace. I can hike up a mountain and look out across a landscape that stretches out before me, or lean against a tree and watch a squirrel dig through leaves. I can feel the breeze or the sunlight on my face and the healing and calming of the spirit within.
I can pick up a good book, listen to the music that fits my mood, or watch a movie. That long soak in a hot bubble bath is also a winner.
Conversations with friends or family on the phone, in person, over coffee, over cake..All diversions, all distractions, all work. These work for me, I know that for some they may actually be a source of stress.
I know though, that I had to find the things, and it is still something that needs work from time to time,that allow the healing within. Stress is like that mosquito or housefly that gets inside and will drive you to madness unless you take care of the pest. It is the weight that can drag you down into a dark pit of despair if you allow. It is the maze that seems to have no escape, but in truth, the escape is personal. We have to find our own ways of healing.
My son always tells me that I worry too much about things. One more side effect, one more issue, one more thing to handle on being stressed. In my stressed out worried state I would toss out a “What if??” followed by something horrible. Now, I speak an audible “What if, followed by something amazing.” It even works from time to time.