Monday, February 19, 2018

Busting Your Stress With Simple Steps

Peaceful Forest flowers

Stress is a common word we hear all the time. It is that feeling of strain and pressure. Sometimes you can put your finger on what is causing your stress. Sometimes you can't and don't even know it is stress. You just know it is there. Other times you are very well aware of the cause of your stress, even though you do not know how to rid yourself of it. It can be caused by a number of different things going on in your life, such as a job, a family member, finances, not enough time to do things you need to do, other people or negative feelings about yourself. Stress can fester over time if you do not try to deal with it yourself. If you let it go on for too long it can also cause your body to break down and cause various health conditions. I feel that is your body giving you a warning, saying, "Deal with your stress right now!"


Watching the birds is restful for me.

Chronic stress I feel is when you are living with a situation that goes on and on and you can't get rid of it or come up with a solution to end it. Maybe it is caused by a family member's illness or their mental state. Living with others who are the cause of your stress is the hardest to deal with. If it was your neighbors, you could move. Not likely when it is coming from your family. Sometimes you cannot identify what or who is causing your stress. Maybe it is just because you do not want it to be what it is. Like if it is your spouse or child. You can make your feelings known to them about what they are doing to you. If it makes a difference and they try to cooperate with you on eliminating the stress that would be good. But it is not always the case.


Living in a peaceful place is helpful.

Years ago I attended Al-Anon meetings because my 2nd husband was a bad alcoholic. They taught me how to "distance" myself from him to rid myself of the stress of living with him. It worked very well. It also helped me to be able to leave him. I saw no reason to stay with an alcoholic when I didn't even drink myself. I told him when I left that I did not want to watch him kill himself and that is exactly what he did. Dying before he was 52. There are times when you will not want to eliminate someone from your life even if they are the cause of your stress. Such as your child, parent or a sibling and maybe your spouse. 


The bridge to my house.

Learning to deal with your stress by going to counseling is a good way to get started. Unfortunately, at this time I cannot do so. In the past I have done just that and it helped me very much. So I have discovered stress busters that work for me. I am not saying they will work for you but it may be worth it to give a try. Taking care of yourself in any way you can will make a difference. We all have to be selfish at times in our lives. Being a wife and mother is a job that does not come with retirement age limit. It goes on and on. Being miserable, unhappy and stressed out will not benefit anyone, even whoever is causing your stress, but least of all you. You count! You are important too.


Patches

These are the ones I recommend:

1. Music! Yes listening to music is my #1 stress buster. It works for me. I have an MP3 player with all of my favorite classic rock music that I grew up with. Listening to Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd before I go to bed relaxes me so much. 

2. Writing. In a journal, working on my blogs, poetry or eBooks relieves my stress immensely. If you are not a writer, don't let that stop you. Get a notebook and just write whatever comes to your head. I can write for hours by hand and it is my best writing by far. I have kept a journal for years and I can look back at any time and see how I dealt with something in the past.

3. Reading. Immerse yourself in a novel for a few hours. Let it take you away from the problems that are stressing you out. I love to read and do it every day. My ideal vacation would be staying somewhere where all I had to do was to read books. Since I do not own a television or watch any type of television shows, reading is my entertainment. I read aloud to my husband in the evening and I notice it takes his stress or anger away. I try to do it every night.

4.Bake something! Yes, I do that quite often. I get into my recipe and forget about everything else for awhile. Taking pictures of it in the process to later post on my blogs or in a future eBook. 

5. Go outside. Take a walk. Visit a park or a wooded area. I love the forest and live in the middle of the state forest. It is my favorite outdoor area. My previous house had a huge hay field directly behind our yard and I would get all stressed out over something and would stop what I was doing and head out to the field. Walking around the edge several times. So relaxing. I spend a lot of time in my garden and that takes all the stress away. Working out there and sitting on a bench in the garden is my thinking time. Nobody bothers me out there and I look forward to that time. I miss it in the winter.

6. Exercise. No surprise there. I like to use dumbbells and work out using a weight bench. That kind of stress on your body is good for it! I also have a recumbent bicycle that I love riding because I can read or mediate at the same time. Lately I have not been able to use it due to my knees being so bad. I am in the process of trying to correct them and will get back on my bike when I do. Any kind of exercise you enjoy is highly recommended.

7.  Meditate. Taking the time to meditate is well worth it. Find a quiet relaxed area away from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. Even if you only spend 10 minutes doing it. Do not think about your problems at that time. Just concentrate on your breathing.

8. Take a bubble bath or spend some time, if you have access to one, in a sauna or hot tub. I used to have a hot tub at two different houses I lived in and that was the best. Stress be gone! A sauna will remove all the toxins from your body and make you feel renewed.

9. If you can afford to, go to a bed and breakfast somewhere quiet by yourself. Or camping. It is rewarding to spend time alone by yourself. You do not have to talk. Just you and your own thoughts. Don't have to take care of anyone else.

10. If you own pets, sometimes they are the best stress busters I know of. My pet house rabbit is such a peaceful little fella. He gives me much needed comfort many times through out my day. Cats, dogs, horses, chickens or any pet you have can perform this job quite easily. It is part of their nature, to comfort you (Rabbit told me so!).


Rabbit getting his favorite treat, banana, from my husband.


I hope you can find something useful in my stress busters for your stress. It is not meant to replace counseling if that is what you need. It may get you started and help you get through your day. If you feel you need something more, consider getting professional help. It worked for me. Good luck!






All Text and Photographs Copyright © 2018 Kathleen G. Lupole
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