Chronic Stress Management
Stress management is something that I have to constantly be aware of. If I become too stressed out all of my C’s start rearing their ugly heads and attacking what’s left of my insides. As a mother and a wife, not a day goes by that is completely stress free. Chronic stress is just how my life is and always has been. As I’ve mentioned before, music plays a crucial role in helping to calm my anxieties. However, on especially bad days I have to take my stress management one step further. I put my ear buds in, pick out the appropriate tunes, and proceed to a few select places.
My closest refuge is our back deck. From there, I can sit back and stare at the clouds rolling by, taking my worries with them. I’ll watch the birds in the nearby trees and silently tell them my troubles for them to fly away with. I’ve spent hours in this meditative state, forgetting about the world and eventually returning to my family at peace.
When it’s raining (since our back deck’s overhang isn’t water proof) or when the current stress is something that I physically need to get out, I change my locale to the front. I’ll grab my Moleskin notebook and blue pen and head out the front door to the steps. Our apartment complex is fairly quiet and these steps provide a safe haven where I can sit and write out all my feelings. These writings range from incoherent ravings of a mad (literally angry) woman to tear-stained pages of uninhibited sadness. I always sit on the second step, out of view, in case someone was to look down the corridor, I won’t be disturbed. These steps of solace provide me protection not only from the weather but from my emotions that could be damning to certain relationships. Therefore, I consider them one of the more important places that I retreat to.
At particularly stressful times, I have to venture a little further into the world. There are just some times that call for physical release. On these occasions, I’ll walk about ¼ mile to the entrance of our apartment complex. There sits a black metal bench overlooking a pond and fountain.
Granted, the bench is rather unpleasant but, anything hard that I sit on since my surgery usually is. Nevertheless, the tranquility given by the sound of the water and the sight of the ducks that reside there is worth a few moments of being uncomfortable. I’ll usually stay for 30 minutes to an hour before making the walk back home. This combination of physical and mental liberation does wonders for my stress levels. By the time I return through the front door, I’m too tired to waste energy on stress and my mind has had the chance to be cleansed. At that point, what’s truly important to me has room to thrive… the love I have for my family.
Prior to diagnosis, I tried to tell a friend that “lack of fun” made my stomach hurt worse. She, of course, laughed at me because she didn’t understand what I was trying to convey. However, I knew, even at that young age, that stress was making me sick. It’s taken me a long time but, I finally have ways to cope. I hope that you’ll find ways to combat your stress as well. “Sick” or not, chronic stress is detrimental when left uncontrolled. As selfish as it may sound, sometimes you have to put yourself first.
(Side Note: This post was inspired by The Daily Post)
**Listening to 10 Years & Coheed and Cambria**