After a week like the country has just gone through, I would speculate that many of us are struggling with a similar issue; regaining balance in our lives. We have so little control over the events in the markets, or with major natural disasters. What can we do to get back some sense of control, regain our emotional footing?
That has been the most unsettling thing in my life this week. For someone else it might be a family crisis, a health issue, a job loss, a death; the list is really endless. I don’t know what any of you do, can only tell you what has worked for me. I am always open to new ideas too, so please share.
First, I have done a lot of deep breathing this week, so much that I am probably fortunate that I haven’t hyperventilated along the way. I have had to unplug from the news, slow my self down, and as an immediate calming action, have just closed my eyes and taken three slow, deep breaths. We tend to forget to breath when we are stressed and it always amazes me that such a simple action can make such a difference; at least it has always worked for me.
Second, as hard as it can be as an inveterate news junkie, I have to give myself a long break from television. I realized last night that I had been glued to MSNBC for hours on end, with occasional breaks for CNN or C-SPAN. The news will still be there later; I don’t really have to know everything as it is happening.
What else do I do with myself? When I really want to give my mind a rest, one of the first things I do is turn to my cat and my dogs. They are so present to life, always living in the moment; not thinking about the past or future, just focused on what is right now. They eat, sleep, play, vie for my attention, and I think I can learn a lot from them…when I remember to focus more on them. They are each such interesting individuals too, and have very different personalities.
I also do whatever I feel will bring me the most comfort in the moment. That might be a hot bath, a fire in the fireplace, curling up with a great book; my pets nearby. I love music, and will often listen when I am reading or working. In that case, I rely on nstrumentals, and most often classical music.
There is also the comfort food avenue. Somehow over the years, though I am no stringbean, I have been able to gain fairly good control of a tendency to overeat when I am stressed. There are things I know will always make me feel better in moderation, though. Top of the list is probably the Trader Joe’s Semisweet Chocolate with Almonds one pound bar. That came to mind first because my local TJ’s was actually out when I shopped yesterday, yikes! Normally that wouldn’t matter but I am about to sequester myself for several weeks and with what is happening it would be nice to have one on hand.
Other favorites, in no particular order; mashed potatoes and really good ripe sliced tomatoes, or fried chicken and coleslaw, baked beans and cornbread, or a great steak and salad with blue cheese dressing. Whatever it is, it needs to be simple; I am just not into cooking for myself, and don’t find that relaxing at all.
Enough for a first post. It is time to go play with dogs now. Wishing anyone who might find this post, a peaceful and relaxing weekend. Hopefully whatever stressor might be going on in your life now can be put on hold, at least long enough to allow you to regroup.