Recently we purchased a home and moved. It required a lot of work and, though I had moved hundreds of times before, this move seemed the longest, most grueling and hard. We had far less stuff to move this time since we had downsized considerably over the years and I’m into decluttering and being organized. It was our first home and the thrill of that should have filled me with energy but instead, I was so wiped out through it all that I dragged myself through all my work as slow as a slug. I usually have so much energy and pep, I’m the queen of multi-tasking, a roosterette up before the neighbor’s rooster, stronger and more driven than some women half my age. What happened?
Then after our move, I did get more energy and started working from sun up to sun down with all our gardening and planting trees, scrubbing and decorating. But then one evening I was sitting on the front porch steps repotting geraniums and I started to feel like I was having a stroke (not really but the only description I have). I stood and stretched, I walked about, I lay on the bed and did some breathing. I got worried enough to think about a drive to the hospital. But first I needed to bath. Well, I smelled like manure and fish emulsion. I do have my pride even during a stroke. I got on the web for info on what did a stroke or heart attack feel like and all I got out of my research was to drink a glass of water. I did and lived to write this blog. Turns out I had esophageal spasms.
The next day I decided to celebrate my survival and our house and have a bar b q with friends to christen the place. I also decided to finish my garden beds. My husband was on FaceTime with family in India showing off the house and when I started to chase the boys around pretending to be a TRex, he started filming that. But then I bent down to get a ball and my back went out. I wound up rolling about on the driveway for all of India to see until I shouted at my husband to get off the phone. I had to roll myself into the shade so I wouldn’t fry on the pavement. After 5 visits to my new and fabulous Chiropractor, I am back to being busy.
Then the other day my littlest came down with a stomach bug and threw up for a few days. I thought I came down with the same thing the fourth day when I found I couldn’t rise from the bed all day. I felt like I had eaten a terrible meal and I was so exhausted that I slept or drifted in and out of being awake all day and night with a grannie blanket on me despite the 93-degree weather. I never threw up and the next day I woke up with all my old energy and pizzaz returned!
What was going on? I found this great book in my cupboard. A friend had some old books that she gave me and I took it thinking I’d never read it and now I can’t wait to get on the treadmill to educate myself on this topic of stress.
It turns out that even wonderful things can cause stress and after a while of good life changes or hard ones and that constant stress, our hormones become a mess and we grow listless and exhausted or start having ailments abound.
I’ve had a ton of change, huge change in the last 8 years. All great but stressful and completely unlike the first 38 years of my life. The first 38 years were hard due to a rough childhood with a mentally ill and alcoholic mother and then my own self-created hell with self-esteem issues and my addictions and poor choices.
Then my life did a 180 and I got sober, cleaned up my life completely, married a kind and patient man who refused drama to be a part of our household, rescued two dogs, got rid of three cats, had two sons, moved 4 times, bought our first home, took in a new cat, became a housewife after years of working 2 jobs at the same time, started a writing career, recently started a new diet and exercise regime….not all in that order but you see what’s happening here. I was exhausted with a capital E. When we moved in here my brain and body said, “we are done, lady! This has been a crazy 8 years for the love of the Lord!! Give us a break will you?!”
So, what causes stress?
- moving, new town, first time home purchase.
- new child. A child leaving the nest.
- career or job change.
- going back to college.
- being fired, laid off.
- not enough money/debt.
- poor diet. Not enough exercise.
- family relations.
- bad marriage.
- bad job.
The list goes on. The good, the bad. Basically, change and fear, poor habits, not enough sleep or working in a job that is too demanding or you just despise.
What can be done about all this stress?
- changing our attitude and mindset around life, work, family.
- changing what we can.
- taking up a daily exercise.
- eating healthy and nutritious food.
- stay away from sugar and processed food.
- be sober, get sober, stay sober. Drugs, booze leads to misery, poverty, depression, and poor health.
- find a spiritual practice.
- unplug from all the media, Iphones, FaceBook, and Twitter.
- be out in nature.
- take up meditation.
- get involved in a community activity that is fun and you make healthy friends.
- volunteering. Helping others takes us out of our misery.
- listen to upbeat and positive music.
- read positive and inspiring books.
- watch positive and inspiring movies.
- re-brainwash yourself to think joyful, positive, and upbeat thoughts.
- build a relationship with God. He will give you all the support and provision you will ever need.
- take up hobbies such as knitting, painting, things that you focus and create.
- change your job.
- go back to school.
- quit the job and become a housewife or stay at home mother.
- follow your heart and dreams.
- simplify your life.
- don’t worry about the world. God has it all figured out. Do what you can and go on and enjoy your world.
I have taken it down a few notches with the military style work mode. I sleep in a bit with my children. I am back to work on my fictional books that have been waiting patiently for me to finish their stories. I color with my 3 year old and I am adding hours of play, reading, and fun to the day. Life is too short and I have to be reminded of this.
I grew up without a childhood and work was rewarded and play was reprimanded. It wasn’t approved of to laugh too much or have fun. I’m relearning my life, that I don’t have to have these work and cleaning schedules, that I live in a world where play is a must. I am playing with more legos and I have grown up coloring books that I purchased at the crafts store with some vibrant pens. I just ordered a pile of Amish fiction that I haven’t read in years. I’m on that tread climber daily again and doing body strengthening for my back. I have the treadmill in our detached garage out back and with the door open I can read and watch the boys play outside. I love that time. Ah, I can breathe again. The floors can wait, it’s ok to have some dishes in the sink during the day…