Stress!

I’m going through an extremely stressful period in my life right now. My little old lady cat died of old age, my dear husband and best friend asked for a separation, and my beloved father passed away on Monday. To say I have way too much on my plate right now is a grand understatement.

How to deal? One day at a time. One step at a time. One breath at a time.

I’ve been journaling, keeping in constant touch with friends and family back home, exercising, trying to continue to eat well and, oh, yes, meditating, every single night.

These wonderful guided audio meditations by K.R.S. Edstrom have been helping to empty my mind each night so that I can try to sleep. Edstrom has a very soothing voice and, what is unique about her technique is that, instead of pushing stress and tension away, she shows you how to train your mind to find it in your body, recognize it, acknowledge and accept it, and then let it go:

stress

Conquer Stress: Meditations to Take You From Tension to Tranquility

relax

Relax Mind and Body: Meditations to Soothe and Center: Two Guided Meditations

sleep

Sleep Through Insomnia: Meditations to Quiet the Mind and Still the Body

How about you? How do you you cope with stress? I welcome your suggestions.

-Maria A., striving for the mundane and peaceful

16 Comments

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16 responses to “Stress!

  1. I couldn’t Imagine. I practice yoga, and meditation when possible I feel it really does help.

  2. Ooh! I’ve been looking for some new guided meditations.

  3. EBJM

    Thank you! I am in a very stressful place in my life too and am always looking for new ways to distress and meditation has proven to me elusive. I do much of the same: friends, exercise, tai chi, yoga…. read things that give me mindless pleasure (for me its food blogs). Thanks

  4. Rebekah

    It is so important to care for yourself in times of stress, pain and loss. Know that your friends and colleagues are there for you, too.

  5. Suzi W.

    Always sending cupcakes. (To me, a cupcake is a small thing, that can be sweet, a comfort in times of comfort needing, a mini-party when it’s time to celebrate.) Take care of yourself.

    I also find that reading about other people who survived hard times helps. I can’t do most books about adults in the Holocaust, but I find reading children’s books that describe that era comfort me. But sometimes, all I want is an escape, a good beach book. One that encompasses both is “Barefoot” by Elin Hildebrand. 3 women, hard times, hard decisions, but on NANTUCKET.

    Be well. This too shall pass.

    Oh, and two children’s picture books: “Where the Wild Things Are,” by Maurice Sendak and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad, No Good Day” by Judith Viorst. One year I got bad news every Tuesday for a month. I wrote “Viorst day” on my calendar and after a month, a friend said, “why don’t you write cupcake on every Tuesday for the next month?” It helped.

    xo,
    Suzi W.

  6. Keep writing. It’s good for the soul. It nurtures all the nerves and transmits calm. Read poetry to fall in love with life in general. Take good care always ♡

  7. You are a wonderful person to be giving out advice when you are dealing with so much! Take care of yourself.

  8. Les

    You ask how I deal with Stress? I don’t have so much of that anymore since I retired from the Machinist Trade. Working in thousands of an inch everyday took a toll on me after time. I worked in this for 30 yrs. I’d had enough! For relief I used to read a bit, take my camera out for a walk and snoop around, or just try and chill out over the week-ends. I found that my nerves were bad, blood pressure was to high, and I was getting head-aches. That’s all pretty much gone now, and I’m glad for it. I can only suggest that you do what makes you happy and try and leave the stress behind you. Some people climb inside a bottle, but that’s not the answer. Try and be well. ~ Les

  9. I keep busy and run and then I write. Best wishes.

  10. I’m sorry to hear this. Hope you’re able to stay relaxed through this hard time. Continue to take good care of yourself.

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  12. Don

    Maria, thanks so much for these great recommendations in your time of extreme stress. Breathing exercises have always been my stress buster – stop and just following the breath brings me back to center. During my recent bout of cancer, a friend got me some guided meditation cds and these helped to directly address the fall out from what was going on. I will definitely be checking out these guided meditations. Don

  13. everydayhas

    Oh, hugs, that is a HUGE load to deal with!! I got through my divorce by exercising (and I am not an exercise fanatic at all). Every time that can’t-get-off-the-couch feeling hit, I got up and went for a run. I think it helped me stay ahead of the depression. However, meds and counseling are good choices too, so don’t be afraid to ask if you need them… It would be a miracle if you didn’t get some depression out of all that. Hugs.

  14. I’ve been trying to create a meditation habit for years, and I feel like I’m finally on my way – I found a great app, Headspace, which provides guided meditations that gradually increase in length. I found that I’m actually looking forward to doing it! Also, finding an exercise that I really enjoy – there is an AMAZING hip hop dance class at my gym with a great instructor who pushes us to have fun and let go of all negativity for that hour. I’ve never been able to stick with an exercise routine until I found his class!

  15. EBJM

    I also started doing a sky light (for seasonal depression) – that and making sure I get sleep (I do take melatonin every night) have made me stay grounded even with all the hardship. Thanks again for this post Maria! Suzy – Children’s books do it for me too… I have to also check out barefoot and cupcakes – what a great cheery idea.

  16. I knit. And knit and knit :) Break and lunch at work are often spent knitting. The rhythm and motion are soothing to me and I have a hat for the NICU unit, a scarf as a gift or an afghan to keep someone I love warm when I am done. It comforts me. Hang in there!

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