The last couple of weeks have been quite stressful. A granddaughter with pneumonia, a son-in-law finishing up law school, a pregnant daughter having some complications, dance recital rehearsals, end of the school year activities while both my daughter and son-in-law worked all created a bit of tension in their house; and I was the Nana on duty!
Needless to say as many of the circumstances resolved I could feel my stress level decreasing and my spirit feeling lighter. Even though none of those stressors affected me directly, I still became a tad bit stressed myself worrying, waiting and walking with them through this.
It seems that if stress is normal and that a stress free life is impossible this side of the sod, then we would have been born with a better coping mechanism to handle all that comes at us in the course of a week, month, year or life time. I mean really where is the grand design where stress is concerned?
Well, I checked this question out and learned that stress is meant to protect us. It helps us stay focused, alert and energized. In a flight or fight situation it can save our lives. It can also help us to rise to the challenges of work, life, relationships and home.
However, beyond a certain point stress becomes harmful and causes major damage to our bodies, moods, productivity, relationships and our quality of life. And the most dangerous thing about stress is that it creeps up on us without our even realizing it. As in my case, I didn’t notice my stress level increasing until it started to decrease!
From what I have learned everyone seems to have their own unique reaction to stress from anger to withdrawal to freezing under pressure. Knowing what happens to you under stress is key to knowing how to handle it before it gets away from you and does some serious damage to your body, mind or spirit.
Taking time for yourself is one way to de-stress and let your body, mind and spirit rest from the day-to-day stressors of living. Most people are not intentional about taking this time and instead let an illness, injury or major loss like a divorce force them to stop, breathe and rest.
I have been doing a lot of sleeping, reading and exercising to get back on track and regain my equilibrium. It feels good and refreshing. And no, I don’t feel guilty for taking this time to replenish my reserves because I know right around the corner there will be another week of stress and I need to be ready to cope with it.