We all feel it at times. Usually it’s brewing before I recognize it. It reminds me of the plaque buildup on teeth. I don’t see it at first, but I know that a check up every now again will reveal that I actually needed a cleaning.
My stress is like that. It quietly hides and builds, and after a little while, I feel it. There are everyday practices I turn to when I’m feeling stress like deep breathing, or getting to the lake for a few minutes of reflection. I can clean parts of the house to declutter and distract, but still, I maintain a level of anxiety that comes from being human and an added level based on my DNA makeup.
About a year and a half ago I was staying with a friend out of town when the crest of the anxious wave hit me. I wanted to be home and not where we were, joy was fleeting and the stress of the world felt like it sat on my shoulders. So, being the good friend that she is, we took coffees and talked and talked some more and she asked me if I ever considered trying medication, even if just for a little while. She explained it to me in a way that made me feel scared. “Think of all of the things you’re doing right to subdue your current stress. You workout, you hit up yoga, you go enjoy nature, you get to sleep on a regular schedule… so medication would be another /one thing/.” When I got to the Doctors I wept. I knew I needed to be there, and the courage it took to show up and admit life felt too big was a lot. Especially for a person who really works pretty hard to keep life together.
But the reason I knew it’s the right decision is that It didn't make me feel elated. I wasn’t completely removed from an emotional response, but I did feel like I could-- maybe kinda possibly handle it a little differently than before. I was at least able to face some things that before were such a pile up, I avoided. I still get stressed. A lot actually. It is in fact a part of the intensity that drives my passion and excitement for lots of things. And like that build up, sometimes I don’t realize its intensity until it's made its way through the doors I’ve built to block it. So today was one of those days for me. I have tended, in several ways, to my stress today. I took a coffee to the lake, ate a good breakfast, went to a friend’s birthday brunch, and all seemingly fine. But the undertow of assignments, a house that’s not going to clean itself, a fridge that could use more items for the week, and being alive knocked me right over.
So how do I reset?
- Well, I float. I just started and I think it’s fantastic. If you’re interested, go. If you’re unsure, go anyways. It deprives your senses from stimuli and you tune into your breath. You are buoyant and still and it's a peace pod.
- I call a friend. I vent a lot. First I’ll ask “Do you have enough time to hear me out?” If the answer is yes, I say thanks a lot, and I talk a lot. And I usually let a friend know if I’m seeking advice, an ear, or a “I totally get it.”
- I make a list. What CAN I do that will trick my mind into thinking I’ve got this life thing figured out? I do those things.
- I call my therapist. When I exhaust my friends, I know it's time to ask someone who is specialized in it. I use resources that are on this earth to help with the problem!
- I meet my monsters, like laundry and cooking.( my least fave)
- Physical Activity. Running. Something hard and fast. Blow off steam. Release.
- I meet it. I know it’s not going to be solved in a day. My mind wants efficiency. It has deadlines and goals and lots of stuff once all of those items are checked off! I remind myself to live in it. Through it. With it. And resist less.
We are holding a 4 week series on stress at the studio called The Learning Lotus Series Sign up on mind body (by clicking) to share in the #sistertribe support as we all walk on this earth together.