Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ways to Handle Stress

I've been too stressed because of teen drama lately, and my body is rebelling. I'm having enough of the weight gain, headaches, asthma, and minor illnesses that beset me when I'm anxious. So to combat it, I'm taking up some knitting and crocheting. The repetitive hand movements help to calm my soul.

I've finished seven cotton washcloths and one baby blanket in the past three weeks, and am over a third of the way done with another baby blanket I started yesterday. As a bonus, I'm creating useful things out of the stash of yarn that has been cluttering up my bedroom. I'm getting a cleaner room, finished projects, and a calmer mind all at the same time!

I have a friend, C, who is battling cancer. She and another friend, L, have started a food challenge. L is giving C a list of healthy ingredients that C should make in a meal. The other day C was challenged to use tomatoes and kale during that day's meal. She then posted her creation on Fcebk. The challenge is helping C to eat, which is what she needs right now, but is also helping her socially and emotionally.

Ms. D is battling her stress by exercising more. She has been walking Brewster and another dog daily. Monday, she got a distressing call from Birth Dad. Instead of taking her frustrations out in destructive ways, she took the dogs for a walk and came back calm.

I am also being helped by being socially connected to people. Friends, family, and therapists really help in tough times. Pride has a way of putting walls between us and others, which isn't helpful at all. My tendency is to hold it all in and not let people know how I'm struggling until the crisis is over. This time, I couldn't hide, at least from those who are close to our family. But instead of judgement, I received support. And that support helped me through the darkest time.

There are so many destructive ways to handle the bumps in life. But there are other things we can do that are helpful and good for us. I just need to remember to take my stress out in ways that will build me up, instead of bottling it in until I become ill. During this time of recovery, I am needing to practice some of the constructive ways of handling difficulties. It will be better for all of us if I do.


  1. Well said, Linda. To add a little more background, the "cooking challenge" began because C. often shared pics and recipes of meals she'd created and - given her current battle - I was continually amazed at how God has equipped her to continue to care for her family by cooking delectable meals despite her current ails. Her perseverance has been an encouragement to me. If C. can do it, I figure I can, too. So, oddly enough, "The Cooking Challenge" has served many purposes. She was actually the one who prompted me to reach out of my comfort zone and start having more confidence in my cooking. Yes, C. is being encouraged and eating well, but by the same token, I've found new joy in simply putting together a well prepared meal for my family and realizing through my kids expressed appreciation that there are some very simple things that make a difference in the world. I'm ABSOLUTELY the world's worst cook (NO exaggeration!) Yet, through my friendly little exchange with C., I've developed more confidence in my own skills and have realized this week just how much comfort my children gain from seeing Mom "try harder" to make meal time special. They know what a challenge cooking is for me (honestly) and have really expressed sincere appreciation of my efforts this week. So...moral of the never know how far reaching a simple gesture can be. I thought Carol was encouraging me. You thought I was encouraging her. And, the reality is we were actually all encouraging one another! And - as you so eloquently said - it's "challenges" like these and our attempts to fill our days with constructive outlets for frustrations and ails that helps us all have more balance, rewarding lives. No?

  2. How wonderful to hear more of the story! We are all blessed! Oh, and see if you can get her recipe for sweet potato pie! She is an amazing cook! I hope you are settling down in your new state, Laura. I miss you!