Dealing With Stress

kevinThis picture to the left is Kevin, in the ER, being goofy while taking a picture. Keep in mind this is after he had a two hour episode and the worst of it had died down. He knows how to keep humor in everything and I so desperately need to learn from him.

Dealing with stress. Wow, where do I begin, and where can I learn how to decompress? Seriously, I have some certain things I do, but I’m constantly looking for more ideas!

Kevin has been in and out of the hospital for the past two weeks and it has been the most draining situation I have ever encountered. We have only been married for a little over three months, and it seems a little unfair to be dealing with such drastic situations so early in our marriage. As hard as it is, I have to constantly remind myself that God is in control but it has been the most difficult and tiring position I have ever been in.

I learned when I have no control over something I so desperately want to have the upper hand in, I begin to feel like life is slipping through my fingers. When my husband is sitting on the bed in pain, I want to take it away from him, but sadly I can’t. In fact, I can’t do anything. I just have to sit there with him, be calm, be encouraging, pray, and wait.

With his little “episodes” happening on and off for the past two weeks, I can’t help but be tired, feel weak, and just simply feel worn out. I can’t seem to rest my mind, sleep a dreamless sleep, nor can I stop worrying about him.

It seems like any move he makes in his sleep, I jolt to a wake in a panic. I just cannot seem to rest my mind. Kevin is the most precious person in my life, and the thought of him being in such a helpless manor is really making the stress feel like it is overpowering my life.

Simple tasks I do on an every day basis is now categorized in my life as exhausting.  Scrubbing the toilet seems absolutely tedious (and it only takes like half a minute). When I went to pick up the scrubbing brush the other day I thought, “I just don’t feel like doing this.” It was then that I realized I needed to take measures to decompress myself so I could get some sleep.

Naturally I pray, but what are the other things I personally do to help relieve the stress in my life? Read below!

  • Breathe. You have to just breathe. Some call it meditating, but I like to call it having some “time out time.” I like to lay flat on the bed. Turn off all the lights, hide all the electronics (especially my phone), make sure the dogs are going to be content and quiet for awhile, and just focus on my breathing. Anytime my mind wonders to things I should be doing, want to be doing, or have to be doing, I quickly halt my brain and go back to breathing. I’ll take some “time out time” every time I can feel my heart start to feel like it’s squeezing from being over stressed. I make sure to lay there in the dark anywhere from 10-30 minutes.  It has definitely helped so far!
  • Make or get something to eat that’s an all time fav.  Taco Bell! The last time I was home by myself feeling stressed, I got some Taco Bell (a favorite fast food of mine.) Unlike most people, I tend to not eat when I’m stressed out. My mind moves so fast that I either forget to eat or I will start to eat then feel sick, leaving my stomach feeling queasy and hungry at the same time. It’s one of those terrible situations you just have to deal with. Usually if I force myself to eat something that is an all time fav, I can manage to fill my tummy leaving me feeling somewhat satisfied. Eating helps me with stress as it gets my energy levels back on track and keeps me level headed. But don’t forget that overeating can be bad too!
  • Talk to a friend. Sometimes texting, calling, or meeting up with a friend for lunch or coffee can help me feel better. Best friends typically know what to say during stressful times in your life. They know how to be positive, uplifting, and encouraging. They even know how to add a little harmless humor to boost your mood and I truly believe that laughter is the best medicine. 
  • Do something that’s your favorite. Occasionally I like to play a video game or watch a chick flick. Either one of those activities does an excellent job of taking my mind off of things that bog me down.
  • Run. I know a lot of people who do not like to jog, but I promise you it’s a great stress reducer! Even if you just take a long walk. Take in the scenery, maybe take your dog with you. Regardless of walking or jogging, breathing in the fresh air does the body good.  
  •  Listen to music. I like to put my headphones in while I’m doing household chores. I find that the calming classical music I listen to helps to take my mind off of stressing over unnecessary things. This is turn makes doing chores easier.  
  • Sit back, put your feet up, and have a glass of grapes. When Kevin gets home from work, he’ll start on his homework while I finish getting dinner ready. After we eat our supper, we’ll get cleaned up, get cozied in on the couch and enjoy a glass of wine. It’s our down time, our thirty minutes of relaxation. 
  •  Take a mini vacation. If you have the money, take a vacation. This is an obvious stress reducer but the cost factor can be an issue especially since we are trying to save for Europe. Kevin enjoys cruises. He thinks that is the best way to forget about everything and focus on being in the moment. Nobody can contact us because our phones won’t work in the middle of the ocean and it makes you feel like you’re miles and miles and miles away from reality. (We have found that September has been the cheapest month to take a cruise.)  
  • Cuddle with the pups. I’ll admit it, having a good cry can make you feel better about things, but sometimes cuddling with your dogs can be an even bigger stress reducer. Lately our dogs seem to notice when Kevin doesn’t feel well because they like to lay by his feet. I firmly  believe that pets know when we’re sad or something is wrong. Don’t let that fluffy fur fool you, it ain’t just for show! Sometimes the best comforter is furry.

This whole being a wife thing is taking some time getting used to. Caring about somebody so much that is going through a hard time can be exhausting. Sometimes you just have to remind yourself to stop, take a breather, relax and know that everything is going to be okay.

What are some ways that help you decompress? How do you handle stress and keep it from taking over your life? Let me know in the comment box below!

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