Be kind to yourself- you deserve it

a communityBefore I write for the day I always read what shows up for me to read. Quite often it inspires me to write about a particular topic. Today it reminded me of my writing yesterday when I talked about how wonderful other’s blogs are to read. I felt the same way today.

So many days I can start out feeling down and the blogs lift me up. Some are funny, some give me ideas to try and some I feel that I can say something that may help. This really is a community of comrades.

rest

Today has been so calming. I found that more company were not coming and was able to relax. Little got done but that is ok. The vines in my yard are going apace and will continue to do so since I have no plan to tackle them at the moment.

Sometime we have to give ourselves permission to take some down time. The world will not end if my yard is not perfect or my house spotless. We frequently push ourselves too hard and forget that everyone needs rest and think time. We cannot be healthy or creative if we don’t take this time off. Be kind to yourself.

 

A roller coaster again?

Do you ever feel as if you are on a roller coaster? That’s what my life has felt like lately. I hate roller coasters. As a child I loved them and went with my father. I’m not sure when that changed but I will not ride them now. Especially all the crazy ones that have shown up lately.

oh no

Physically it seems as if I am up one day and down the next. At least I am not constantly down. For me, it is best when life feels settled. Right now settled is many moons away. Company will be here for the week-end. My grandson, his wife and another couple who are their friends. We live near the beach and I am sure we will not see much of them but I am glad they want to come.

The thing is…it’s hard having company here but also had to turn away the loved ones you want to see. It’s a conundrum. So they will be here and I am set to push all stress away and just enjoy.

We miss so many things in life if we are struggling with our own selves and can’t enjoy the wonderful things that we could be doing. When this happens it is time to “center down” ( I have used that before….a Quaker expression meaning lower your Chi) and plan time for yourself to step away for a moment and gather yourself together.

dont-miss-your-blessings-1

So until the week-end I have no stress related things planned. I will enjoy each day and be ready to enjoy the visit and not miss out on a wonderful moment.

These special moments in life are too important to miss. Family and friends are what matter and we can’t afford to shut ourselves away from that. It won’t come again.

It’s the little things

little thingsThe last few weeks have been chock full of appointments, visits, company, and everything else. Something has become very clear to me. The big crises can wipe us out but it is the little things that really do us in.

While on the way to the Mayo clinic my cell phone decided life was too simple and just froze. It froze just as we needed information about directions to get off the freeway to get to Mayo. Nothing would entice it to come alive again. It just sat there with half of the screen with directions and the bottom half with mail? or something?? The directions we needed were on the bottom half of the screen. The phone would not shut off or do anything. We managed to limp our way to our destination. I plugged the phone in at our hotel and it decided that it was fine.

On the way home it moved some icons around and continued to tempt us to throw it out the window. I now have a new phone.

This should be good news but I have just spent two days re-connecting to everything I need to function.

Life at home has been hectic with a series of company (all who were wonderful) and we are not done yet.

Today my IBD decided that it had had enough too and joined the fun. At which point I headed for the medicine bottle.

last nerve
I have one nerve left and you are getting on it —————-Jane Seabrook

It is not one big crisis that makes life difficult to handle. It is a series of little irritating events. Events that rest on your last nerve and push you right on over into anxiety. None of these events in and of themselves was a big deal. It was the combination. Those of us who walk on the edge only need for the balance pole to lean over just a little too far and poof! we are done.

For the next few day I will concentrate on seeking consistency and regular routine and life will move on.

Just remember “it is the little things.”

 

(note to my company—you were wonderful and not the problem!)

Where has the family gone?

My oldest daughter called this morning on her way to work. She works at a major Children’s Hospital as a nurse case manager. She see some of the most critical and heart wrenching cases. In the past she worked at another unit that was an adolescent med-psych unit so she has experience with psych.

suicide

Today she was distressed that a short while ago her bosses son overdosed and died. They don’t know if it was suicide or an accident. Then she learned that a friend’s child committed suicide. This morning she was distressed that she is seeing so many cases of young adults and teens in crisis. Like the rest of us she has no idea why this is happening but is terrible concerned about the culture that is creating mental distress in the young.

It seems that both of these cases were a total surprise and not the result of known mental health issues. Of course she realizes that the problem could have been there unrecognized but in these two cases it seems not.

Recently several blogs that I read have talked about the current TV series 13 Reasons. The blogs have been very negative about the value of this program and its influence. I have not watched it….I watched a brief piece and the premise turned me off so I quit. The blogs seem to feel that this show has a bad influence on young people and the blogs were written by people close to the age.

good family

There are so many problems with the structure of the family today that it is easy for me to see why children are stressed. In some cases the children run the family and the adults take second place. When this happens children don’t feel safe. There is no strong adult influence. Parents must be parents.

In other cases the family is so busy with outside activities that there is no family time. They don’t eat together or take time to talk and share. Children need structure and down time with their family to feel connected.

Like my daughter I am equally concerned about the pattern we are seeing in children and young adults. I pray that some change will come about that re-centers the family group and gives children security and grounding.

Raising children to become anxious and prone to violence and suicide is a plague upon our society.

Too much —-too little, take your pick

Sometimes it is hard to write. Some days it feels as if my brain is either empty or gone. Today is one of those days. I worked in the garden this morning and the heat and humidity almost made me melt. There was a little bit of breeze but not enough to really help.

vines 2We have a big yard. My husband takes care of the lawn and I do the flower beds. ….or more accurately the flower beds do me. It has been raining a lot and things are growing at an enormous rate….that is the weeds, the vines and anything I don’t want. The flowers..not so much.

We are blessed with an enormous amount of vines. Some of them arrived on their own and some I think my grandmother planted. Unfortunately the vines which she planned would be wonderful, have developed a mind of their own and if you stand in one place in my yard for long you may be covered in greenery.

vines

It is a constant battle for me to keep the vines from killing the azaleas which edge our property. I think the vines are winning. I start at one end of the yard and work to the other end and begin again. Two years ago I pruned the azaleas drastically which did help.

Learning to choose the right amount of work to do each day is critical to our well being. If I plan to do too much then when I can’t complete the task I feel defeated. If I plan to do too little I chastise myself for not getting enough done. This is an important life lesson. Many people are called upon to work to exhaustion in their jobs. They are made to take on too much for fear of losing their jobs. How did we get to this point?

We all need good work to do or we are not stimulated and enriched. If the work is overwhelming we become stressed, anxious and less productive. Given appropriate amount of work and we become more creative and efficient. Businesses need to understand that overwork makes us worse workers.

everything

 

We have to remember this in the things we choose to do also. We cannot take on too little or too much. We have to reach that happy medium.

Touch heals

There has been a lot of research about touch and how healing it can be. Over the years, while visiting people at home and in the hospital, I have always used touch to draw closer. I truly believe that touch can be therapeutic if used with intent to heal. Recent studies have shown that just holding the hand of a loved one can reduce pain.

healing touch

When visiting a member of the congregation in the hospital I found her in pain. Unfortunately, he pain medicine was not due for some time and she was very uncomfortable. She responded well to my touch and using both touch, a soothing voice, and a meditative talk (like a mantra….”just rest, just rest..close your eyes and just rest) over and over she relaxed into a calm and peaceful state and was able to wait for her next dose of medicine.

I don’t know how many times I used this technique on my children and never thought about it but with my job as parish nurse it was very helpful. Having someone focus your thoughts soothes us and along with gentle touch can bring us to a state of calm.

The problem is it is hard to do this for yourself. I have done it on occasion when I found myself in a situation when I was about to lose either my temper or my mind. Just stepping back, breathing and focusing my mind….I sometimes repeat “be calm, be calm”…does help me get past that moment. I had a Tai Chi instructor who said when faced with her kids waiting in an airport she had to keep saying “lower your chi” over and over.

Sometimes when I am alone I like to sing a piece of Taize music. These pieces from the Taize community in France are soothing chants that can calm your mind and soothe your soul. If you have never heard these look it up.

This link will take you to one of my favorites on YouTube.

Fight anxiety!

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. –———Arthur Somers Roche

Unfortunately this is very true. When anxiety raises its ugly head everything else just disappears. Notice that the quote says “if encouraged.” Yes, we can encourage it by giving in to it.

anxiety person

When it comes I am unable to focus on anything…can’t read, can’t move, can’t find comfort. It is a terrible feeling. What even makes it worse is that the fear of more anxiety adds to the anxiety.

Life is worth living. Anxiety can take the feeling that I am living away. It is like falling down a deep hole with no bottom. You just keep falling thinking all the while about hitting bottom.

This is no way to live. We have to find ways to push anxiety aside and move into the world. It is so much easier to give up but then what is there? No matter how hard it is working to move away from anxiety and depression is critical.

help for anxiety

I have learned over the years that literally movingĀ  my body helps. Getting up, getting dressed, combing my hair and making myself ready to go out makes a difference. Even if the anxiety goes with me I am better. If it is not possible to be with people then walking outdoors is a good choice. If there are friends who understand then seek their company. For me, friends help.

Bible verses

 

Whatever we do we must not give up. This can be worked through and a life worth living can be discovered. Don’t ever give up!