Remember a few weeks ago when I posted about the storm of stress that was about to hit?
Uh. It hit. hard.
No one likes to hear whining. So feel free to ignore this and move on with your life. But my goodness, am I stressed. Work is so busy that there have been mulitple days that I don't even sit at my desk for more than 10 minutes- I'm running around the office, scanning, going into meetings, going out in the field. I've trained 13 volunteers in the past three weeks. I am constantly working, even when I go home for the day- answering emails, returning phone calls, tweaking powerpoints or training exercises. I need to stop that. Then there's financial stress. I haven't been paid in a solid month because of my tonsillectomy. And yet, my bills are doubled because of my tonsillectomy. How is that fair? It's not. So I am just holding my breath until payday on Friday and praying for a bit of a miracle at the same time.
And then there's the people in my life who are struck by illness. I worry for them. My aunt and uncle, both sick, both struggling. My mentor, sister mary jo, who is getting weaker and smaller by the moment. I know that she is going to slip away soon (morbid as that may sound)...and I cannot really accept it yet. She is one of the greatest people I've ever known. I just wrote her a letter that I will be sending off tomorrow morning to her hospital room. I had to let her know how much she means to me.
So, in volunteer training, we get to a chapter on grief and loss. It's always interesting , depending on the group. I have the volunteers do a few exercises to get them comfortable in talking about the losses in their life. But then we shift gears, and we talk about the importance of taking care of yourself. I ask them "what is it you do to unwind, or de stress?"
But I've never really told a group my answer to that. There are actually several things I do, based on what exactly it is going on.
1. Write thank you cards. Yep. This is one of my favorite stress relievers, and usually my go to. It accomplishes two things: writing; and then pouring love and gratitude out to someone who probably needs to hear it. Seeing the smile on their face is an instant pick me up.
2. Music. There are days when I need to just sit in a corner, put my headphones on, and listen to the people who get me the most. It doesn't even really matter the genre. Sometimes I need a little Lil Wayne in my life, sometimes Britney Spears. Whatever works. (And you can read my most recent music reviews here and here
3. Cry. Don't you feel about 10 times better after a good, hard cry? I do.
4. Hot shower, polar bear pants, hoodie, curl up in a ball. The "polar bear" pants are these pj's I have that are super warm and comfy. In college it was a commonly known fact that if I had those on, with a hoodie, that I was having a really bad day. Funny, it's still true. Some days I just need to curl up in my polar bear pj's. Sometimes I have a giant glass of wine in my hand, too.
5. Talk. I used to be the silent type, and in many ways I still am, but more often than not now I need to just vent. I have found some really wonderfully beautiful people at work who put up with my rants and listen to me. Maggie/Carol, I'm looking at you two for today's daily rant session :)
I think that just about covers it. I need to get back in the habit of walking every night, because I know that will help me continue to bring a little peace to my mind. Plus, I'm going on a retreat this weekend to Ludington, MI and I'm super excited about it. Retreats are another stress reliever for me, a time to put away everything and just grow closer with God and myself. That's what this weekend will be for me.
Cheers to all of you, I am sending you positive vibes and hoping you are a little less stressed than I am. Things will calm down by November, but then I'll have a little niece/nephew to smother with love.