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Back in July, I posted this:  Stress Management and Relaxation Challenge

I haven't exactly accomplished much with that challenge because, truthfully, I've been letting stress get the best of me.  While the muscle  spasms have gone away (well, mostly), stress is still controlling my life.

So this morning....  instead of sleeping in like I have been -   when my 4-year-old woke me up to let me know the bed was wet (yes, the bed he was sleeping in with ME)....  I dutifully got up, found him a new nighttime pull up in the dark, changed the sheets, crawled back in with him and laid there......   checked my alarm on my phone and saw there was only 20 minutes to go before it was set to go off (an alarm I've grown accustomed to hitting the snooze on quite a bit lately), and decided to get up.  I've been telling myself I really NEED to get back my habit of getting up extra early to give myself that quiet time I've used and even written about on here.

Now, I sit here with my book open.  The one I wrote about above titled "The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook".  It's open to the section right before the first chapter - "How to Get the Most Out of This Workbook".  I've noted they forgot to mention in this section that having this book just sitting in a box or in a pile on your desk does not actually help.   That perhaps to get the most out of it, one should actually OPEN and READ the book.  No wonder I haven't felt relaxed!  HAHA...

Honestly, this was about as far as I got with the book.  I read this section.  This morning I'm glancing over the things I marked:  Make an agreement with yourself to set aside time each day dedicated to relaxation (and I underlined the part where I should read chapter 16 on time management if that's a problem for me).  Begin the day with a relaxation exercise (for me that's my bible reading or devotion time spent on other reading that's Orthodox in nature and, no..... honestly , I haven't done much of it - Not even this morning!  So I intend to do that as soon as I'm done here....oh...and after I let the dog out too....). Use a relaxation exercise to go to sleep quickly and sleep soundly (getting to sleep lately...NOT a problem.  Staying asleep - well that's a problem...oh, and no - I don't mean just because of wet beds - that actually has not happened for a while...).

So now to reread the section, let the dog out because her whining is annoying me and yes, she probably does need to go out...., do my bible reading and then, later in the day I am DETERMINED to read chapter one as my personal assignment for the day - boxes or no boxes (Yes, there's still a tone and so much organizing still to do!).  So the Challenge is BACK ON!  Anyone care to join me?

 

 

 

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It's back. (PUN intended)

My unrelenting back spasm problem that I have been dealing with for almost 20 years.  It rears its ugly head every so often....leaves, teases me into thinking that was the last time and then.... 'Honey, I'm home!'....sigh.  Sometimes it's there for a day.  Sometimes for a couple of days.  Sometimes.... well , this time it's been there for at least 6 weeks... nothing significant enough this time (knock on wood) to prevent me from going about my normal routine but there...nagging...demanding attention.  I've tried all sorts of things - Tylenol, ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, massage, osteopathic manipulation, physical therapy, a chiropractor...

Some of the above brings about some help.  But the bottom line is this is one of the ways my body copes with stress - which always makes me realize I do not deal with stress well. And I REALLY need to just admit it and do something about it...thus this post and a challenge to myself.

Everyone deals with stress.  Most of us deal with stress in one form or another on a daily basis. Many stressors are the same for everyone.  Each of us also usually experience some unique stressors. Some people seem more susceptible to stress while others seem able to just let certain stressors roll right off their back. My back is wishing I would do that too and  always reminds me I need to look for ways to handle stress and cope better.

First -  What are the causes of stress?

Well, some of the main causes of stress shared by the majority of the population include stress in the workplace (that would include home for stay at home moms and dads),  financial changes and problems, personal relationships, children, daily hassles of our current 'too busy' society, death or illness of a loved one, illness (our own), parenting ( the stresses of motherhood are soooooo underrated!), behavioral issues of children or siblings or other family members, moving, and many, many more.  Really, I could go on for days...

What are the effects/symptoms of stress?

There's quite a few:

  • fatigue and lethargy
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • anger
  • irritability
  • fears
  • muscular tension, aches, pains (and SPASMS!)
  • headaches
  • neck pain
  • indigestion
  • digestive issues
  • insomnia and other sleep issues
  • concentration and memory difficulties
  • high blood pressure

I personally have experienced quite  a few of the above symptoms at one time or another and it's not even a complete list.  Hmmmm.....so now- what to do about it?

WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT??

I've decided to spend some time (FINALLY) researching this.  And doing something about it.  Relaxation just does NOT come naturally to me.  Frankly, I'm jealous of those people who seem to be able to smile all the time and seem to be able to lay aside their earthly cares to relax and distress in whatever way they do.  I'm really wanting to learn how.  Care to join me in my adventure?

Thus far, this is what I'm doing/have done:

I took a 'poll' on Facebook - to see what my friends like to do to help them relax - this is what I found:  Listening to music, reading, enjoying a cup of tea, writing, drawing, painting, time in the woods (nature), bike riding, prayer (meditation), golf, message, etc.  It was good to do this poll- I saw that I do some of these things (prayer, reading and writing) fairly frequently though still not necessarily enough and some of these things occasionally (drinking a nice cup of tea, time in nature, etc.) but have not tried some others much at all ( I don't foresee the golf happening...sorry).

I bought two books -  Stress Management For Dummies and The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook.  There was a slew of books out there on stress management and relaxation. It was hard to decide.  I decided the first may be written in a 'stress-free' manner that may help me figure out a plan of action that's actually doable rather than some of the books I read about that sounded like total stress just figuring out how to be less stressed.... and the second book seems to be the one that was rated high by the most viewers.  I've had a book similar to it in the past and recall it being helpful..soooo....

I wrote this post - I figured I need to challenge myself to really take handling stress and learning how to relax more seriously. So if I made that challenge public - maybe, just maybe I'd stick with it - at least enough to figure out a few techniques that work for me and make at least a bit of a difference.  What do you think?  Want to join me in my adventure?  I intend to do posts once in a while on what I'm reading and learning and my experiences with it.

So......   if you want to share with me how you handle stress or have some thoughts on this subject, please share.  I hear one thing is very important when dealing with stress....  KEEP BREATHING.  (That does sound like good advice, doesn't it?)

So.....   Carry On and KEEP BREATHING!  I'll be in touch!