It’s all more than we can really deal with, right? How many times have you thought ,“I just can’t”? The pandemic, the election, the unrest, the doom scrolling, and the everyday stress of life is just too much.
This went to another level for me a few weeks ago. Penny and I went to our doctor to get our flu shots. While we were there, the doc inexplicably said she wanted to take my blood pressure. Maybe she sensed something because it was way high! This was very unusual for me. She told me to get an in-home BP monitor to pay attention for a month. Thankfully it seems to be trending down, but it did lead me to some introspection.
It may be there is an underlying condition at the root of my issues, but I did start to wonder how much stress may be playing a part. I won’t bore you with my list of things I’m freaking out about. You have a list too. But I can’t remember a time ever in my 65 years of life that held so much anxiety. My list is long.
So I began to take a new look at my self-care practices. What am I doing to release the pressure? To generate peace? To manage my fears? To settle down? Then I thought I’d ask a few hundred of my friends on Facebook what they are doing to care for themselves. Thank you to those of you who responded! It was helpful and oddly comforting just to know that we’re all in the same boat.
Here are some of the responses I received:
To be honest, not doing well. Somewhere along the line I’ve become a worrier. (not warrior). I’m trying many different things, reading, writing, sleeping, working… but it still comes in waves. Acknowledging it helps. Maybe someone can relate.
Making sure I stay in contact with my loved ones (whether it’s in person, by phone or by text), once a week picking a new restaurant to try (practicing social distancing), baking on the weekend (I make a great chocolate torte), going to worship on Sunday to re-charge.
To stay healthy in all areas, I keep worship a part of my day: prayer and singing. I also talk to my family often. My sons, daughters-in-law and my eight grandsons bring me a lot of joy. I also seek out opportunities to make other people’s days brighter by calling, texting, reaching out through social media and snail mail. And I also walk daily for about one hour. I use that time to talk to God and pray for various people/needs. I have also enjoyed live stream worship. I can praise and dance before the Lord right in my living room!!!
Listing 5 to 15 things I’m grateful for this very day – each night I ponder. It can be a roof over my head. Food in my pantry. Warm water. Basic blessings !
We have a tea time together as a family. Jude normally has baked something and we get a piece each day, grab our teas and each person grabs the book they’re reading. We all snuggle up on the sofa and read for 30 minutes. It’s been such a refresher.
It was such an encouragement to hear from so many. And I realized again that self-care isn’t about discovering some new magic formula, but practicing the simple things…prayer, worship, reading, drinking tea together, walking, being thankful, etc.
As the winter comes upon us and the virus lurks, we’re all going to have to do the little things again and again to breathe, to find peace, and maybe even lower our blood pressure!