Saturday, July 16, 2011

Is stress contagious?

Lately I've been wondering about stress.  I seem to suffer from it and when things get really busy, I find myself grinding my teeth, tensing up, not sleeping well, etc.....

For example:  Our daughter and SIL and family have purchased a new home.  They needed to do some remodeling and as the deadline for them to be out of the current home approaches (Aug 1st), I find myself getting caught up in all of the action.  I so want to help and am trying my best to do so.  Mostly I'm caring for their children as they are feeling the stress of the move.  (They currently live next door to us and always have). 

The remodel is behind schedule and my daughter is feeling the stress.  She has worked so very hard all summer on it.  The mom in me wants to make it all better by shouldering some of the load.  I tried---- it backfired:(  as always.

But here I am.  Stressed because I can't "do", stressed because I did "do" and am in much more pain and fatigue, stressed because my hubby is trying hard to help too and it causes him pain and emotional stress.... and on and on.

So, I'm wondering what you do when stressed?  Especially when you can't remove the thing that is causing it?  (the move)  Living with someone who has severe depression.... trying to show all the gkids the same attention.... etc...
It was horse fair time too, so two trips to the fair to watch the oldest gson. 

Any suggestions you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

Hope your day is going well.

Blessings to you all,

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Elaine, stress is a toughie, especially in a situation like yours, when so many variables are out of your control. Some things I find helpful are to shore myself up physically as much as I can--I swear by adrenal supplements (the ones with bovine adrenal gland extract in them), which seem to offer a bit of a cushion against stress-related crashes. Extra B-vitamins seem to help, too, and then all those common sense things that are so impossible to do when you're stressed (super-nutritious food, extra rest, etc.).

    I've found the Quaker style of prayer to be incredibly helpful--"centering down" in silence and listening for God, rather than holding forth about all of my worries. One of my favorite writers calls it "resting in the Lord," and every time I really stop to think about what that means, I feel tension I didn't even know I was hanging on to melt away. Even if it's just for 15 minutes, that living rest is so healing.

    The pastor at the church where I work swears by the importance of a "non-anxious presence"--someone who can help you brainstorm but who isn't emotionally involved. (Because stress *is* contagious!) Do you have a friend or family member or pastor who knows the general situation and could help you think of specific strategies?

    I also find it helps to ask myself (constantly)--"what is the very worst thing that could happen?" Most of the time, it's nothing *truly* bad. It's a kind of reality check, I suppose, that keeps things from blowing out of proportion.

    I'm afraid I don't have anything more concrete to offer--I don't have children or grandchildren and live much more quietly and alone, so I just don't know what to suggest that might be useful to you in this situation. But hang on! I will be holding you in the Light. Sorry this is so long!