I don’t know about you, but my stress and anxiety levels are off the chart. Ever since February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, I’ve been alternating between sadness, anger, numbness, anxiety, sleeplessness, etc. I find it hard to fathom that anyone would choose war over peace in this day and age. I don’t want to watch the news and yet I’m drawn to it like a moth to a flame.
My health goal for 2022 was to manage stress better. Oh, boy, what a year to pick that as a goal. I guess I could look at it as the perfect environment to practice managing stress. I haven’t been able to write a blog post because of my high stress level. Yesterday, I read a post on the Facebook group Medical Musings With Friends. Gina Baker shared a poem that resonated with me.
Put Your Life Jacket On First Poem
Put Your Life Jacket On First
When you feel like you can’t go on.
And the worries are weighing you down so heavily, you fear you may stop breathing.
Take a moment,
That those worries are actually yours to bear.
You are an empath my friend, and you are currently carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
You are not supposed to, nor can you cope if you continue to do so.
You cannot help others by taking on everything they fear.
You will drown.
Face your worries one by one and identity which is truly your own and which has come to you via the chaos of the news, the press and social media.
They must be the first to be put aside.
The world is not yours to fix and you can’t, even if you try.
What you can do, is keep your little part of the planet calm and safe and when you are strong, again (and you will be), you can reach out to those who are not.
One by one.
Put your life jacket on first my friend.
It’s the only way.Donna Ashworth, from the right words
Donna Ashworth’s poem put words to what I’m experiencing and couldn’t find the words for. Thanks Donna Ashworth for writing it, and thank you Gina Baker for sharing it. Now I have found my words again.
Ideas for Managing Stress
My first tip for managing stress is music. Videos of Ukrainians using music in hard situations to cope with their immense stress have deeply touched me. One video was of a woman playing the violin in a bomb shelter. Another was of a woman playing her piano in her home. The place was a wreck from nearby shelling, but her piano was intact. In another video, a group of people were singing their national anthem.
These videos reminded me of similar ones in Italy during the worst of the pandemic.
If you can play an instrument, does making music with it help you cope with stress? I cannot play any instruments, but I love listening to music. YouTube is full of music videos to help us manage stress. Here’s one I’ve been listening to recently.
Next, drawing, painting, and making collages are creative things I love to do and they help me manage stress and work through emotions. I need to add more artwork back to my life. Since I’ve been writing my book, I’ve neglected artwork. Have you tried coloring, drawing, or painting to help you manage your stress? Do you enjoy looking at artwork?
I follow the Facebook group Art2Life Artists. They are posting sunflower artwork on their page. The sunflower is Ukraine’s national flower. Check out #sunflowerchallenge, #sunflowersforukraine, or #makersforukraine to enjoy other creators’ work depicting sunflowers and love for Ukraine. There is some really beautiful artwork to enjoy on their page.
If you can’t draw, coloring is a relaxing activity that just about everyone can do. There are even apps that let you color on your phone or computer. Here’s a link to free sunflower coloring pages: http://www.supercoloring.com/coloring-pages/flowers/sunflower
If you’re looking for more art ideas for yourself or your children, check out my Art Fun post here: https://www.upbeatliving.net/art-fun/
Wrap Up Of Managing Stress
Finally, I hope you’ve found some simple ideas to help you manage your stress in this crazy world of ours. Till next time, Kathy
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