Handling Stress (A Guest Post)

Life is hard. I just lost my grandmother, the other day. January 13th,  2:52 AM, 2017. It’s one of those things that you know will inevitably come, but it’s also one of those things you didn’t expect to happen so soon. I love my grandmother. Whether or not I have her physical presence, I will always have our memories together and the lessons she taught me. I am sad. I’m going to be sad for a very long time. There are a lot of things in life that you can never really truly recover from. However, even if you aren’t ready to do so, life goes on.

Today, I’m sharing with you a post by Anna, one of the writers at the fairygodmotherbeautyblog.com. Kassi and Anna primarily focus on beauty. However, health and lifestyle are also very important to them. They are wonderful people, and the piece that you are about to read now shows just how understanding they are. More than ever, I appreciate these tips for handling stress.


Handling stress and adversity

Sometimes life is hard.  Sometimes life is very hard.  Sometimes life seems impossible.  Sometimes you listen to a stranger tell you his or her life story and you wonder how they could have possibly survived it.

Truth is, you don’t really appreciate how strong you really are until you have to be that strong.  You don’t know how resilient and flexible you can be until you feel like you are stretched to your limit and are about to break, except you don’t.  You bend more.  And you survive.  And you tell your story to someone and you impress them with how strong you really are.

I had a stressful situation in 2011. It almost broke me.   My retired dad has a very serious brain injury from a stupid and simple accident that happened at his home.  However, this post isn’t about home safety.  I’m also not here to tell you how to overcome a Traumatic Brain Injury.  I’m here to tell you how not to break when you feel like at your absolute worst.

When something terrible happens, your first reaction is to cry and try to find blame. You blame anyone and anything.  “If only my parents hadn’t put that stupid coffee table there, this wouldn’t have happened!” Or, “if the builder had put down softer flooring or there was carpet, or the lightbulb didn’t need changing!”  Yes, I seriously had those thoughts.   This is normal.   But then what?   You have to at some point move on from blame and start dealing, right?

First step is to take care of yourself.  If you are caring for someone else, this will be difficult because your entire world will seem to be consumed by them. In most adversity, it may feel like an impossible task to carve out some time where you are taking care of yourself.  However, taking care of yourself can be as simple as:

Listening to your favorite songs while driving or working

Listening to comedy or watching funny movie outtakes or moments.

Eating a favorite snack

Looking at pictures of things that used to make you happy

Watching funny YouTube videos (my favorite are cat videos)

Watching your favorite movies (once you are able to fully watch a movie. It’s hard when your stress is new and all you seem to do is think about the stress. Watching something for a long time may be difficult)

Doing these easy things can lift your mood.  When you lift your mood, you feel happier, you feel more confident, and you will feel less stress.

Once you have decided to take care of you with those small steps, you can start incorporating other stress reducing practices into your routine. Here are some of those ideas:

Meditation

Exercise

Finding a new hobby

Meditation can seem silly or useless to someone who hasn’t done it before.  It’s completely okay to think so, and it’s also completely okay to not like it once you try it.  If you are interested in trying to meditate here are some helpful tips.

Start with a guided meditation.  Trying to sit with your own thoughts in a quiet room will be very hard and your mind will race.  This is exactly what you are trying to avoid.  Guided meditations will teach you to focus on something else other than your own mind.  There are couple of good apps that you can try for free and provide meditation practice for beginners.  Those are Headspace and Calm and are available for both Apple and Android.

Additionally there a number of videos on YouTube you can try for free.

Exercise is another good stress releaser.  I like it because just as meditation, it makes you focus on something other than your problem for the time being.  The benefits to exercise are of course better health! Start slow, especially if you haven’t worked in a long time.

Walking is a good way to get you moving. Get your headphones, put on your favorite Pandora station and walk.  Lose yourself in the moment.  Enjoy the walk.  Feel the pavement, feel your feet move against the ground.  Feel how your breath changes.  Pay attention to you, if only for 10 minutes.

Find a new hobby.  Or go back to an old hobby you once abandoned.  Di d you used to like sewing?  Make yourself an apron or make one for your neighbor.  Did you used to like to work with wood?  Make a birdhouse.  You can now even pick up a birdhouse kit at a craft store.  Maybe you used to like jigsaw puzzles?  Why not browse the toy section of your local department store and see what kind of beautiful jigsaw puzzles are available.

Managing stress and adversity isn’t easy at first, but once you decide to manage the stress instead of the stress managing you, it becomes easier.

These are just some of the things that worked for me.  I wish you luck on your journey to successful stress management.

Your Fairy Godmother, Anna
fairygodmotherbeautyblog.com

Guest Poem; Elixir by: Eneale Pickett.

Elixir is a poem by the young up and coming black poet Eneale Picket. I went to high school with him, and poetry is his life. Specializing in spoken word, Eneale writes pieces mainly about black youth and the environment that he grew up in. All of his poetry is inspired by the things he’s seen in life. If you would like to get in contact with him, you can find
him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/eneale.pickett I hope you enjoy his spoken word piece.

Dear God,
my eyes are becoming as color saturated as Satan’s skin
who needs friends when you got Jack Daniels as kin.
Some say my life isn’t as vital,
so let me down this moonshine while I impregnate my mind with lead
I wonder if anyone is going to notice I’m dead.
Probably not, I’m just a bum who’s just collapsed
On what appears to be my last meal,
I got uppers, I got downers, I got plenty of access to thrills
I hope my mind reaches homeostasis,
so I can know which voices and faces are real
I’m so beloved by my demons, I might die tonight
From the joy that kills.

Dear God,
I keep on
Fallin’
In and out of love with you
I never loved someone
The way that I love you

How am I supposed to escape the devil’s trenches
while he’s standing there waiting for me on every corner,
enticing me with beautiful woman such as Chardonnay and corona
I have been for about a week now, so I have encountered plenty personas.
One of my favorites was this girl Glen,
I had the privilege to indulge in her skin
it tasted so much like habitual sin
one of my daily rituals I too often find myself partaking in.
But when my soul yearns to be loved
her arms are as welcoming as the sun is on colored flesh,
as I lay my head down to go sleep, I pray you keep
the devil from attaining my last breath.

Dear God,
I keep on
Fallin’
In and out of love with you
I never loved someone
The way that I love you

I remember that time I almost saw your face,
I inhaled some of Satan’s landscapes
laced with bone fragments from fallen angels
and I could have sworn, I was within reach
of touching the golden studded streets,
Until I awaken in a dull room
with a strong stench of bleach and I knew,
the devil was trying to collect my already condemned soul
that I sold for two loaves of bread and a bottle of whiskey
no I mean a night with Cindy,
what better thing to have during those nights
when the rain wishes to taste your skin
than a woman’s chest up against your chest.

Dear God,
I keep on
Fallin’
In and out of love with you
I never loved someone
The way that I love you