Just for yuks, I poked around in the archives of this blog this afternoon. It was interesting to see what was on my mind ten years ago around this time (my grandchildren) or on this day in 2008 (Westminster Abbey), the year I started this whole blogging gig.
I time traveled through a number of posts over the course of many years and noticed my ongoing struggle with stress. Whether it was before I retired or after, stress has played a major part in my life. The only logical conclusion I can draw from this is that a good chunk of it is self imposed.
Sure, there were plenty of stressful days when I was still working—and this time of year was the worst—but I’ve been retired for almost a decade (!) and I still feel overwhelmed by stress on a regular basis. Are some of us hard-wired that way? Or is it a learned response as a result of early trauma? I don’t know. It gives me something to ponder though.
Recently, when I was feeling especially anxious, I came across a 54321 grounding exercise. I’ve used it a few times since and it helps.
5: Acknowledge FIVE things you see.
The Christ Pantocrator icon on my desk; a bottle of Valor essential oil, a glass evergreen tree on my bookshelf; a pink Nylabone; a Puralator truck in front of our house.
4: Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch.
The keys on my MacBook; my flannel shirt; my face; smooth stone beads.
3: Acknowledge THREE things you hear.
Molly letting me know she’s awake; the crunch of tires on the icy street; Molly letting me know with increasing instance that she’s awake.
2: Acknowledge TWO things I can smell.
My tea; I cannot come up with one more thing.
1: Acknowledge ONE thing I can taste.
Headache Halo David’s tea in my mug.
How about you? Do you struggle with stress and/or anxiety? What tools to you use to cope?