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I can't even catch my breath this year before some new, big, scary, stressful things happen. I don't have brainwaves leftover for pandemic stress.

I apologize for being cryptic. I need to vent but some things aren't mine to share and it is still fresh and raw.

It has been only a couple of weeks since the last big scary stressful event which is still ongoing (although seemingly improving- still scary as hell) and then today more big news that will have huge consequences. I hope I'm wrong but I foresee so many shattered relationships coming among other things.

 

On a proactive note- anyone want to share their go to stress relievers?

I exercise but have shifted to focusing on things that are lower key as my adrenaline level is high enough as is.

I try to eat as well as I can.

Consistent bedtime.

I've been working outside- it is nice to have things that I can control.

 

Anyone else just done? What are doing to cope?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Commiseration here; we've had several Crap Hits the Fan things in our family within the last 18 months. 

Sunshine.

I've been more consistent about working out in the last 12 months than I ever have been and it's been a good thing. It's usually 20-30 minutes but it's cardio so I can sweat it out.

 

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Well, the morning mocha has become a habit (but most especially the 15 minutes of peace while sipping it on the sofa). This from a non-coffee drinker (it's too bitter for me without making it in milk and adding chocolate). Then there's the Saturday evening cocktail--this from someone who doesn't really drink alcohol, but there are a few drinks I like. And again, I think it's more the time to step away from everything even if just for a few minutes. Share a few calm moments with dh while we work on our patio projects. I'm sorry life is hitting you hard right now.

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I pray without ceasing.  Sometimes with huge sobs (often in the shower).

I do some things like games and even watching retro tv shows that don't require brain bandwidth but help to focus my mind on anything other than my problems just for a moment.  (Which contradicts what I said in my first statement - so I think that I bounce between the two.)

Gardening has been helpful for me too even though I take it very very slowly due to my physical issues. 

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Firstly, hugs. 

Secondly, yoga, walking, time in nature, time on my own, sharing with trusted friends, writing, therapy, meds.

Of all those things, yoga mostly. Calming the parasympathetic system. 

Lastly, more hugs. These tumultuous times are not unfamiliar. Sometimes you can't take care of yourself in the moment, because you are caring for another, but as soon as there's space - flood it with self-care. 

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So sorry this is such a difficult time for you.  It's been a particularly hard year here, as well, and I've spent time in ways I rarely chose previously, just to deal with the stress.  I've continued praying, exercising, and working in the yard, but I've also started playing game apps on my phone and watching movies on Disney Plus; such mindless entertainment doesn't change the stressful situation or my reaction to it, but it does get my mind off of it for a while, which is a good thing.  I've gotten better about scheduling massages, too, which has been very helpful.  

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I'm sorry. I am in a long slog of badness that started pre-pandemic but just got worse since it started. 

For stress relief I have started taking l-theanine, I try to walk daily, I pray and read the bible and short devotional type readings, and I give myself as much downtime with pleasurable pursuits as I can. I've also gotten better at insisting that my people at home leave me alone when I need it. 

I hope things get better for you soon!

ETA: like Jean, praying while crying in the shower where no one can hear me can help. Crying is a good tension release for me.

Edited by marbel
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I’m sorry, soror.  Many hugs and prayers...

We are also coming down from something and dealing with a huge change next week that may trigger some more stuff.    Just trying to brace myself.  
 

I found out last year that I love painting.  Who knew?   Painting forces me to focus on what’s in front of me and that’s it.   Music also helps me get in the ‘zone’ when I paint and just ‘zone out.’  
 

Also, sunshine is absolutely essential to my well being.   Take your breakfast or lunch outside.  
 

I’m not sure if you’re religious, so ymmv, but for me, studying my Bible has been a huge help because I have to focus on it or else my mind wonders and I don’t understand what I’m reading.  So I’ve got a notebook that I write down anything I want to go further into, verses that speak to me, anything I don’t understand.  It’s a small time out of my day to focus on something else.  

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I can relate all too well. The last couple of weeks have been life-changing in an awful way, coming from several directions, but mainly having both young adult children in serious crisis. I really thought 2021 would be better, but oh my goodness. I've been digging into internal resources I didn't even know I had. 

Anyway, my go to right now is just focusing on what needs to happen today. I can't begin to think beyond that because I get too dysfunctional when I need to be functioning. So I figure out what the bare minimum is that is necessary to attend to and I do it as best I can and call it a good day. Sometimes (like today) that becomes hour to hour, but regardless, I just redirect my mind when the implications of some of these things start to sink in. 

I also watch mindless Netflix shows that are light and feel good. Reading is my usual go to, but I can't concentrate enough currently. I'll get there again though. Same with exercise. Right now I'm shaky and exhausted from not being able to eat enough, but I know in a bit I'll be able to go back to outdoor exercise which generally helps me long term.

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Oh and I've discovered some gentle comics like "Fred Basset" (a British strip) on the internet.  And cat and dog memes.  More mental distractions.

Also - I have discovered some gems in my friends.  I can't share a lot always but they are there to pray with me and to show that they care.  And of course I am there for them too.  (This is primarily on the phone but sometimes in walks outside at the park together.) 

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Soror, I am so sorry for the hard times you are going through.   We are here for you if you ever need to vent or need help.   I hope that things look up for you soon.

This last year has been really hard for everyone.  The amount of stress that I feel from the pandemic is so much to handle.  When even a little life thing gets thrown on top of that, I just fall apart.  Dh is my strength.  He is always able to see the good things and can just take it step by step.

I feel so much better getting exercise, sunshine, and sleep.  I eat crap food.  Get lost in Netflix, Youtube, or anything else to get away from real life. 

Do you have any friends you can just call and vent to?  Do you think talking to a therapist would be helpful? 

Is there anything you or someone else can do to lighten the stress load?  Have the kids take over some meals?  Do a few nights of take out?  Can you go away for a weekend? 

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41 minutes ago, Soror said:

 

Anyone else just done? What are doing to cope?

You’re hitting all the really important stuff, so props to you!!!

I tend to go back and forth between channeling stress into major cleaning and decluttering, and just shutting my brain off and binging tv shows for entire days.

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4 minutes ago, livetoread said:

 

Anyway, my go to right now is just focusing on what needs to happen today. I can't begin to think beyond that because I get too dysfunctional when I need to be functioning. So I figure out what the bare minimum is that is necessary to attend to and I do it as best I can and call it a good day. Sometimes (like today) that becomes hour to hour, but regardless, I just redirect my mind when the implications of some of these things start to sink in. 

 

^^This.^^

But I was only able to learn it by being thrown into the fire. Four years ago I intellectually understood the concept of living in the moment, but I was only able to actually do it when it became the only option other than losing my sanity. Truly a trial by fire.

All the other things--the yoga, meditating, time outdoors, time doing whatever you love--all those things help somewhat. But for me it was only by getting to the point that I could truly live life one day at a time that I felt like I was managing. "Right now, this moment" was my mantra for a long time. Still is, really. Also, I keep the word "equanimity" rolling around in my mind, along with my mantra. It's been my word of the year for the past two years, and I've needed it.

Hugs.

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A shower, a warm bubble bath, or a soak in the hot tub

playing a few hands of online bridge

going for a walk

sipping a cup of coffee or tea

taking a few minutes to read something light from a magazine, perusing cookbooks

my kids know I am really stressed and looking for mindless relief when they see me playing Centipede on their Xbox system...

My favorite stress reliever splurge--a massage (but that hasn't happened in the past year 😞 )

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I'm sorry, Soror.  You are already doing everything that I would do.  Except perhaps: re-reading.  I have a few favourite novels and authors that I re-read when things get tough.  I find it comforting to enter those worlds.

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49 minutes ago, saraha said:

No advice, but lots of (((((Soror)))))

 From me too @Soror   I am sorry for all of your struggles and pain.  😞  Sending hugs.

 

47 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

 

 

All the other things--the yoga, meditating, time outdoors, time doing whatever you love--all those things help somewhat. But for me it was only by getting to the point that I could truly live life one day at a time that I felt like I was managing. "Right now, this moment" was my mantra for a long time. Still is, really. Also, I keep the word "equanimity" rolling around in my mind, along with my mantra. It's been my word of the year for the past two years, and I've needed it.

This is all true for me, too.  Thank you for expressing it so well.

 

15 minutes ago, kand said:

It seems my main things have been eating sugar and escaping here. I figure when things are so hard, if a donut cheers me up for a little while, then I’m going to eat the donut.

I have been doing the same, but I alternate between eating comfort food and then feeling guilty over it, which just adds to the stress I was already feeling.  

 

5 minutes ago, math teacher said:

The only thing I will add is just be gentle with yourself. 

 

Yes, this is excellent advice and so important.  Big hugs to you @Soror  We are all here for you.

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Hugs- I'm sorry.  You just can't catch a break!  

When I'm feeling stressed out I try to mentally go over what *my* responsibilities in the situation are, what I can control or mitigate,  and what is out of my control.  We will always second guess ourselves, but there are often pieces that aren't our responsibility,  things beyond our control.  Recognizing those things and accepting them is hard.  I also try not to think too far ahead- which is really hard for me.  

 

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Huge Hugs

I hear you. 

My life seems to be like a soap opera, one of those ones that has some rediculous crisis happening in each week's episode. 

I garden lots. And in the evening I restrict myself to just watching  gardening on YouTube. That way  I can sleep better. 

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((Hugs)) @Soror

My go to like yours is physical activity, good food.

Coping strategies wise, it is a combination of mindless and mindful.

I went back to work because I needed it. Helps enormously.

Music. I would literally be in a different frame of mind without it.

Kneading dough by hand. In fact, kneading dough while I listen to music is therapeutic to me.

Meditating while listening to rhythmic sounds of various religious chants is almost hypnotizing. I do it everyday.

Reading twaddle. 

Sitting in the sunshine.

Warm bowl of Soup. I have been drinking a lot of soup.

Naps. 

Gratitude journal.

Prayer and Psalms.

Keeping expectations low. 

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Deep breaths, nature, especially time walking in nature near water have both been proven to lower cortisol levels. There are meditation apps to help with breathing.

Humor.  Watch funny tv shows or movies so you can laugh out loud.

Get up and get dressed in actual clothes every day.  Even if it's very comfortable like a jersey dress.  Not sweats, yoga pants, or leggings.  Real clothes.

If you're Christian, dancing and clapping to worship music. Prayer. Playing the Bible in audio in the background.  Listening to or reading Psalms, where every one ends in praise no matter how difficult the middle.

Doing something creative as often as possible.

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Sewing by hand, playing in the dirt (gardening), and dark chocolate. I am doing a bit better about finding an outlet in Bible reading and cleaning, but I fall short, often. This time of year, I like to be outside in a gentle rain if it's not cold. 

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Hot tub

Take a long walk in nature (pretty park, a trail, something to lose your mind in)

TRE (trauma/tension release exercises)

massage

P5P (a form of b6, turns out this works better for me and I burn through it when stressed)

exercise with WEIGHTS, sometimes some heavy work is just the thing to get out that tension and release and reconnect with myself

read my Bible and keep reading till things make sense

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What is it about 2020/21?  2020 especially was our year from h_ll.  The pandemic was the very least of our major life-changing terrible events.  Like others have mentioned, I've learned to wear blinders and just focus on what I only have to do.  I keep a running list of everything I NEED to do (generally 30+ items), but if I only cross off one item/day, I call it good.  (It's generally whatever is most urgent!)  I've learned to be gentle on myself.  I've reached out to old friend who had always been very important to me but who over the years I've lost contact with, and we've now re-connected and it's been so great!  I Zoom regularly now with several friends across the country every week or two.  I'm in an online book club.  I walk every day, but don't set goals so it's just whatever I feel like doing.  I have a subscription meal kit which for some reason brightens my day.  And I reach out to others in need.   I'm also in an online church small-group which I've really enjoyed.

Hugs to you.  ❤️

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7 hours ago, Soror said:

I can't even catch my breath this year before some new, big, scary, stressful things happen. I don't have brainwaves leftover for pandemic stress.

I apologize for being cryptic. I need to vent but some things aren't mine to share and it is still fresh and raw.

It has been only a couple of weeks since the last big scary stressful event which is still ongoing (although seemingly improving- still scary as hell) and then today more big news that will have huge consequences. I hope I'm wrong but I foresee so many shattered relationships coming among other things.

 

On a proactive note- anyone want to share their go to stress relievers?

I exercise but have shifted to focusing on things that are lower key as my adrenaline level is high enough as is.

I try to eat as well as I can.

Consistent bedtime.

I've been working outside- it is nice to have things that I can control.

 

Anyone else just done? What are doing to cope?

 

 

 

 

 

 

You tell yourself you’re okay today. You go from there. Sometimes the day is not okay... sometimes it’s a long way from okay. But you get through THIS day. 
 

We have zero promises for tomorrow - relationships, wealth, health.  You cannot worry about tomorrow. It steals your TODAY. Don’t let it. I tell myself I will not let my TODAY be stolen from me by anxiety. 

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9 hours ago, BlsdMama said:

You tell yourself you’re okay today. You go from there. Sometimes the day is not okay... sometimes it’s a long way from okay. But you get through THIS day. 
 

We have zero promises for tomorrow - relationships, wealth, health.  You cannot worry about tomorrow. It steals your TODAY. Don’t let it. I tell myself I will not let my TODAY be stolen from me by anxiety. 

This is such good advice ... I needed to hear it tonight.  Thank you.  

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Thank you all for letting me vent.

I need to externally process but I hadn't been able to. It has been raw and painful and there hasn't been a space for it. As a Mom being emotionally supportive, unconditionally loving, and as physically present as one can for my kids in their time of need there isn't a lot of room for my feelings. 

I needed to get it out without hearing what I should or shouldn't feel and do. 

I've felt so much -fear-  hurt- humiliation- resentment-anger- guilt.

Lots of ugly feelings and thoughts. 

When the kids were small I remember it was this huge learning curve, ds was so high needs but we figured it out as best as we could. I've felt confident as a parent as they've aged. Not an arrogance that I was perfect but that I tried and imperfection is a feature of humanity. But then came this year I've seen my kids struggle and wonder what could I have done differently. What did I miss? When things are rough all your little imperfections and faults are amplified. 

I needed to accept and own my feelings to start to move past them to healing and acceptance of myself. Working to grow with the pain without beating myself up about my shortcomings. 

There are things that are looking up-

My one kid that really struggled this summer and fall turned a huge corner this winter and is doing well. 

We seem to have past the crisis point with the other child. By everything I can see and gather from conversations they are improving. I'm trying to hold onto that with hope and not let fear and doubt take over.

 

 

 

 

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Sounds like many of us are in the same boat.   It started pre-pandemic for me too, with major life changes all over the place.

I don't know that I have the answer.   I tend to just "do the next thing."   I find a friend to call.   But I need somethings to do without friends around too.  I am an extrovert so that is hard for me.

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Soror, I am sorry for the challenges and issues your kids are going through.  It is so hard to be a mom and watch them struggle.  You have feelings about what is going on but don't feel like you have the space to have them because it will impact them.  I think I felt like having babies was so hard and it was physically, but I think having older kids and young adults is so much harder emotionally.  And I feel like there is often less support to parents as their kids get older.  I think moms often feel that what their kids are going through reflects them or some how they are to blame.   Soror you are a great mom and you are doing the best that you can to mother your kids.  You are helping them through a challenging time and being there for them and finding them care and support is the most important thing you can do.  You are doing the right thing right now.  And you have been doing the right thing.  Loving them and being there for them.  I think it is so hard to watch your kids struggle, hurt, or be sick.  

Do you think your kids and you would be helped by talking to a therapist?  

I am sending good thoughts and prayers to your kids.  Sending lots of extra hugs your way.  

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I sometimes set the alarm to wake up and see the sunrise. This necessitates going to bed by 10 🙂

I’m fairly not-social but I make a special trip to see a friend etc. basically connecting with someone outside of immediate family helps me put whatever is happening in context and gets me out of the ruminating loop. 

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This has been the year of death for us. Since the biggest and worst one hit first (end of January, my dad died unexpectedly from Covid) I guess the rest just kind of fly by. One uncle died the week after my dad, but he was in his 90's so it feels like his time had come anyway. Another uncle died a couple weeks later, but he was in his 80's and was in fine health until he wasn't.  Found out he had cancer in early February and had just days to live. It was enough time for him to bring home all of his kids and grandkids so that was nice. They actually had a huge good-bye tour for him. It was amazing. And then this big beautiful church service. Anyway....in the middle of that, my brother's brother-in-law died follow up by my brother's SIL. It has all been so devastating to my brother's wife (they live near by). And THEN, my cousin's wife died in an accident..she was only 47 yrs old! This is the cousin whose dad is the uncle died a few weeks earlier. Then I found out my sister's husband lost his two uncles and her father-in-law is dying. AND, my grandma, who is in her 90's, isn't doing so well.  This year has become a death count for us. 

For me, I went on anti-depressants. After losing my dad, it has been too hard to deal with.

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So sorry you are dealing with so much hard stuff too!  Last 2 years have been like this for us and 2021 isn't going well either.  I would love some time to find a way to cope, but there only so many minutes in the day!

Hang in there and keep your chin up!!!

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I'm so sorry you're in what sounds like a crisis situation of some sort. When my immediate family was in this kind of situation, step #1 was addressing life and death situations. This was facilitated through EFAP (Employee and Family Assistant Program). Step #2 was dealing with longer-term health care and pain management. I couldn't even begin to reduce my stress levels until these 2 things were in place, otherwise I was too busy 'putting out fires' that kept starting.

Once those 2 steps were dealt with, then we were able to increase sleep, reduce anxiety, and eventually thinking about a plan to get back to 'normal' whatever that might look like.

My newest proactive sleep-aid is listening to slow and simple classical music. The cello is particularly soothing to me. Bach's 'Air on the g-string' and cello suite no. 1 are my current favourites. 

 

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6 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

Soror, I am sorry for the challenges and issues your kids are going through.  It is so hard to be a mom and watch them struggle.  You have feelings about what is going on but don't feel like you have the space to have them because it will impact them.  I think I felt like having babies was so hard and it was physically, but I think having older kids and young adults is so much harder emotionally.  And I feel like there is often less support to parents as their kids get older.  I think moms often feel that what their kids are going through reflects them or some how they are to blame.   Soror you are a great mom and you are doing the best that you can to mother your kids.  You are helping them through a challenging time and being there for them and finding them care and support is the most important thing you can do.  You are doing the right thing right now.  And you have been doing the right thing.  Loving them and being there for them.  I think it is so hard to watch your kids struggle, hurt, or be sick.  

Do you think your kids and you would be helped by talking to a therapist?  

I am sending good thoughts and prayers to your kids.  Sending lots of extra hugs your way.  

Thank you.

We're well past the point of therapy as optional for kids, otherwise I'd not be nearly so stressed. We're addressing issues but these things take time.

I've got no desire for therapy myself and am spending enough on medical expenses right now as it is!

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12 hours ago, Soror said:

Thank you all for letting me vent.

I need to externally process but I hadn't been able to. It has been raw and painful and there hasn't been a space for it. As a Mom being emotionally supportive, unconditionally loving, and as physically present as one can for my kids in their time of need there isn't a lot of room for my feelings. 

I needed to get it out without hearing what I should or shouldn't feel and do. 

I've felt so much -fear-  hurt- humiliation- resentment-anger- guilt.

Lots of ugly feelings and thoughts. 

When the kids were small I remember it was this huge learning curve, ds was so high needs but we figured it out as best as we could. I've felt confident as a parent as they've aged. Not an arrogance that I was perfect but that I tried and imperfection is a feature of humanity. But then came this year I've seen my kids struggle and wonder what could I have done differently. What did I miss? When things are rough all your little imperfections and faults are amplified. 

I needed to accept and own my feelings to start to move past them to healing and acceptance of myself. Working to grow with the pain without beating myself up about my shortcomings. 

There are things that are looking up-

My one kid that really struggled this summer and fall turned a huge corner this winter and is doing well. 

We seem to have past the crisis point with the other child. By everything I can see and gather from conversations they are improving. I'm trying to hold onto that with hope and not let fear and doubt take over.

 

 

 

 

I am so glad it seems the worst is over, but I am sorry for the long row to hoe for all of you. 
You are amazing 

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(((Soror)))

Sorry your road is so hard right now. Echoing others: sunshine, stress supplements, light reading, crying, prayer, consistent gentle exercise, petting a dog or cat, focusing on today. 
 

My family is in the midst of terrible things too. Huge, awful, scary things. Some that began long ago but the pandemic has made much, much worse. 
 

Adding you and yours to my prayer list!

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