If you’ve read my blog posts this week, you know that it has been a very anxious time of late.
But even during the bad times, we can still learn or be reminded of what we’ve learned in the past.
I decided right away that I was not going to get down. And I took some steps in self-care that I believe helped me navigate new territory.
Before I go into those, though, I want to thank you for your kind words, your understanding, your caring, and your presence. Thank you so much, dear readers, for supporting me during a bad time, for reminding me that I am not alone.
And I can’t say enough about my husband. His quiet presence and his open heart are treasures for which I can never be grateful enough.
Here are some of the ways I’ve coped:
I’ve divided reading into two categories. The first one I call fun reading. It’s reading that you don’t “need” to do. It’s not meant for self-improvement. It’s for entertainment, enjoyment. It’s for fun.
During times when I didn’t want to think about any real-life problems, it was a pleasure to turn to reading mysteries. I read Storm Prey, by John Sandford (one of my favorites).
Now I’m reading a book called The Faithful Spy, by new-to-me author Alex Berenson. It’s wonderful. And I’ve found a new author to follow.
This kind of reading is for self-improvement, though, of course, enjoyment is also part of the experience.
I got out my copy of Mindfulness for Beginners, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I previously studied part of the book, but never finished. I started over and have gained a lot of insight into the ways our minds work and the relationship between our thoughts and reality.
I turn to mindfulness meditation when I try to focus my thoughts. I increased my practice in order to deal with the swirl of thoughts and feelings that were negatively affecting my moods and quality of life.
Right now I am using the CD that came with the book by Kabat-Zinn I wrote of above. It’s helpful for me right now to have a voice leading me into the meditation.
Writing is so natural for me, something I turn to in just about every situation. I wrote down some of the thoughts I had that scared me, that made me feel especially sad and guilty. A lot of what I wrote will probably never see the light of day. But just getting the words down gave them a safe place to rest, out of my constant thoughts.
I’ve had a difficult time falling asleep lately. I’ve found that listening to certain music helps quiet my mind.
For times when I’m trying to relax, it’s better for me to listen to instrumental music with no words.
My favorites are Lifescapes’ “Meditations: Native American Flute” and Yoga Journal’s “Pure Relaxation.”
I started doing this almost by accident and found that it helped me relax.
While listening to one song on “Pure Relaxation,” I started visualizing being on a boat in the ocean, right at sunset. It was almost like I was watching a movie that I was adding details to. I imagined Larry and me on the boat, the wind blowing our hair. I could see the lights on shore. The stars were starting to come out. It was a beautiful time.
With the next song, I imagined being in a cabin at night with Larry and Chase Bird. Snow was falling. We sat in chairs by the fire, reading. Then we turned off the lights so we could see the snow falling outside. Chase Bird sat on my lap for a while, then on Larry’s. We were quiet and at peace.
Now when I hear those songs, I am immediately in those places, either on the boat or in the cabin. I have found myself smiling in the dark as I visualize.
Playing with my cat
You knew I would mention Chase Bird, didn’t you? Playing with him takes me out of myself. I laugh at his antics and stay busy chasing the toy that he bats back with amazing strength and agility.
|Chase Bird guarding the treat bags that he knocked off the table.|
What ways do you cope with overwhelming anxiety? Please share.