My friend Melissa is an occupational therapist who owns Whole Body Wellness Therapy. She specialises in soft tissue treatment with trigger point therapy and has been helping me with a long term shoulder issue and soreness. In the process of working on my shoulder she found that I had a lot of muscle tightness in my neck and back. Melissa asked me what stresses did I have in my life? What did I do for relaxation? What activities did I do where I could totally loose myself in the moment? What did I do for myself? She really had me pondering these questions.
Also recently I attended a workshop for carers at the South West Womens Health & Information Centre where I met many women who were in caring roles whether it be caring for an elderly parent, a sick partner, or a disabled child. Part of the day was a beginners Eco-dyeing workshop with Jane Flower from Folios and Fibre which was a lot of fun and something I'd like to do more of. After a delicious lunch there was a talk focused around carers. One thing that came out of the discussion was the importance of making time for ourselves.
|Beautiful silk scarves we made dyed with eucalyptus leaves|
You might notice there is a common theme running over these two separate situations .... making time for ourselves where we can loose ourselves in our passions. If we give ourselves this space, and we are happier in ourselves, we can be more able to cope with stress and the challenges that life puts our way.
This could be as easy as just going for a walk. Recently I went bush-walking with photography friend and she opened up to me that she had recently had what she called a "melt-down", brought on by the stresses in her and her partner's life over the past 6-12 months. This stress had manifested itself in both physical and emotional ways. She had closeted herself away, but she had found that walking, whether it was walking along the beach or through the bush near her home had been very beneficial in starting to pull her life back together.
It's amazing where life might intervene in times of stress. I know of a couple of instances in my life where I actually sustained accidental physical injuries that forced me to "take time out" - in one instance for 6 weeks, and the other for 2-3 months. I knew these unforeseen accidents was life telling me to slow down.
I know as I get older I feeling like I am less able to manage stressful situations. Do you feel like that? Perhaps now not dealing regularly with stress as I did when I was working, I am not practising managing those stress levels. Or perhaps it is just part of my aging process.
When my physio friend asked me what stress I had, I thought it was absurd that I should have any stress - I am retired for goodness sake! In April 2015 I thankfully left a job which was extremely stressful emotionally, both the work load and certain people that I was working with. It was not a happy environment and I was very stressed. I was ecstatic to leave this work place, take early retirement and give myself time to explore things I wanted to try creatively - through my photography particularly.
So when I was asked what I do for myself where I can totally loose myself in the moment - I answered immediately - my photography. Indeed when my father was very sick in hospital in 2014 my photography was my solace that I would turn to.
We all have stress in one form or another. Sometimes we are so wound up in our lives that we don't recognise that others are also going through issues in theirs. It got me to pondering a few questions.
What do you do to help lower your stress levels?
How does stress manifest in you?
Do you have a passion that you don't make time for?
Are you lacking inspiration?
Is there something that is blocking you from indulging in your passions?
Is fear of failure something that blocks you from moving forward?
We shouldn't see indulging our passions as selfishness. This time can really be of benefit to us both mentally and physically. I saw this quote today from Anne Frank:
What are your passions? Do they help you overcome or deal with stress? Different things work for different people. Here are a few suggestions.
- Listening to music
- Playing a musical instrument
- Flower arranging - if you have ever watching an Ikebana demonstration - the art of Japanese flower arranging - you will know what I mean - Harmony through flowers
- Bush walking
- Bike riding
- Walking on the beach
- Craft - join a craft group and meet new people
- Start a new project
- Attend a summer school class - look for one in your area
- Writing - hook into a web-site that has writing prompts to get you going
You might also find this blog post interesting from life coach Marthe at The Freedom Experiment blog - 17 tips on how to invite passion and inspiration back into your life
|A little bit of me time indulgence and fun|
To finish today I also wanted to share with you the story of the little brown honey-eater that nested in our garden. I blogged about her here - Go away winter
We first saw her two tiny eggs on 9 October, the chicks on 21 October, and yesterday 30 October, we saw one baby bird sitting on the edge of the nest. The other one had already flown. His mother was flitting about chirping and encouraging him to fly. He sat there quivering and I could see his tiny heart beating against his chest. He just wasn't ready. So he went back into the nest for a nap. This morning when I crept by to look he had flown. I had so much enjoyed seeing the unfolding story of this little bird family.
It represented to me the promise of new beginnings and the courage to take that first step towards flying.
Today is the last day of October. Here is some gorgeousness happening in my garden.
What is happening in your corner of the world? Perhaps you'd like to share in the comments how you minimise stress in your life.
What are you going to do for yourself this week? I'm going to start going to Pilates classes on Wednesday morning. For a healthy mind we also need a healthy body.
|Banksias are flowering in our bushland now|
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!
Life Thru the Lens
Lifestyle Fifty Monday Linkup
Our World Tuesday
Through My Lens
Wednesday Around the World at Communal Global
Worth Casing Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday
The Weekly Postcard