Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just Breathe

I am high strung and I always have been. A combination of sensory overload and the inability to cope with stress makes me into some sort of basket case. In my lifetime I have dealt with a stomach ulcer, severe acid reflux, depression and Fibromyalgia.

I really want to change this.

For Christmas I received
a book called A Pace of Grace by Linda Kavelin Popov and in it she has a 10-point plan for how to live a less frenzied life. I am not very far into it, but have found the first couple of steps to be helpful. So far the steps aren't anything ground breaking (i.e. bathe every day, drink at least 8 glasses of water, eat healthy foods, practice meaningful breathing, etc), but I appreciate her approach as she explains the virtues of doing each step. She also explains clearly the concept of FOG (Fatigue, Overwhelm, Guilt) which unfortunately I identify with all too well.

The truth is I don't think I have too much to be stressed out about, but I always seem to find something that winds me tighter and tighter. The sound of my children doing acrobatics in the family room causes the dog to bark (which is worse than fingernails on a chalk board to me) and makes my heart beats faster; I yell at the dog in total frustration; my yelling makes everyone around me stressed out; and then it all happens again. It all makes me want to retreat somewhere where I don't have to hear any noise or be around any people. This is not good.

So, I am taking steps to try to improve this situation. I am breathing more ... really breathing. I have been increasing my daily exercise. More fruits and vegetables are included in my diet. And then there is my water intake: I can say that it has increased, though not as much as I would like. I have started to fill a pretty pitcher up with water everyday to have out on the counter. I will add lemon and berries to infuse the unexciting drink with some flavor, and drinking from a wine glass makes it feel more elegant.

I haven't seen any drastic changes just yet, but there are many steps left to take. I'm working on it!


Christian @ Modobject at Home said...

What a gorgeous, soothing photo.

May God bless you with grace, peace, and new mercies every morning as you look for ways to unwind.

Kelly said...

Thank you so much for your encouragement! It is quite an effort to find peace and to relax, but with God's help I know I can do it.

I think He probably wants me to chill out too :)

Journeying Five said...

Sounds like really good strategies. It is hard sometimes to see the simple changes that we might need to make that can affect others and ourselves so much. I really hope this lends you a better pace, and a restful heart.

Lindsay said...

So many mornings I could have written a similar blog. Do let me know what comes of it.

I will say that I've been cooking from my slow cooker different recipes almost everyday to help me with stress. Sounds funny, huh? All the planning and not having to think about dinner after noon has really helped me in the evenings. Five at night is my peak hour for stress.

By bathe, does she actually mean take a bath or just shower???

Kelly said...


The author suggests mostly taking baths because it is more relaxing and cleansing, but realizes that it isn't always possible. So, at bath a couple times a week is okay. I'm lucky if I take one a week!

Slow cookers can be great for stress relief ... except I am not very good at having the forethought to get it all prepared before going into the pot. :)