Hi Everyone! Thanks so much for being patient with me and my postings. Hope you like the new logo for Sizzling After 60!
This has been a challenging time…Mother’s Day was both wonderful and challenging. My kids were just terrific. Yet, as you can imagine, I missed my Mom terribly. It was my first without her. And I so miss my dear friend Emmett Vaughn who left us last week after a fierce battle with cancer.
Losing those you love can change the foundation of your life as you know it. Through death or through just needing to move on, loss hurts and requires healing.
But life doesn’t stop. Things need to get done! To quote Nikki Woods, “Sometimes you gotta be a beast, even when you’re tired.” And that can be STRESSFUL!
For example, it is stressful coming to grips with grief as I’ve also had to settle affairs. Clearing out and selling our family home of 50 years has been so very hard. My Mom and I found this home together, and my parents lovingly cared for it. They were so proud of what they had lovingly built and shared together in that home. I am the designated person responsible for settling things for my family, and whew! Talk about stressful!
So what to do? Well, I have a few suggestions about dealing with Stress that have helped me. It is CRITICAL to get a handle on Stress. Not only will Stress fry you–it can kill you.
Here’s how that came home for me. I recently activated the Heart Alert on my Apple Watch, http://www.apple.com, to monitor if/when my heart rate was too high. I forgot about that benefit of the watch because I exercise regularly, so I didn’t think there was a problem.
Well, I was WRONG! The alert went off when I was LYING DOWN after a hectic week, and I was shocked. I could see through the tracker that my heart rate was going up and down, and the resting rate was too high. According to statistics, your resting heart rate needs to be between 80-90 BPM (beats per minute). Mine was over 100.
This stopped me in my tracks. I came face-to-face with the reality that if I didn’t slow the stress down, it could and would be dangerous.
So, here are three key things I’m doing:
- Exercising. Exercise not only helps the body, it heals the mind and the spirit. It’s well documented that exercise releases hormones that can calm you. According to Johns Hopkins, http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org, exercise reduces the stress hormones that can put an extra burden on the heart. It works like a beta blocker to slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure. I can’t tell you how immediate the relief is on my stress level once I go to the gym, do some yoga at home or walk/bike the lakefront. While I am now into deadlifting weights at the gym, I also just took a totally fun hula-hoop exercise class. Sounds easy, right? NOT. Wore me out! And Denise E. Williams, the class leader will be 65 next month! We jammed to jazz and hooped for an hour. Check her out at http://www.holistichoop.net.
2. Meditating. Wooo-Saaa. Exercise is great, but I needed more. I have been so busy that I had let meditation, this important stress reliever, slide. I came back to sitting and deeply breathing for 15 minutes first thing in the morning while my thoughts come and go. So good to let worries glide on past. It is amazing how meditating can change your perspective, clear your head and soothe your spirit.
3. Connecting. A friend posted that STRESS = Someone Trying to Repair Every Situation Solo. How true! We need each other, and connecting with good friends and worshiping with others in prayer at church has been so affirming–God is in control! I know–at times of stress, it can feel good to head under the covers or binge watch Netflix. But for me, reaching out to others has been a balm in Gilead. Checking on others and having them check on you is life-saving. People matter. Here I am with my Pastor, Charles Jenkins and my pew partner, the lovely Ms. Eunice Little (90 years and sizzling!) on Sunday.
So, don’t keep running the race at all costs. It can be too high a price to pay. Listen to your body. It’s trying to tell you something. What works for you to keep Stress at bay? Let’s share those ideas to keep our Sizzle!