7 Best Ways To Deal With Stress

Having spent a good part of my life dealing with stress, I have had ample time figuring out what works, and what does not work for me. These are some of my favourite stress relievers.

1. Nature. There is nothing as calming and perfect as nature for dealing with stress. In Saskatchewan, it is too frigid for a good portion of the year to get warm and fuzzy in the great outdoors.   During these times I get my nature fix by going through pictures of nature – mine, those on social media, or even  via Google Earth.  I also tend to give my houseplants a little more TLC in the winter, just to spend time around something living and green.

2. Positive Affirmations. I keep a journal where I write out positive affirmations every morning. At night, I make a point of sending some special thoughts to any particular challenges I have coming up the next day. Both exercises tend to give me a feeling of control and a positive focus.

3. Deal With It. If I feel myself getting stressed over something I try to deal with it asap. I make the worst call of the day, deal with the most difficult file, go through the most challenging task as early as possible in the day. Once that is over, the rest of the day is easy. I try to tackle any stressful situation in the same manner.  I hate personal or medical appointments.  Last summer I was seriously behind in that department so I booked up the early days of my summer holiday. In three days I saw my doctor, dentist and optometrist, I got my hair cut, my nails done and my eyebrows trimmed, finally as an added bonus I took my dog to the vet to get her checkup and shots.  The rest of my holiday was my best ever!

4. Own The Stress. When I start feeling stressed out, I try to find ways to make myself feel better and relieve my stress. I take a walk, do breathing exercises and meditation, practice yoga, or take a bath.  I work on getting plenty of rest and make sure I am getting a healthy diet – particularly cutting back on salt, sugar, and caffeine.

5. Stretch My Safety Zone.  I got this bit of advice from an article I read years ago.  It said,  (I am paraphrasing) “You will always feel discomfort when you are expanding your safety zone, but if you keep retracting  back into your safety zone to avoid the discomfort, you will ultimately end up curled up in your bed watching your life go by.   gIf you ignore the discomfort and keep pushing your limits, your safety zone will expand and your life with it.”    Great advice! I welcome that feeling of discomfort now as I recognize it as a good sign.

6. Tidy Up. Clutter and mess does nothing to calm my frayed nerves. When I am stressed, I love to get neat and organized, whether I am at home or at work. The activity helps burn off nervous energy and having a clean and orderly space just makes me feel better.

7. Mental Exercise. There is a scientific reasoning behind this – if you are particularly stressed (emotional) you can calm yourself by focusing on a mental exercise. I use this one if I am waiting for a meeting, appointment or stuck in traffic. It works like a charm

These methods of stress relief work for me. I hope if you are stressed out, you will try them. And I hope that you will share any methods that work well for you!

7 Worst Ways To Deal With Stress

Everyone suffers from stress in their lifetime, some more than others. I tend to be one of those others. As a result of being easily stressed, I have tried a number of methods for dealing with my stress and I have taken note of how others tend to deal with theirs. These are some of the worst methods for dealing with stress that I have discovered over the years.

1. Self medicate. Whether it is alcohol, illegal drugs or over the counter medication, it is not a solution and will inevitably create more stress for you in the long run. 🍺

2. Blame others. First it will add bitterness, anger and resentment to your stress. Second it will deprive you of finding and using effective methods to deal with your stress. It does not matter why you are stressed. It does not matter if someone else caused your stress. Once you are stressed, that stress is yours, you need to own it and you need to deal with it. 😤

3. Avoid your stress. (Or the things that are causing you stress). That ugly file on your desk – quit trying to bury it, financial problems – quit trying to pretend they don’t exist, relationship problems – quit waiting for your partner to deal with them. Your stress will not go away by hiding from the problems that are causing it.🙃

4. Using counterproductive measures. Stressed out because you have financial issues? – skipping work won’t help, binge shopping won’t help, wasting your money in a bar or casino won’t help. Stressed out over failing grades? – skipping school won’t help, avoiding your homework won’t help. Stressed out because you have a nagging cough ? – smoking won’t help. 🙄

5. Banishing toxic people from your life. (Unless we are talking about a seriously manipulative, hurtful person who is a danger to you and your well-being). For your friend or your mother or your co-worker who has annoyed you, or had a disagreement with you, or inadvertently hurt your feelings – no! Talk to them, compromise with them, consider what it means to  have them in your life before you kick them to the curb. If this is your go to method, you are going to cause yourself stress by losing loved ones, having to avoid loved ones and causing difficult situations with people who love you and your banished friends and family. 😢

6. Take your stress out on others.  Stress is not an excuse to mistreat others – ever. Mistreating others will not make you feel any better. It certainly will not make them feel any better. Just don’t do it. 🤯

7. Give up. Never give up. Stress sucks. Stress makes life so much harder and more miserable than it needs to be. There are many healthy, effective methods of dealing with stress. You will find ones that work for you as long as you keep looking! 👍

I hope if you having been struggling with stress, that this post helps you avoid some pitfalls in looking for relief. In my next post, I will note some of the best ways that I have found for dealing with my stress💖.

Positive Affirmations



Every morning, I start my day by writing out a page of positive affirmations. I begin each new year with a new notebook and a new set of affirmations that I have chosen during the month of December. This December I have decided to choose affirmations that inspire peace.  

2020 is the beginning of a new decade and it is the beginning of a new chapter in my life. In July, I am going to retire. I have decided that for such an auspicious year I wanted to focus on one specific topic.  Right now,  peace is a topic that I feel is worth my attention.

There seems to be so much chaos in life these days.  In my life, there is conflict at work and within my family.  There is so much noise in my home and neighbourhood.  My husband loves noise.  He loves television – especially controversial talk shows, or dramatic reality shows or violent sports casts –  generally programs that I find cringe worthy.   🤦 We live near a heavy traffic road, a rail line and in the path of our airport (most people in Regina do).   There are constant horns and sirens and the like.    In the summer, there is a household nearby that thrives on loud drunken arguments.   There are a number of dogs in our neighbourhood and one little troublemaker who always has to instigate a barking contest.

These days there seems to be so much chaos in the world in general. There are so many radical politicians with so many extreme followers, so many devastating natural disasters – floods and earthquakes and forest fires and the lot. There are so many man-made environment disasters. There are so many protesters and counter-protesters, so many screamers and so few listeners. There are so many with so little and so few with so much. It all gets to be overwhelming at times.

Fortunately, there are openings for the peace we need to heal our world. There are those moments in nature when we can experience peace. There are those people who are so peaceful and calm that it is contagious. There are babies to cuddle and puppies to pet. There are opportunities to indulge in relaxing pastimes. There are politicians and world leaders who do work together for a better stronger world. There are people working to clean our oceans and air and reclaim our contaminated lands. There is hope.

In 2020 I will start every day by focusing on peace. It may only make a difference in my mind or my life but hopefully it will, in some small way, spread to others. Hopefully, it will in some small way, help to calm the destructive chaos. 🕊️

Peace

There are a lot of posts on social media these days about the power of happiness. Happiness is today’s key to prosperity, health, love – all that is to be strived for in this life. I have nothing against happiness. Being happy is pleasant, but personally I am a huge fan of peace, above all else.

I love silence. There is nothing as soothing and spiritual and beautiful as silence. Peace exists in silence.

I love the infinite depth of peace, that feeling of absolute immortality.

I love the security of peace. I cherish opportunities to spend peaceful, happy, quality time with loved ones.

I love the kindness of peace. I love those moments that touch your heart with sweetness.

I love the simplicity of peace. I love how easy it is to focus and think and create when there is peace.

I love the strength and power of peace. I love the ability to rise above all challenges to the place where everything is natural and stress free.

Wishing all a beautiful, happy and peaceful day💖

Ontario

I had enough of work this week so took a me day. I was going through some pictures and thought I would post a few of our trip to Ontario a few years ago.

We landed in Mississauga and spent a day there so I could spend some time with one of our major suppliers and Dan could sneak in a round of golf with one of the sales reps.

Then we moved on to Niagara Falls.

Trying to take pics of the falls from our wierd little balcony railing. Yes, I am terrified of heights and water🤷
Fortunately Dan isn’t, so he took a few pics where you can actually see the water😊
And the ‘Maid of the Mist’
Doing a bit of shopping for my daughter.
Ok the chocolate was for me🙄
We spent a morning at the butterfly house. It was amazing. This little guy really liked me. He kept latching onto the collar of my jacket.
On to Burleigh Falls by Peterborough. Dan spent some quality time with his sister’s chihuahua, Luna.
This was a cute little pond by Joan’s cottage.
Another pic up at Burleigh Falls. It is a gorgeous area. We loved our time there.

Unfortunately, Joan sold her cottage up there so we probably won’t ever be back.

We are still planning our trip to Costa Rica after Christmas to see her. I should have some amazing pictures to post when we get back!

PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I know that in its worst form it destroys lives. I have struggled to deal with anxiety issues throughout my life and a lot of them are much improved. It is only recently – last December actually – that I realized that my worst anxiety issues now are a result of a mild form of PTSD.

The month of December has been difficult for me since 1993. That is the year my father passed away on December 17th. I was very close to him and it broke my heart, which would be expected. But it was so much more than that. My father had been dealing with cancer of the sinuses for five years – it was a horrid ordeal. Despite working and raising three pre-teen to teenage children at the time, I did everything I could to help my parents through these years. I was the youngest of the family, I was living the closest to my parents, and much of my dad’s medical attention and treatment was done in Regina, where I live. I have five other siblings, all of who did everything they could for our parents, but a lot of it fell on me. It was incredibly hard.

But, there was so much more. I was married to my first husband at the time. The first eleven years of my first marriage were dysfunctional. The last seven years were violent, abusive and traumatizing for me and our children. There was seldom a day when there was not a violent or hateful outburst. To say that he was not supportive of what I was dealing with was an understatement. I had decided that I had to remove my children and myself from the situation a couple of weeks before my father’s diagnosis. After that, I felt compelled to stay until he was gone. My husband felt compelled to take advantage of the situation and make our lives a living hell.

Five months after my father passed away, I told my husband I was done. A few weeks later we moved out.

I was worn out. We moved into a small three bedroom basement apartment. I slept in our kitchen/livingroom so the kids could each have their own bedroom. I worked eighty hours a week and spent the rest of my working hours being a full-time home maker. It sounds rough, but we were really happy and starting to heal. Things got better, we got a better car, we moved to a nice little duplex. I met my current husband and my kids grew up, moved out and started their own families. Life still has its ups and downs but I am okay.

And then there is another December. The decorations go up, the carols start playing and my heart breaks. This week we had an incident at work. One of my co-workers had a violent outburst. He slammed through the shop, swearing, kicking things, having a man size tantrum. I have been shaking ever since.

The thing is, it’s okay. I get that my physical and emotional and mental reactions are about my past, not my present. I know I am in a safe place now. I also know I am stronger for having been through my past. In December, I have a really deep compassion for those who are dealing with the loss of a loved one or any of the other heartbreaks that are worse in December. When I see someone being a bully, having a man size tantrum, I am reminded how very fortunate I am to be with my with my current husband. I have the courage to stand up for those who are being bullied and I am proud that my sons and my daughter do as well.

As difficult as these episodes of PTSD are, I know they make me a better person. As long as good can come out of the worst times of my life, I am okay with that.

Alberta Devonian Gardens

With snow on the ground, this seemed like a good day to share a few pics of our trip to the Devonian Gardens just outside of Edmonton Alberta. Set in a backdrop of natural evergreens, there are acres of cultured gardens, unique architecture and even a small butterfly house.

One of a Number of Water Features
Flower Beds
Bonsai Garden
Oriental Gardens
Sculptures
Inside the Butterfly House
Still in the Butterfly House
Ringing The Gong For Good Luck!