How do you cope with stress? Have you changed your habits and coping mechanisms?
Once upon a time, I would swig soda loaded with sugar (and caffeine), eat junk food, and veg out in the nearest chair reading news of absolutely zero benefit. Over time, I have learned how to exercise and do that every day – a great tool for finding balance. I listen to podcasts driving to and fro and while sitting with my laptop. And once again I write and I blog. It never fails to amaze me what a positive impact opening my laptop and bleeding out a few hundred words has on my outlook and mood. Having been away for a time, I appreciate my process all over again.
I recently lost a long-term client and friend very unexpectedly. He who tended to eat very cleanly, exercise regularly, maintain a healthy work-life balance had a serious heart attack, survived and was at home recuperating, when he had a second heart attack and died. While very sad for those of us he left behind, a life well lived is always cause for celebration. Both his sons, his daughter-in-law, his grandson, and his dog are struggling to adjust to this new normal. Being part of their grief process – I feel grateful to be of help to them in this time of need. Even if it is just sorting out business matters and smoothly transitioning with clients and vendors, it is an aspect of this man’s life his family knows is in good hands.
For me, that is a profoundly satisfying feeling.
Unfortunately there are other areas where I have less control, influence, or ability to impact and make a positive contribution. When it is someone I love and care for and about, it’s VERY challenging to be at peace and let life happen. I listen more than I talk in those situations, and when I do share, I always hope my intent to encourage is heard more than any sense of judgment on my part. I have opinions on the topic and likely advice to share as well, but most of the time I do not see that as my role. Listening with compassion and understanding without criticism always feels more correct, even if it is not always easy.
So I spend a few minutes writing in the evenings now, looking through Pinterest for something relevant to whatever happens to be on my mind. This real life stuff is hard! And sometimes it makes for really uninspired blog posts. But real life, or maybe it is just MY real life, is also not glamorous or Instagram worthy.
I am more than okay with that.