Stressed Out!

I love bubbles, they have a unique beauty, full of iridescent colours that catch the light as they float seamlessly around. They make you smile, laugh and feel alive and remind you of carefree times.

They are easy to make, simply mix together a little detergent and water in a container then dip in a circular bubble wand, ensuring the mixture coats all the edges then blow gently to produce lots of beautiful bubbles.

As children we used to play a game which involved trying to keep them in the air. As we rushed around giggling amongst the bubbles, each one requiring individualised attention, gentle puffs would keep them afloat, ignore them and they would float uncontrolled until they hit something sharp or went splat making a wet slippery mess on the ground. Puff too strongly and they would grow so big that they popped or they flew too high and we lost sight of them. 

Gone are the carefree days of chasing bubbles now life is busy, too busy.

Busy life…doing my best to be the best that I can be and doing my best for those around me.

Busy life…being daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, wife, friend, colleague.

Busy life…working.

Busy life… requires so much energy in the attempt to keep all the different bubbles floating seamlessly, making sure we do enough to mitigate the risk of them imploding.  

Busy life…I am usually great in a crisis and thrive on being busy but a number of times over the years I have experienced the physical and emotional impact from the stress of juggling too many bubbles. 

Stress takes its toll when it becomes long term and the body starts to react negatively. When you should be taking more care of yourself you take less, less time, more pressure. The long walks, laughter and relaxation that your body needs to moderate and restore itself from chronic stress disappear. Slowly but surely if you don’t listen to the signs you will find yourself in trouble. 

Signs…grumpy or having little tolerance and reacting at a level out of proportion to the situation…emotional, feeling weepy and shaky for no reason…tummy upsets…coldsores…etc etc

Slow to recognise the warning signs will impact negatively however once you do acknowledge the issue then make sure you take action.

My warnings, in hindsight were obvious…now that I have had a week of rest and recovery I wanted to share them with you.

Over reaction!

My hubby and I cycle with a fantastic group of friends however I am not as fit many of them as I only ride once a week compared to their three to four times. Usually I happily let them go ahead whilst I ride at my pace on my own and turn around when they head back. For me it is all about the coffee and catchup. HOWEVER a couple of weeks ago…I was getting into my cycling kit and I could feel myself tensing up, my throat was feeling tight and I was getting more and more upset…I couldn’t face cycling with them so I took off my kit and put on my walking gear instead…rather than just saying o hubby “I’ll walk today” I burst into tears and blurted out at the top of my voice…”you have no idea how it feels to know you are holding everyone up,  it makes me feel useless and I cant stand it”. Feeling anxious, emotional and reaction out of proportion to the situation, obvious now!

Panic attack anyone?

Our grandson had a bit of a meltdown recently so I picked him up like a sack of potatoes and put him outside to calm down…within a few minutes he had stopped crying and gave his grandfather a hug and apologised…HOWEVER without warning I had a full on panic attack having deposited him out the door and had to spend time calming myself down.

Anxiety and panic attacks suck…heart raising, mind racing, dizzy, over breathing, sweaty, head pounding, eyes flashing…the usual confident inner voice becomes unsure, questioning and scared…even when you know what they are as they wash over you they take command and you have to battle to get control…breath slowly, stop listening to your crazy thoughts, breath, just wait it will pass. 

Sleepless nights!

Too many sleepless nights waking to process the multiple work projects I am managing, sleep deprivation and I do not mix.

Hello, are you listening to the signs?

Last week I felt a tightening in my throat whilst getting ready for work, I felt sick and emotional and I thankfully I finally listened.

It was time to pull the plug and take time to STOP and DE-STRESS and take some time off from everything. I spent the time resting, gardening, walking, being in the fresh air in a technology free zone. Thanks Sis for our hilarious round of golf, miss you and love to my bookclub besties for our monthly laugh-a-thon.

Resting and acknowledging that too many bubbles make “Jill a dull, sick girl” mean I have to be more purposeful around looking after my mental well being. It won’t happen over night for my tolerance is back to normal, but I know that by ensuring I take the time to care for myself I can once again be busy but not stressed.

Take care of yourself, if you are feeling signs of stress talk to your doctor, if you need support with your mental wellbeing here are some links from the New Zealand Mental Health Foundation (more on their website)

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor 

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP)

Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666 

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