I know. It's been a good number of weeks since I posted. And a great number of months of sporadic blogging. It's been a real struggle to focus on my blog and create beautiful bags for my Etsy shop. Health issues that include chronic pain and other things in my home life just take over and crimp my creative spirit.
Hopefully in the days to come, I will strive to bring interesting posts for your reading pleasure!
And that's why I bring this post to you today! Because I know someone out there is struggling daily.
Several months ago, I took a very short writing course, and this is one of the posts I wrote for it, and it's high time that I share it with you!
In the Depths of Despair
Are you a frazzled, frustrated, depths of despair person? Is life bearing down on your mind, body, and soul? Having a meltdown? Are you thinking any of these thoughts?
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“The stress is killing me.”
“I’m afraid my health will deteriorate more and more.”
“No one knows the trouble I’ve seen.”
“I have no one to talk to about this.”
You’ve been going through deep waters for some time now. Several years, in fact. Crying often. Sometimes silently crying in the presence of the person who is causing some of this pain and grief.
And it’s not just physical or emotional. It’s financial as well. Your budget recently got a hit and you keep siphoning from the savings account. Right?
It’s everything. All at once.
The curtains have been drawn across the windows. You can’t see the sun anymore.
You crave to walk away or drive to a cabin by the lake to unwind and experience total peace for a few days. But because of obligations at home, you have to stay put.
You pour out your soul to God at night because of the pain - physical, emotional, mental. Asking Him, why me? Why aren’t you answering my prayers?
What do we do when we’re in the depths of despair and our bodies are stressed every hour of the day and night?
Here are some practical solutions to gain some sane escapism for a couple of hours. At the end, there’s one key ingredient that may be missing from your life. It might surprise you. You may have a negative reaction to it. But, first, let’s see if any of these simple strategies can help you open the curtains and add a bit of sunshine to your chaotic life.
Implement a Resuscitating Ritual
Participate in a hobby that will rejuvenate your spirits. I hope you already have at least one hobby that will bring you a sense of peace and fulfillment.
Sewing is one of my hobbies that brings great enjoyment. After I spend at least a couple hours in my sewing room stitching a bag for my Etsy shop, making a tiny fabric doll for a child, or clothing for myself, I find that my body has indeed relaxed. It is a good feeling!
Crafting and creating come in many forms. Woodworking, cooking, metalworking, jewelry making, art, photography, gardening, writing - and the list goes on.
Reading is another form of getting away from the world around you. Fiction puts you into another realm. Non-fiction provides knowledge and understanding.
Walk or bike through nature. It’s blissful, isn’t it? Feel the wind caress your face. Savor the sweet scent of the fir and spruce trees, the woodland plants, and flowers. Attune your ears to the birds communicating with each other. It will calm your soul. It provides needed exercise if your mobility isn’t hindered. Exercise rejuvenates the mind when the body is worked.
Join a gym that has a pool and/or hot tub. Swimming and soaking are easy and refreshing. You want this to be a pleasant and calming experience so don’t think about using the exercise equipment unless you want to commit to a strenuous workout. End your time with a nice cooling shower.
What about music? Do you play a musical instrument? Sit at the keyboard for an hour and play away or pull out your guitar and strum. If your only musical talent is using your ears, get away by yourself and listen to music that will soothe the soul, not jar or excite it. This is all about calming the nerves and relaxing the body – not stimulating the senses or adding to your anxiety.
Food! Ah, yes! The right food and beverage can help uplift and satisfy the senses. A calming chamomile tea or earl grey, a coffee latte, nibbling on a chocolate bar, or a delightful dish of cherries and grapes. No bingeing on things that thwart the diet or health. This is about carving a calming oasis. While you “hobby away” with the craft of your choice, walk down the trail, or read a new book in solitude, bring your snack and beverage with you.
Don’t Have a Hobby or Favorite Past-time?
Create one. Go to a craft store and wander around. See what suits your fancy. Keep it simple at first. Try it out. If you don’t enjoy it, find something else that excites you.
Need a new book? Go to the library or bookstore. Wander and browse. Bring a book home with you for your next reading relaxation session. There are lots of ideas in a bookstore or library that can pique your interest in a new hobby. Even if it’s just reading a new book!
Essential oils are a unique way to help destress. Breathing in delicate and delightful fragrances can lower anxiety. Check out this website for more information on which ones to use and how to use them: www.aromatics.com
Not interested in a particular hobby or going for a walk? Just want to crash on the couch and watch a movie? That will work! Make sure you’re not interacting with other people or using your electronic devices at the same time. No distractions. No other people involved.
This is about you only. Taking time away from everyone and your responsibilities to de-frazzle, regroup, and calm your body down for at least an hour if not more.
Empty Your Negative Thoughts and Anxieties
Write a letter to an anonymous person – it helps to write out your thoughts on paper. Pour out your soul. Type it out on your laptop and leave it there. Start a diary to keep track of your thoughts, desires, sorrows, and joys.
Pick up the phone to talk to a friend or a person of leadership in your church or support group. If you have a problem expressing yourself vocally and have trouble explaining yourself in a cohesive and calm manner, send an email. Writing out your conversation without being interrupted by the person you are “talking” to is how some people prefer to converse. Because you have time to read over what you’ve said and edit and clarify before hitting the “send” button. This is my comfortable way of communicating!
Writing out your frustrations and problems will empty your mind of all the thoughts that were swirling around endlessly. Your mind relaxes. Your stress level diminishes, and though your situation hasn’t changed, at least your mind and body have taken a break from it all. Even if it’s a short one.
Lastly - The Welfare of your Soul
The most important of all solutions to help us every day when things are going well or when life is upside down is a personal relationship with God. That is key. Turning your life over to Him will bring lasting peace. Calling upon Him for wisdom to know what to do in your time of need. His children’s welfare is important. He knows, sees, and orchestrates our lives. He cares. This is where it’s at.
Time to Decide Your Course of Action
Your life is probably like a non-stop train. Always going and not stopping at the depots. The whistle blows at each intersection and slows down but never stops. The destination is not in sight.
Set aside a chunk of time every day, if possible, or once a week - whatever works for your schedule. Write it on your calendar. With the simple ideas I laid out, work out a plan to derail this train. Make it stop at the intersections so you can get out and breathe for a bit.
Put on a pot, make yourself a cup of tea, mull over what you just read, and decide what your solitude solution will be.
About the last one. Need to chat more about that? Connect with me!