Mel’s Monday Musings: April 19, 2021

Boy, April is flying by! May will be here before we know it!

I was thinking tonight about all of the random things that help me when I’m anxious or scared about something I know I have to face, those yucky life things we all just have to plow through sometimes.

(Everything is fine here. Nothing interesting happening in my neck of the woods atm.)

I keep my hands busy — typing, crafting, tumbling a worry stone in my pocket if I’m out and about, whatever I can think to do. Doing physical things I’m used to is calming.

I listen to music — sometimes I can explore new artists as a thought-provoking distraction; other times if I’m under strain/stress I need old favorites that wash over me in all of their familiar colors like a warm shower or a fuzzy blanket. I even have a few “pull the lever” songs that almost always take me from climbing the walls to “I can breathe again” that I will play on a loop if I have to.

I sing, if I’m somewhere I can. (I do that with all my strong emotions though, in fairness — joy, fear, love, sorrow, pain, excitement, worry.)

Sometimes I go for a walk. It’s not always possible; sometimes one is stuck where one happens to be…but I can still go adventuring in my mind. Spinning a daydream, trying to fill in the little details and make it as real as possible in my mind, can leave little room for stressing out.

I ask people for distractions or to tell me about their own lives so I’m not thinking about mine (I love hearing it all anyway).

I close my eyes and fall asleep (in the most inappropriate places) if there’s someone I trust nearby to keep me on-track. Hey, skipping a few minutes of stress is awesome.

And one of the most powerful things I know in times of stress is to think about each person I love, who loves me. The list may not be a mile long, but it’s a powerful one. I sink into their love and pull it closer than close. It doesn’t make the shitty thing not happen or not exist, but if I’m deep in my thoughts of, say, my beloved, I know that this unpleasantness is temporary. I hold onto them like a lifeline and imagine them in front of me, and I try to breathe in time with their breathing, or imagine what they’d say to me.

How do you combat stress/strain/worry/fear? Let’s hear it.