Stress Management

Coping With Christmas After A Miscarriage

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An ornament I bought a few months after my miscarriage in 2010.
One of the most stressful experiences a woman and her partner can go through is a miscarriage. The grief is heart-breaking.

Three years ago, I had a miscarriage, and have experienced the effects that stress caused. While the pain has eased, there are times that are still difficult. Christmas is one of those times. When grief arises unexpectedly after so long, it can be a shock to the system. The most difficult thing about a miscarriage is the often, there is no grave, there was no body to bury. There’s nowhere to go to remember.

It’s ok to grieve. There’s no time-limit on grief. Each time grief comes up, I see it as an opportunity to learn how to deal with it, and indeed, how to let the pain go. Each time grief come up, it’s an opportunity to learn how to be a stronger person. Here are some of the techniques I’ve used over the last three years to cope when grief arises.

1. Write it down. Get all that stress you’re holding in your heart and head out on paper. As you write, you lift the weight from your shoulders. Write out all your thoughts and feelings, whether you’re angry, sad or distraught. Writing brings release. As the left sign of your brain is engaged in the logical act of writing, your right brain is free to create, feel and intuit.

2. Buy a Christmas decoration in memory of your baby. You may have lost your baby, but he or she will always be a part of your heart, of your experience. I bought a nice angel decoration and wrote the date and name on it. If you’re comfortable with the idea, take a browse around the shops for a nice decoration to celebrate Christmas in memory of your baby.

3. Care for someone else. Use the Christmas season to distract yourself from grief by helping others to have a good time. Their joy and appreciation can help you relax in return.

4. If or when you feel guilty about smiling, laughing and enjoying yourself, try to be kind to yourself. Though biological design, laughing and smiling helps to reduce stress. A good hearty belly laugh can relax muscles of the body for up to 45 minutes afterward. This helps relieve tension from the muscles, helping you stay strong a little while longer.

5. If you’re in a social situation or find a day tough going, have an escape plan in place. This may be a nap, a walk or a visit to a friend. Be gentle from yourself, and if you feel you need a time-out, take it.

I hope these tips help you through this difficult period. Love and light, Tracy xxx

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Stress Management

Say No! Before You Reach Breaking Point

Saying no is so important for you. Have you ever tried to be so helpful that you say yes to every job and event on your list?

What happens then? Do you find yourself getting overwhelmed, stressed, irritable and moody? Are you able to get through the list or do some things get dropped? Can you feel the stress of taking too much on affecting you, physically and mentally?

Did you know that it’s ok to say no to people? Some people might ready that and think “Duh!”. But for some, myself included, we try to be helpful, take on too much and then end up too exhausted to relax.

There are times when life gets extremely busy. I see these times as opportunities. Opportunities to learn how to stop life getting so out of hand. So this week, I wrote down all the time I spent on the urgent busy project. Then I figured out a plan so that next time, it will be better planned so I can stay calm, have free time, and still get the work done.

This plan involves spelling out to the person involved how much time the job actually takes and how to plan better in the future. It’s not just a no to pressure and overwork. It’s a solution-based, calm, stress management “No”, that will help me build a better relationship with this person. It also means I won’t be under pressure again.

So to recap on saying no:

1. It’s ok to say no.
2. See situations as learning opportunities.
3. Develop a plan for future situations.
4. Offer the other person a solution based no based on the plan.
5. Result: You manage your time and workload and you build a better relationship with the person!

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Stress Management

Manage Stress By Stopping To Smell The Roses

Today I was reminded how important it is to stop and smell the roses.   This reminder came from the unlikeliest of sources.

I was particularly wound up this morning from a long to-do list and too many interruptions.   So I decided to take my dog for a walk.   I started out walking briskly to get rid of the stress.   Except my dog had other ideas.  He wanted to stop and sniff every pillar, post and pole and each time he stopped and jerked on the lead, I got a sense of him thinking “Chill out man, stop and sniff the pillar”.
That had two effects.  First I burst out laughing.   Secondly, it was a timely reminder of how appreciating the world around me, including my 3-month old puppy, can help me relax from stress.

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George, my cheeky scamp of a dog!

 Appreciation is the act of recognising or understanding that something is valuable and important.   Research shows that appreciation has many health benefits, including increased wellness, health and happiness.   The benefits of a regular practice of appreciation can include:

1.       Stronger immune system
2.       Lower blood pressure
3.       Better sleeping patterns
4.       Higher levels of positive emotions
5.       Feeling more alert, alive, and awake
6.       Feeling more optimism, happiness, joy and pleasure
7.       Feeling more helpful, generous, forgiving and compassionate

When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses, or just stopped, looked around and appreciated what’s around you?

So how can you appreciate the world around you?

1.       Go outside and take a walk in nature.
2.       Pay attention to the little things.
3.       Slow down!  What’s the rush?
4.       Laugh with friends, family, pets and children
5.       Make a list of everything you’re thankful for.

I’d love to hear about the things you appreciate!  Please tell me about them!

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