This day in my life has been unusual to say the least, and I have just been thrown in the deep end of checking in on how I successfully deal with stress.
My ‘Fight and Flight’ mode was fully triggered around 3am, when two police officers woke us up to inform us that we had been broken into. All three cars, handbag, wallet, iPad, cash: gone.
My very first reaction? ’Wait, I need to check my kids are safe.’ The absolute relief seeing them fast asleep in their beds, with the police officers still standing by just in case. My stress levels came down so many notches in that moment, and the gratitude was already kicking in.
Still, that feeling of having my family under threat. The MOST IMPORTANT THING is we’re all safe, and neither my husband or children have been injured. I’m not writing this from a hospital, and there have been lots and lots of hugs of thanks for our safety. Plus my kids get it, that what matters is we’re safe and well.
As for the stolen property? What we know so far is that one car has been smashed up in an accident and abandoned. Actually that’s how the police officers ended up at our place due to the accident being called in. Yes, we all slept soundly through the robbery. The other two cars? Still not located. But it’s just material, it’s just commodities, and commodities never make up one’s happiness.
As for stress? I immediately tapped into 4 methods, and can I just say absolutely they really, really help and are working a treat. The 5th one was a beautiful, eye-opening surprise for how supported and capable it has made me feel….
1 – BREATHING –
I can’t begin to express what a biggie this is. I alternated between 10 big, slow breaths in and out, and a 2 minute meditation that I regularly use. This one has 4 short breaths in, 1 breath out, on repeat for a minute. Then it’s a pattern of holding breath for 15 and 1 long one out. Fiercely good!
2 – MAGNESIUM –
This is such a goody for keeping calm and not letting anxiety take a hold – I upped my dose this morning to 700mg, still within the recommended range, but essential for my nervous system. Magnesium is a goddess when it comes to looking after women, and if you haven’t discovered it yet it would be worth exploring including. In fact magnesium deficiency has been shown to increase symptoms of PMS, cramping, dysmenorrhea and insomnia as well as the stress bundle. You can see how good it is for hormonal balance too and just generally feeling at ease!
3 – ROUTINE –
You know those little routines you have in the morning, like getting up at the usual time and actually obeying your alarm, making your bed first up, turning on the coffee machine etc. I made sure to stick to my usual habits including getting the kids ready for school, although woke them up a little earlier than usual so that they had time to process it before they had to leave. And I consciously combined it with…
4 – GRATITUDE –
As I made the bed, the coffees, the lunches etc. I made a quick game of finding elements within them all to be grateful for – the cozy doona that comforted last night, the fresh greens for the boys’ salads, the eggs from our chickens, the beauty of the sunrise that promised me everything will be OK.
5 – COMMUNITY – bonus tip that I learned wholeheartedly today
Well, this one I discovered AFTER my morning of leaning into the situation rather than running from it with fear. Sharing this news with others was so cathartic! Writing it down helped me to own the situation, as if I was journalling and figuring it out. And sharing it out loud has made me feel so comforted, supported and loved by my big, wide community. It’s wonderful to share big, exciting news, but just as important to share the down moments. So many lovely souls making my family and I feel buoyant and loved, and this fabric of care has really helped my stress levels stay at manageable levels. Even telling just one other soul works wonders when you have a tricky situation to see yourself through don’t you find?
And it will be OK! We can all get through every challenge!
Do you have any extra calming techniques that work for you?