Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stress


We all have times of stress, and stress can be very different for each of us. We each handle situations differently. Some people might get extremely stressed at the thought of having to present at a meeting, while others love the thought of it.

I tend to be a fairly stress free person, as each year goes by I learn that getting worked up about things I cannot change does me more harm than good, so I try not to sweat the small stuff. My husband says he needs to worry so much because I don’t worry about anything. I think he might be exaggerating a bit though.

I have been under a tremendous amount of stress now for the last month and a half; I am starting to feel the toll it is taking on my body, my emotions, my whole being. 

I have been caring for a friend who is dying, she is much younger than me and currently needs round the clock care. Although I have arranged to have a caregiver there 24 hours a day, I am still with her almost every day, and we spend a lot of time in the hospital. I am responsible for her day to day living, it isn't something I was prepared for and the challenges I face daily are astounding. I wasn't ready for the medical power of attorney, the durable power of attorney, paying bills, managing finances, divorce attorneys, wills, statement of assets, life insurance, prescriptions, transportation, grocery shopping, doctors calling, social workers calling, I am sure I can add more to the list. Just think of your life, then pretend you need to do everything the same for someone else.


Whew!

This is the type of trigger that sets many people into a tailspin, and these are the times when it is most important to stick to your plan.

Thursday we left for the hospital at noon, and I ended up driving home at about 6:30pm without her, she would be staying again. I last ate at about 10:30 am, as I had a meeting to attend prior to taking her to the hospital. I had food with me, I always do, but the afternoon progressed much differently than planned. I have an aversion to eating in a hospital exam room, or the Emergency Room, not sure why, but I do and since that is where I was for 5  1/2 hours, I had no food. I also only drank one liter of water in that time, although that is fairly good, it is not what I typically drink.

I drove home, emotionally and physically exhausted, it was a repeat of the prior weekend, so much time at the hospital. All I could think of was a big, rare, juicy cheeseburger on a white bun with mayo; French fries and a glass of red wine.

The drive was long though, as it was commute traffic so I sat on the freeway, looking at my speedometer going from 10 to 20 miles per hour, this would take forever. I called David and asked him to help. He cooked some asparagus, and some eggs. He took my turkey patty out of the fridge so it could finish defrosting.

When I am stressed I don’t crave carbohydrates, I crave fats. I like the textures and satisfaction I get from fat. Peanut Butter, rare beef, undercooked egg yolks, cheese.

So to help me stay on my diet I planned to eat my Spanish Turkey Patty and then supplement it with a semi-hard cooked egg. The yolk would still be soft and creamy to satisfy me. Having David cook the asparagus helped to make everything move along faster as soon as I got home, I can eat my vegetables at room temperature. 

I didn’t have the wine either.

My lesson is to always have food prepared, such as my turkey patty that was defrosting, and have some healthy vegetables ready for you. Add a little something to help make it better- like my whole egg, it changed my meal from healthy to sublime. Ask someone to help if you can. David would have made that cheeseburger for me had I asked, but I didn’t thank goodness. 

Don’t let the daily stresses side rail you, it’s not a valid excuse. Had I chosen an unhealthy meal, not only would I be tired the next day but I would feel angry at myself too. Now, I am only tired, but I have been for weeks, so it's OK.

It is very easy to rationalize in our minds that it is OK to deviate "just this one time, I have had a hell of a day". But how many days do you have like that? How often would you find yourself saying that?


Don't act on impulse, you have a plan, stick to it, you can do it if you want to.

Save it for a celebration, don't use "life" as an excuse.

We must be careful not to let our current appetites steal away any chance we might have for a future feast. 

Jim Rohn