Sunday, July 3, 2016

The First Fourteen Days

             The first fourteen days of my 91st year
have been a mixture of good and bad. It began with two wonderful back-to-back parties given by my daughters—so much work for them and so memorable for me.

And that wasn’t all. I had lunch with fifteen of my former Girl Scout girls.  Grandmothers now. Some have retired from careers in teaching and nursing—some have their own businesses. Some are active in volunteer work.
Wonderful girls then—wonderful women now.

I am proud to have been one of their troop leaders, and so grateful to be remembered by them on this landmark birthday. Shall we try for the 100th?

All this fun was followed by a sore throat that quickly became a cough that got worse and worse. Antibiotics, cough syrup, inhaler—this cough sneered at their poor ineffective efforts. Now, after more than twenty breathing treatments, it’s losing its grip but stubbornly hanging on.

What a bother! I have things to do: a novel to finish, posts to my Aluminist blog to write, a few clothing alterations to make, boxes of junk to sort through....

All of which brings up the subject of stress. Today’s mail brought a timely article about the effects of stress. . The American Institute of Stress says that stress causes 60 percent of all illness and disease. And three-fourths of all doctor’s visits are said to be somehow stress-related.

Seems to me this is something we need to pay attention to.

According to this report, there are three types of stress. Each of these can have an impact on both physical and mental health.

The first type of stress is called routine stress. This comes as a result of stress at work, home or due to other daily issues.

The second type of stress comes as a result of change that happens quickly. This is defined as stress related to job loss, divorce or becoming ill.

The third type of stress is called traumatic stress. Examples of this type of stress include an accident, war, being assaulted or a natural disaster

The National Institute of Mental Health says chronic stress can elevate the chances of getting the flu, a cold or other virus. In addition, stress can make vaccines less effective.

Surprisingly, the health effects of stress may not be present immediately. For example, heart disease may not occur for years. This can make for an unpleasant surprise when it comes to health issues that develop down the road.

There are a number of ways you can deal with and decrease stress.

The first is setting priorities. According to the NIMH, this can be done by deciding what needs to be done now and what can be done later. Make it a point to say no to things that aren’t crucial that will add to your stress level.

Second, give yourself credit where credit is due. Give yourself a thumbs up for what you have accomplished instead of beating yourself up for tasks you didn’t complete. In addition, try not to run problems over and over in your mind.

Third, exercise consistently. According to the NIMH, a half hour of simple daily walking can both lower stress and elevate mood. Make it a point to add enjoyable activities to your life. And look into new options that may help -- like yoga, meditation or tai chi.

So relax; be safe, and enjoy this holiday ...and remember what our Fourth of July celebration is about.


1 comment:

  1. I hope you're starting to feel better! Thank you for the reminder about how stress plays such a heavy part on our health. Happy 90th! Love you!