Stress, Pain, and Loneliness

I’ve been extremely stressed this past week. I don’t know whether I’m comin’ or goin’, as they say. If you’ve been reading my blog then you know I struggle with pain and mobility issues and that I am looking after my 86 year old Dad. I seriously need a break.

There seems to always be some kind of disagreement, or friction between Dad and I. He always remembers things differently than I do. I’m not sayng he’s always wrong; sometimes he is right. There’s always something he doesn’t understand, or something he forgets, and once in a while he forgets HOW to do something. He’s very unsteady on his feet and he hasn’t fallen in quite some time but I feel like I can’t leave him home alone for longer than it takes me to see my NP for a script renewal. I should get a nanny cam so I can keep an eye on him just so I can go have lunch with a friend once in a while. I can’t even remember the last time I was out without Dad.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be so stressful if I had some help. All of my family is in Tennessee and I am NOT moving to TN! My son is 15 miles from us. Yes, you read that right. He is 15 miles from us and I have not heard from him in just over 2 months. I’ve not seen him since Christmas and he hasn’t even bothered to text me. I know he’s busy with his own family and his own life but it only takes a few seconds to type out a quick “how are you?” once in a while. I don’t think I’ve been this hurt in a long time. Dad asked me if I had texted him in the last couple of months. No, I have not. When I do text the boy, it takes him sometimes days before he responds. Why would I even bother?

It’s a seriously lonely time in my life. Anyone who is responsible for looking after an elderly parent will feel the same way. It is lonely and stressful to carry it all by yourself. God forbid if Dad is ever diagnosed with dementia. He’s not that bad yet. He has his moments but mostly he knows what’s going on and basically takes care of himself. He just needs to be watched and reminded of certain things. I signed on for this but at the time, I had no way of knowing that I would be disabled and struggling myself come show time.

So, what do I do? I bitch a little, cry a little, and then I suck it up. I do what I have to do and in the evenings just to destress I do jigsaw puzzles, diamond paintings, blogging and journaling. I’ve taken on a new hobby: paint-by-number! A friend suggested it and I thought I’d be so clumsy I’d have paint all over the place but so far, so good! I’m thinking of latch hook and embroidery, too! While I do those things to destress, I listen to my audiobooks. I like the fictional detective/police/PI stories the best. I’ve ‘read’ some very entertaining/engrossing stories! It keeps my mind busy with something besides my troubles.

It’s time for me to get moving. It will take me a couple of hours to cook something for lunch (it sucks being disabled) and if I don’t fix something Dad won’t eat. Today on the menu: Chicken Fajita Salad Bowls. Wish me luck and thanks for reading my blog!

10 Stress-Relieving Tips

We all have stress and some people handle it so much better than others. I don’t normally feel too stressed because I have a system in place. We all have a daily routine from the time we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed. My daily routine includes stress-relieving tactics throughout the day.

Here’s my list of tips. I hope they’re useful to you.

  1. Journaling – Either online or off, handwritten or typed. It doesn’t matter. It helps to write down what you’re feeling.
  2. Music – It doesn’t really matter what kind of music you listen to, just listen. If you like jazz, listen to jazz. If you like heavy metal, listen to heavy metal. Avoid songs that make you cry or take you back to a time when things were difficult. Songs that make you feel good will reduce your stress level.
  3. Hobbies – A hobby can be very relaxing. It gets your mind off what’s causing you stress. It doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. If you like to draw, then draw. If you like to work in the garden, do that! I like to crochet, and I crochet every day.
  4. Bath Time – Take time out for a good soak in the tub. Light some candles, pour a cup of tea or wine, and have a good bubble bath! Tell people you will be unavailable for 30 minutes (or whatever time you desire).
  5. Pets – Cuddle with a pet. Nothing makes me feel better than the unconditional love, purrs, and head bonks of my kitties. If you have dogs, cuddle with them on the couch.
  6. Netflix – Yep, watch a movie. Choose something uplifting or funny. Something to boost your mood, not make you feel bad.
  7. Exercise – Whatever kind of exercise you like to do, do that. Take a nice long walk if other exercise is not your thing.
  8. Say No! You have the right to say no. Don’t over-extend yourself. You need time to recharge. If you need it, take it. Say no. No explanation, just NO!
  9. Meditation – I know it takes practice. It’s very difficult to block everything out, including your own thoughts. Keep practicing. There are some awesome guided meditations available. Just do a search on YouTube or buy a CD.
  10. And if none of that helps, go kick your asshole neighbor in the nuts.

Of course, I’m kidding! It was a test to see if you were paying attention! But seriously, what would you add to this list?