Phew. It’s been a helluva week, hasn’t it?
|Osgoode Trail, Tuesday afternoon.|
Then, Tuesday evening, we watched the US election coverage. “It’s all over, Suz,” said Hubby as he decamped to the bedroom with his book about ten o’clock. I hung in until the bitter end. And then the aftermath. Sigh. For another Canadian’s response to the American election, click on over to Frances’ blog Materfamilias Writes. Frances expresses, so much more eloquently than I can, what I feel… indeed, what everyone I know feels.
So there was that. And then Leonard Cohen died. Canadian icon, poet, lyricist, singer. Voice of a generation… voice of so many generations, actually. Who just released a new album a couple of weeks ago at 82 years old. I know it’s partly the accumulation of a really emotional week… but I find I’m kind of inconsolable.
And now it’s Remembrance Day.
Enough, already. Too much sadness is stressful. And too much stress is not good, as we all know. Aging, even. But I’ll let you read about that here if you’re interested.
So… time to take back control. Haul out the tried and true coping with stress mechanisms. Like connecting with friends and loved ones. Taking care of ourselves. Remembering how we coped with past stressful events and repeating what worked then. Like pulling on a fabulous new coat and visiting a favorite spot to feed the ducks on the way to get a haircut. You can’t be sad around ducks. Or with freshly cut hair. Well, I can’t anyway.
|In my burgundy coat at the dam beside the Manotick Mill.|
In his post on The Positivity Blog, Henrik Edberg lists 33 ways to deal with stress. He talks about “limiting information intake.” Now, that sounds like a great idea. Unplug for a few days from all those social media sites. Nothing like too much information to make you feel helpless, and even more stressed. I don’t mean dropping out permanently, just until you regain your equanimity. I’ve temporarily unfollowed a few people on Facebook. Lovely people, my FB friends, but the repetitive posts of some begin to sound like ranting after a while. And I need a break from ranting.
And today I’m going to take more of Henrik Edberg’s advice and focus on “one thing at a time” and “do what [I] love.” Which means, for the next few days Hubby and I are going to ignore CNN and C-PAC and focus instead on something we both love. Travel. We’re firming up plans for our next big trip. We’re heading south in February. And not to Florida, but to South America. South America has been on Hubby’s bucket list since forever. Patagonia in Argentina, especially.
So we’re deep into our reading, and planning. We’ve booked our airline tickets from Ottawa to Buenos Aires and home from Lima. And another flight within Argentina to get us down to Patagonia. And a third to fly into Peru. And we’ve been conversing via e-mail about a couple of bus tours in Peru. So it’s coming together, nicely. Albeit with a few credit card glitches. But we’ve solved most of those. And once I book the last flight within Argentina today, we’ll sit back for a few days and just look at shots of Patagonia. And dream a bit.
|Perito Moreno Glacier, Patagonia, Argentina source|
|Mount Fitzroy near El Chalten, Patagonia, Argentina source|
Then it will be time to get moving again. Hubby will organize the car rentals. And we’ll start looking at accommodation, my favourite part of trip planning. And of course, there will be shopping to do. First I’ll have to get out all my trekking gear. My ski underwear and light layers. My hot humid weather gear which I haven’t worn since we went to Costa Rica in 2014. I’ll need new hiking boots. And maybe a lovely new light fleece. I’d better make a list. Sigh. You know how much I love lists.
And by then my anxiety, my weirdly nebulous feeling of approaching doom will have disappeared as in a puff of smoke. Hopefully.
In the meantime I’m talking to you guys, which I love, and which always makes me happy. And Hubby is out splitting wood for the fireplace. Whatever works, eh?
Here’s a wonderful video of Leonard Cohen on stage in London in 2009. His songs are so dark, that it’s easy to overlook his wry sense of humour. He talks here of how long it had been since he was in London, “About fourteen or fifteen years ago when I was sixty years old, ” he says, “just a kid with a crazy dream.” Love Leonard Cohen. Love that he said that about being sixty. And as the man says, there “ain’t no cure for love.”
You got that right, Lennie.
And here’s a list of ways to cope with stress and anxiety that I found on the American Psychological Society’s website. You probably already know most of these. But sometimes it’s good to be reminded, don’t you think?
|American Psychological Association|
How about you folks? What makes you happy and takes your mind off your troubles? How do you cope when, even though your life is pretty great, you still feel stressed and a bit overwhelmed?