There is no magic bullet to reducing stress, so I say that we have to find lots of little ways to reduce it and the cumulative effect will be worth the effort.
Here’s an idea that, on the surface, is so simple that I almost disregarded it out of hand but the more I thought about it the more I realized that it could make quite a difference for those of you to whom it would apply.
It has to do with DVR’s (or VCR’s) and subscriptions - those are two different things that result in the same type of stress: the stress of obligations.
It started when my wife and I were talking about the “good old days” when we used to record all sorts of TV programs but then never had time to watch them. Not that we didn’t WANT to, we just never had the time. The tapes piled up and so did the feeling of “obligation” to watch them. A small stressor, to be sure, but a stressor nonetheless. Guess how we solved that problem? We stopped recording some of them! We still wanted to see the programs, but simply didn’t have the time so we removed that self-imposed feeling of obligation.
I used to subscribe to five different types of magazines; motorcycles, consumer, news, marketing, and small business. Each month they would come and I put them in a pile to “read later.” Guess what? “Later” never came, and I ended up with a huge pile of “obligation.” After all, I PAID for them, I should read them, right? Every time I looked at the pile I felt a twinge of stress in my gut to at least go through them quickly. Then it occurred to me that I could simply put them out of sight, or stop receiving them all together. I canceled all of the subscriptions and BINGO: less stress!
What do you have waiting for you to read or watch or do? Can you eliminate it or at least reduce the amount?
Think about it, you may just be surprised and how you can help yourself!
This article is one in a series on coping strategies for patients and caregivers alike. For more thoughts on caregiving, coping strategies, reducing stress, and just plain fun subscribe to my free monthly newsletter at www.CaringAndCoping.com Need a speaker for an upcoming event?