Girls Write Out
Friday, December 10, 2010
Isn't this volcano beautiful? So majestic and powerful, bright and noticeable. I looked at this picture and I thought this is kind of what we look like when we have too much stress in our lives and are ready to spew. We're past the point of productivity and we are filled with a lot of destructive anger. We may also prove to be destructive to those in our lives whom we love--or our employers. This would not be good.

Then I saw the picture of the leaf. Oh, yeah. You can see through it. Nothing solid there. One puff and it would probably crumble. This is my brain AFTER that overload of stress. Ever feel like this leaf?

I know some tricks to keep stress from destroying me, but sometimes even those tricks don't always work, especially if I've allowed that stress to continue too long.

My doctor has told me to take a thirty minute walk in the sunshine every morning. I've tried that. The 30 degree temperatures and the 50 mph winds make me kind of hate that exercise, especially when there's no sunshine. So my alternative is to sit in from of my SAD light every morning. That, I can do. I have heat in my sun room.

Another step is to hold a GABA calm under my tongue and lie on my back every evening for thirty minutes and breath through my stomach, the way a singer does. Easy. I've always breathed that way.

So moving on, I'm supposed to find those things that relax me and do them. Hiking, of course, and walking. Eating relaxes me, but I don't think that's what she has in mind. I know we've talked about this before. I thought that perhaps someone had come up with some new ways to beat the stress in their lives. Care to share?

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Hannah Alexander  
posted at 10:38 AM  
  Comments (17)
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At 11:21 AM, Blogger Kristin said...

What a beautiful photograph. If you've ever seen a brain Spect imaging photograph, that IS what our brain looks like under stress. Amazing! I am easily overloaded -- well, maybe not, I have a lot of stress, but I am very good about doing what makes me happy in the midst of it, or I will shut down.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

I wish I could learn how to shut down, Kris. I still think my brain looks more like the leaf. LOL But we all have to learn, or our bodies will give out under the stress.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger jel said...

a punching bag,
does wonders :)

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Gorgeous photo!

I take one day at a time. One task at a time. Trying to multitask is a lesson in futility. If I let myself look at everything that needs done, I can panic. But if I put on my tunnel vision and just look at what I have to do NOW, I get through it all.

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Okay, jel, punching bag it is. Can I use a cat for that? Mel probably wouldn't appreciate it if I used him...

At 3:03 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Colleen, you've got quite a thing going on there. You get more done in one day than four of me would. I'll take that advice...focus. One step at a time, just as I did when I hiked out of the Grand Canyon sick. Thanks!

At 3:05 PM, Blogger jel said...

not that i like cat , but no !

it has to be something that wouldn't hit, bit, or hurt ya when you hit it! trust me!

or ya can get ya a roll of bubble wrap , and pop the bubbles , that works too!

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Oh, bubble wrap is a good thing, jel. Mel gave me some of that last time he received a box of electronics for his model airplanes...and at that time I was really in the mood to pop something....LOL

At 5:50 PM, Blogger jel said...

bubble wrap makes a nice christmas present too. ;)

gave it to a friend one time, and she loved it, :)

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

When I am overstressed I cry to let off the steam...kind of like a pressure cooker. Once the crying is done then I am able to focus on the stress (before that I can't focus on ANYTHING) and figure out what's causing it. For me, usually the stress comes from not trusting my heavenly Father to care for me. When I realize that, He and I have a talk, usually with me apologizing and asking for help to trust Him more. Once that's done, often I can get up and get on with my day. If I can't, then I give myself permission to not do anything unless it's vital to our eat, have clean underwear, etc. A day or so of not getting anything done brings new stresses but ones easily dealt with by focusing on the tasks at hand.

Listening to good music also helps reduce my stress levels. I often have music going while I'm doing other things...and I sing along if it's a song I know. Or I talk to my Father about the beauty of the music, thanking Him for inspiring someone to compose it, and asking Him to make my task easier and less stressful because of the music. Usually works for me!

At 1:32 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Ruthie, I love beautiful, relaxing music. That's something else I need to turn to. Soft, peaceful, beautiful, as God intended. Thank you for reminding me of that.

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Hmmmm...I received an email last night with the following poem but decided not to share it here. This morning I got another email with the same poem in it! I got the hint, so here it is:


Demands knock on my door
Burdens beckon me to answer
The to-do-list stretches for miles.
I whisper, "I feel overwhelmed. "

And in the stillness it seems I hear...
"Child, open your heart to ME
instead of the demands of the day.
Lay those burdens at MY feet, not on your shoulders.
Let go of your list and dare to embrace MY grace.
I do not require you to be overwhelmed.
I enable you to overcome.
And with ME, you always will!"

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in ME
ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation:
But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
--John 16:33

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Ruthie, that was perfect. Thank you so much for sharing it.

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

I actually had my adrenal glands tested back in September, and yeah, it's official. I was one seriously burned-out chick. For one thing, my circadian rhythms had gotten reversed, making me wide awake all night every night (waiting for the next phone call about The Moms, perhaps??) and essentially sound asleep (sitting up) by 8 am and all day long. I started taking an adrenal support formula by day and melatonin by night, and it has helped quite a lot.

If I am trying to decompress after/during a prolonged period of stress (um, ten years running now....), I look through old favorite magazines (like Diann's fave, Victoria!), read humor books (Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry will do nicely), watch romantic comedies (nothing else will do!!), and (if my arthritic fingers can support it....) do some simple knitting or crocheting. In the middle of LONG, UNTENABLE stretches of stress, I find that SHORT, easily accomplished projects make me feel good. I need to feel a sense of immediate gratification to relieve some of the stress (delayed resolution) of the situation. I'm not big on spas or mani-pedis or massages, but a nice soak in a Jacuzzi does work wonders! I don't try a lot of "new" ideas when I'm under stress, because that only adds another layer of stress for me. I stick with what I've known to work before---it almost always helps again. Calling a friend who is KNOWN to make me laugh is a miracle when I'm losing it. I have one lifelong friend who loves to engage me in a contest to see which one of us can top the other in miseries!!!! We have SO much fun trying to out-do each other that we end up a lot happier by the time we hang up the phone. I hope you find what works for YOU!!!

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Katy, I'll be having my adrenals tested in a month. My new doctor has changed some of my bio-identical hormone creams and will have me tested after six weeks of treatment to see if she needs to change the balance. I'm hoping the same kind of thing will work for me--that I'll start sleeping better at night without a drugstore full of meds to force me to sleep. Thanks for the post. It seems a good consensus is to take a break from the stress before it overloads us.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger jel said...

ya know that volcano, looks purty good right now, it's VERY cold here!

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

It's cold here, too, jel. I've got a huge pot of water on the stove. Need some humidifiers. The cold has frozen all humidity in the air and my sinuses are NOT happy.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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