I wrote this post 5.5 years ago when I was dealing with some health challenges for family members. It came to mind recently, because my oldest brother has taken ill and has been hospitalized in southeastern Washington state for the past three weeks. I was trying to maintain my work schedule in St. Louis while checking in on him but decided about two weeks into his illness that I needed to travel to Washington to be there for him and be his advocate. In rereading the post, I felt like it had a great message. Scott is recovering from his bouts with severe pneumonia and I know I’ll keep these strategies in mind as I go back home to St. Louis and try to support him from afar.
Since my schedule lightened up a couple of years ago, I’ve lived with relatively little stress. I work hard, which is occasionally stressful, but it’s good stress, since I love my clients and my work. Everything else has been on a pretty even keel. I know that I’m very fortunate.
But this month I’m facing some pretty serious health concerns for loved ones. And this morning my beloved standard poodle, Kirby, woke up not feeling well. We have a vet appointment this afternoon. (That’s him in the photo, on our friend’s porch.)
The worry is driving me to distraction. I know I can’t spend my time worrying because (a) it does no good and (b) I have stuff that needs to get done.
So I got to thinking about what I can do for myself to help me be productive, rather than just miserable, during these times of stress. Here’s what I came up with—maybe it will help you when you’re feeling stressed.
If all goes well, the majority of the health concerns should be over in about six weeks (shorter for Kirby, I hope!), so this is short term. I can’t put my life and work on hold for six weeks but I can practice the above coping mechanisms.