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stress less . . . my to-do list 

Posted Dec 04 2012 6:19pm

What a weekend!  We had two huge football games, both ending in heartbreaking losses, a garage sale, wrestling tournament, tree shopping, putting up said trees, loads of boxes to haul for the decorating frenzy to begin, chorus rehearsals, book report to complete, paperwork to finalize and how many other things on the "to do" list that needed to be done?

Is this how December was going to begin?  It was okay, though.  I rolled up my sleeves and dug right in and had lots planned to accomplish before the weekend was over, when I was attacked by a huge case of vertigo.  That completely changed my plans.  If you have never had vertigo, be oh so happy.  If  you are wondering what it is like, it is  opening your eyes and only seeing the room spin out of control.  Very disconcerting.  And debilitating.  And frustrating.  

I know other folks who get vertigo and the causes are many and varied.  It can be allergies, migraines, illness, a one time episode or diet.  Mine happens to be caused by something called Meniere's Disease.  What, you ask?  So did I when I was finally told what it was! It is "composed of a triad of symptoms including: episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears  (tinnitis), and hearing loss. People with this condition have the abrupt onset of severe vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, as well as periods in which they are symptom-free."  Mine began with the ringing in the ears at all times with no relief.  I am also very sensitive to loud noises in my right ear and it can always have this "full" feeling.  Then, other than the ear sensitiveness, the symptoms have been dormant for a few years.  No dizziness or vertigo.  Until yesterday.  
If you do have some vertigo or Meniere's some of the treatments are: 

1. Cut back on the salt in your diet.
2. Eliminate alcohol, coffee, tea, colas, soft drinks, and chocolate from your diet.
3. Make sure to get a good night's sleep every night.
5. Eat small meals, at regular intervals throughout the day.
4. Increase the amount of water you drink.
They say another big culprit is stress.  I absolutely hate saying that about  myself.  I think everyone is under stress these days.  We all have stuff to worry about, bills to pay, deadlines, children to manage, life issues, you name it.  However, I've done enough of this type of "health" research to know that stress CAN have different affects on our bodies.  It can wreak all sorts of havoc on our systems.  It is up to us to best handle it for our personal sanity and health.  

Just for an overview, here are a few things to remember: 
For our own sanities, I think we all need to focus on handling the stress that hits at different times of the year.  During this time, it is the "busyness" of the Holidays.  In  Great Britain the word "holiday" has the same meaning as vacation. Many Americans would find this comparison laughable. For most of us, the holidays come with our own "to-do" lists.

So, I'm coming up with my own "To-Do List".

*  Remember everything doesn't have to be perfect.  There really are no 
Norman Rockwell picture perfect dinners, gifts, or celebrations.  They are all just our own and are whatever they are.  

* The tree doesn't have to be perfect.  I don't know about you, but there are no photographers lined up at my door to take photographs of  my home and tree!  I enjoy decorating and playing with the Holiday decorations around my home, but have to keep it fun!

*Just say "no".  You don't have to accept every single invitation that comes your way.  Pick what will be fun, what will bring you joy.  I know you have to go to that business dinner thing, but you  know what I mean! Don't drive yourself crazy feeling like you have to go out every night and eat, drink and be merry, if you'd rather stay in by the fire and get a good nights sleep!  Which brings me to . . .

*Make time for some rest.  Get enough sleep.  That is a no-brainer and should be non-negotiable when at all possible.  It's huge for fighting off bugs when your immune system is being tested.  

*Make time to move.  That's right.  Exercise.  If you only have 10 minutes, that's better than none.  It is so good for your body to move, sweat and get your heart pumping.  Don't let your routine fall completely by the wayside. Stay active.
* You don't have to do everything yourself.  Don't be afraid to ask for help, have someone else prepare a dessert, appetizer or something if you are hosting.

*Watch the alcohol.  It will only make you feel bad the next day, unable to do the things you want to do, and then just add more stress to your day!

* Do what makes you feel relaxed.  You might have to make time for this, but that's okay.  Whether it's quiet time, a walk, a bath, who knows?  It's your time, enjoy when you can!

There are lots more things you can do to alleviate stress.  Stress is a personal thing and we all have our own triggers.  It's important to find yours, and see what you can do to head it off before it gets to be a huge one! What's your stressors?  Got a plan for handling it all?  In a football depression?

Have a good Monday!
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