When Life Sends You A Message
Signs of stress may be signaling time for a change
Each Sunday, I host a weekly health radio program at a studio located about an hour from my home. Last Sunday, I packed my briefcase and headed out to do my show. On the way, I stopped at a nearby pharmacy to purchase throat lozenges. I had some free time, so I leisurely walked up and down the aisles to see what else was for sale then waited in line to make my purchase. After that, I returned to my car and drove to the studio.
Before I opened the car door to enter the building, I glanced down. I was wearing two different shoes! They didn't go together at all – one was black and the other was tan; one had a heel and the other was flat-soled. I couldn't believe it. How could I leave my home, stroll through a CVS store, wait in line, and walk back through the parking lot without noticing that I had made this bizarre mistake?!
Sometimes life sends you a sign that you shouldn't ignore.
We rarely appreciate how hectic our lives are. Many of us don't realize the level of stress that we live with each day until something extreme happens – either we go on vacation, are hit with an even more challenging responsibility, or experience a total meltdown. When you are overscheduled and overstressed, your health will suffer. You may have difficulty falling asleep, gain weight, overindulge in caffeine or alcohol, develop high blood pressure, and experience mood swings. If you have diabetes, you may experience additional issues. Your blood sugar level can be more difficult to control and you may ignore important self-care tasks, such as daily foot inspections, regular physical activity, and blood tests. You may even forget to take your medication.
If you feel that you are no longer on top of your game, stop for a moment and try to lighten the load and ease your stress. Here are a few suggestions:
- Cut back on volunteer activities.
- Get into bed at least 15 minutes earlier each night.
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
- Keep tempting snacks out of the house.
- Listen to relaxing music before bed.
- Take a brief bubble bath before retiring for the night.
- Participate in a yoga or stretching class.
- Meditate for a few minutes each day – sit still and concentrate on a single thought, picture, or sound.
- Pray, if spirituality strengthens your resolve to meet challenges
- Share your workload, if possible.
Fortunately, my show went well despite my "wardrobe malfunction." Thank goodness for radio – no one could see me. As soon as I returned home, I emailed the heads of several volunteer committees and handed in my resignation. Then, I took a nice, relaxing bubble bath. Don't let your stress level reach the point of craziness. If I can make the changes, so can you.
NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.
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