“Your father has stopped breathing…”
I was listening to the voice of a nurse in the hospital where my dad had been for the past two weeks. “He made it through a medical procedure and was waiting for transport,” she continued. “We’ve rushed him to the emergency room. We’ll update you as soon as we know anything more.”
The next call was from my mom about 30 minutes later. “He passed away,” was all she said.
That was three weeks ago. And it’s just starting to sink in now.
My dad was 83, weeks shy of his 84th birthday. He was suffering in tremendous pain from multiple myeloma and complications from it. (MM is a cancer of the blood plasma, which causes bones to break and fracture.)
What started as back pain only weeks ago ended in the absolute worst case scenario.
So amidst the loss was a sense of relief. Trying to cheer him up while he was fighting back tears from the pain was worse than awful.
I’m telling you this because my posts and emails have been a bit scattered lately. And this is why.
I talk about being kind to yourself. But I often don’t follow my own advice.
I drive myself hard and always have. My dad passing away has made me realize sometimes I have to stop.
Take days off from working out.
Take time to reconnect with friends, even if only through a phone call.
Watch a YouTube video that makes me smile or at least takes me away from my mental demons.
Or go for a drive.
It all helps stave off the emotional toll of keeping it all inside.
Because here’s the thing: It WILL come out in some way. Maybe it’s a new health issue (oh, what fun!). Or your pets pick up your stress and get rushed to the pet ER, as my two cats did this morning. (They should both be okay.) While I don’t believe MY stress caused my cats to both get sick at the same time, my vet said they definitely pick up on our stress. All the more reason to do something about it.
It’s worth taking time to sit and be in the moment.
Only focus on NOW.
Don’t allow your thoughts to drift to worries or issues you can’t control.
Being fully present is the only way I can ease stress a bit.
I don’t know a single person who’s having an easy time with this pandemic. Everyone I know wishes we could fly to Venus now that we know there’s life on it. Or jump in a time machine and go back to any other year than this one.
But this will eventually pass.
And while we can’t control everything, finding ways to de-stress can help you become resilient to whatever life throws at you.
So I’d like to share some of my most favorite music and meditations I use when the going gets really tough… which means: daily.
The app offers a variety of soothing sounds like rain, ocean waves and crickets, to guided and unguided meditations ranging from a minute to 30+ minutes.
Soothing music… although it makes me sad if I’m in the wrong mood. But good in general for relaxing.
Science-based music proven to help your focus, relax, meditate or sleep. I listen to this daily.
No, not a meditation app. But a remote camera set up to capture the antics of a chomping, slobbering critter and his family. It never fails to put a smile on my face even on the worst days.
So check them out and let me know what you think!
Take care of yourself. For reals.