Monthly Archives: April 2016

Stress Busters for Hepatitis C

Stress Busters for Hepatitis C

chapel sedona stress hepatitis
I exhale a sigh just seeing the picture.

I have no filter these days. So what I’m feeling kind of blurts out. You can guess the result: most of my time is spent home alone. That works, but sometimes you’ve got to bop around town, be around folks. Thank goodness I have a good heart (that helps when you’re waaay honest)  but on those days when I’m feeling overwhelmed, it can be awkward, even stressful. I still haven’t decided what this blog is about. I’m thinking it will be about handling stress. I’ll guess it will be called stress busters for Hepatitis C.
I’m calling it that because this whole health battle has brought on stress that is above and beyond what someone my age is dealing with. But don’t we all have stress? Aren’t we all looking for a place to escape to where it is stopped from entering our lives? A place where we can live in safety from judgement from others? I picture a giant angel as a bouncer at the door with a shining sword and shield blocking all tense muscles, frenzied thoughts, and rapid heartbeats.
I’m in Sedona this month on retreat. It’s not a retreat from stress. Your geographic location has nothing to do with how stress enters by the way. It’s at the house where you live. It’s in your favorite chair. It’s in the bed with you. It’s on your job. It’s on retreat with you. It’s there before you eat the cheesecake and it’s still there afterwards. I’m really good at finding a few precious moments of respite. Actually, I’ve become somewhat of an expert lately.

stress hepatitis c karen
That’s a big sunset smile.

I’m working a lot of new tools into my toolbox and also sharpening some old ones. They may sound kookyish to you. Part of letting go of stress is letting go of what others think about your way of handling the world. If your shoulders are clenched up around your ears, you’re stressed. The tight jaw or sick tummy? Yipper. Stress also causes headaches and bunches of other stuff. So here my new list of stress busters for Hepatitis C.
Get reacquainted with your own body. Whether it’s a yoga class, $35 Chinese foot massage, or simply rubbing lotion on your own legs – feel your body. Think about your feet bones. Spend some time in the mirror looking at your face, belly, or breasts. It’s a gift to live inside a breathing body. Make a list of all the great things about your body. Make a list of all the painful parts. See the whole and embrace it wholly. Really, I mean wrap your arms around and give yourself a big ‘ole hug.
Be the silent observer of your own thoughts. Be the thinker behind the thinker. Listen to your thoughts. Observe where they go. If you see a loop of negative crap, observe it for a moment. “Am I thinking about that again?” Then try to intercept it with a thought of gratitude. If your thoughts race back to the thingamastuff that sets you back up for stress, interrupt it again. Push it away with a laugh. Our thoughts can be quite amusing with their stubborn streak toward painful emotions and messy situations.

sedona sunrise hepatitis karen
Sedona sunrise stroll suprise. I smiled at these little crimson cactus somethings.

Get with nature. Go outside as much as the weather and your body will allow. Look at trees and silently praise them for keeping up with the cycle of life year after year. Share gladness with the colors of nature. Brightly colored flowers are inviting you to smile. They offer a joyful feeling to expand right in your heart. Watch the pastel colors of a sunset. Take slow blinks at it. Every time you open your eyes slowly, send a soft gaze of love to the day that you just finished. Wasn’t it a miracle that you made it though?
If you just had a slight smile at the last line, you’re like me. You know that health problems suck. You have stress regarding insurance, housing, family, and most importantly – your own body. Let me remind you that your mind will take it’s pain out on your body in the form of stress. Stress leads to dis-ease. We’re doing our best to be at ease. Letting go of stress helps. Use my stress busters any time your body needs it. I’m practicing these things with renewed vigor this month. It’s working for me. I love you more. xoxo Karen:)