Boswell: Stress a real killer
Stress — it’s a killer. No, seriously.
In reference to job stress, I have heard people joke about “having to talk you off the ledge.”
I recently joked with a friend by saying, “But what if life shoved you off the ledge and now you’re hanging by your hands, but you don’t know how much longer you can maintain your grip, because life keeps stomping on your fingers?”
Dramatic, I know. Sometimes life gives you “one of those days” or “one of those weeks.” Well, life has given me “one of those months.” Anything and everything that could happen in a month has happened.
I got a phone call with bad news about a family member’s health, another family member lost their newborn daughter we had all been rooting so hard for, while a good friend is going through a divorce.
The dishwasher broke, the washer broke — causing us to do our laundry at the laundromat — the plumbing broke and fixing the plumbing led to the house smelling like sewage for the last two days, along with a large brown bathtub stain we fear is permanent.
I realized that in the last month or so, I have gotten into the bad habit of zoning out when people are talking to me. It’s not that what they are saying is boring or not of interest to me; people just start talking, and I come in halfway through and suddenly realize I wasn’t taking in anything. My staff members have especially suffered for this in the last several weeks.
After having an epiphany that maybe my space cadet tendencies and stress were somehow connected, I got curious Friday night and started Googling the side effects of stress, because I keep continuously thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Get it together!”
Sure enough, according to the Mayo Clinic, lack of attention span, headaches, fatigue, insomnia, stomach problems and muscle tension and back pain — all of which I’ve been struggling with — are all signs and symptoms of stress.
Upon reading a couple of full articles, I learned that stress can also raise your blood pressure to the point that it can cause you to have a heart attack — no, I’m not at that point.
With further reading, I learned breathing exercises and physical exercise are good remedies for stress. Well, at least I’ve got that part covered — my daily workouts may be the only thing saving me from illness at the moment.
But the main recommended remedy, which I have been neglecting entirely since probably the new year, was making it a point to take time for your personal hobbies and interests.
My fiancé recently pointed out to me that I have not picked up a paint brush in months. “I don’t have time” is my go-to excuse for everything, but it’s an excuse that is growing tired, along with my body and mind.
It’s time to pick that paint brush back up, Alisa.
And whoever you are and whatever your hobby, you also stop saying you don’t have time. Make the time. It’s important. Take it from this space cadet.
Alisa Boswell is managing editor for Portales News-Tribune. Contact her at: