The stress of the past 22 months has been enormous. It was difficult to traverse shutdowns and vaccines, tests, and insecurity. But the weight of the past 12 weeks has been harder than all the months prior. I don’t say this lightly. April and May of 2020 you could find me at 3 am pacing in the halls. I lost 15 pounds due to Covid stress. My eyelids and heart were constantly fluttering. Thankfully, my poor doctor listened and consoled me as she traversed much of the same. One thing I know is that I need to disconnect with the outside world and reconnect to what really matters.
After kids went back to school and Delta surged, the anger levied at health care providers was, and still is, at a fever pitch. I would go home crying most days. As a result, I walked through life feeling like my insides were going to come out through my mouth. Life has been murky, burdensome, and dense, like wading through mud. And now here we are navigating Omicron.
I am incredibly blessed to have a dynamic and forward-thinking team behind me. My editor, Dawn, required me to commit to a “bucket list” one weekend. She continually encourages me to disconnect and reconnect to what really matters. Her optimistic list helped me focus on filling my bucket before filling others. She helped me to walk away from the gravity of the day-to-day and fall back in love with my life. I am forever indebted to her for so many reasons. I particularly value her for her steadfast ability to call it like it is. She is the voice that tells me, you are going to burn out. Every cause is not a calling and to protect your heart and time.
My readers, I hope this list helps you as much as it helped me during the zenith of my Delta and now Omicron stress. I know it will come again and I am grateful that I have this reference to reflect back on.
Jan’s Weekend Bucket List
The following are some of my favorite gifts to promote calm and inward reflection:
My absolute favorite stress management tool is my infrared spa. I know it sounds lavish, but it is not. At around $200 it is affordable and compact. I keep my spa tucked in a closet and set my computer up to watch my favorite show. Then bake myself for 30 minutes and the endorphin rush and feeling of well-being are phenomenal.
I listened to Oprah’s interview with Dean and Ann Ornish from September 2019. The trio discussed the importance of meditation, loving more, stressing less, and eating a plant-based diet. I was particularly intrigued by Dr. Ornish’s discussion of the heart. In his words, the heart pumps blood to itself first. Dr. Ornish was putting in medical terms what flight attendants have said for decades…put the oxygen mask on yourself first. The podcast is worth a listen. Wishing each of you health, peace, and oxygen during these trying times. ~Jan