Dealing with stress can feel overwhelming at times, especially if you are dealing with a sudden unexpected change in your life. Mine was a losing my house and almost everything I owned in a fire. Yours might be similar and it might not, but really any sudden change in life is stressful.
One thing that I wish someone would have said to me is, “You have the right to be angry and it’s okay.” Anger is a step in the grieving process and I really was grieving. Now, I didn’t lose any of my family in the fire and I am forever grateful every single day that things played out they way they did. Most people wanted me to focus on what I had left. Yes, I had my family and they are most important. I also had a black soot-filled house, a touch of PTSD and the deep loss of my sense of security. Not a great place to be in.
You Are Allowed To Be Angry…
I’m going to throw a BUT in here. You are allowed to be angry, BUT you aren’t allowed to stay angry. Anger is an important step of dealing with a loss. One thing that I found helpful to get the anger out of my head was to write it down. It gave the anger a place to be other than inside me. I took a piece of paper and wrote down everything that made me angry. I filled pages and pages and then something shifted a few days after I wrote it all down and had a chance to look at it. It wasn’t swirling around in my head anymore. I think there is something magical about writing things down, it gives those thoughts a place to live and relieve some of your mental head space.
There Is No Step By Step Guide
I wish someone had told me about the grieving process isn’t a linear process. I’m sure you’ve all heard the five stages of grief. Denial., Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. These will not all happen in the order listed. The day of my house fire, I had moments of denial: I am going to wake up and this is a bad dream…. I also had stages of depression: I’m not going to be able to deal with this. This is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me…. I also had bursts of anger: I can’t believe I didn’t stay up when I woke up at 5 am. If I hadn’t gone back to sleep, we wouldn’t be in this mess!
The feelings of grief are not just reserved for the loss of a person. Grief is a process of getting over any type of loss. It can range from anything to the loss of a person you love…a pet you love…a situation you love….a job you love….a house you love…the stuff you love.
Ways To Help Deal With Stress
Dealing with stress can come in many forms. It can be as small as making yourself your favorite cup of tea and enjoying it in complete silence all the way up to driving to a remote stretch of road, pulling over and screaming at the top of your lungs. Both are effective in dealing with stress in the moment. Here are a few of the things that helped me the most get through my huge stress and keep my sanity.
- Do something nice for yourself. Make your favorite cup of tea. Take a hot bath with candles. Paint your nails. Go to bed a little early. Treat yourself to a spa day (This can be a simple as buying those cheap face masks at Walmart!) Buy yourself flowers just because they are pretty to look at. Listen to your favorite songs.
- Distract yourself. Read a book. Play a game. Do a puzzle. Write in a journal. Call a friend. Do something nice for your significant other or children. Cook a delicious meal. Visit family.
- Exert yourself. Go for a run. Take a yoga class. Venture outside: hiking, biking or even a long leisurely walk. Punching bag. Join a gym.
Things To Take Away
If there is only one thing you take away from this post, it would be knowing that being angry is a normal response. Anger is normal and expected in the event of a loss. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t steep in your anger for awhile. The one thing you cannot do is stay angry.