My neurologist recently informed me that the common triggers for seizures are low magnesium, lack of sleep and stress. At my last appointment, my doctor asked if I felt stressed. I chuckled inside because when you are a patient, especially with multiple health issues, stress seems to be a natural part of your journey. I believe this applies to everyone in life. However, we have the power to make choices to limit some of our stress, and also give ourselves moments of relaxation and reprieve from the weight on our shoulders and worry on our minds. Balancing the stress, is an important part of our journey as we strive to live as positively and healthily as possible.
Observing and learning from my surroundings and that of others is a big part of how I balance stress. I strive to be a well-traveled woman, as new environments teach me great lessons about life and myself. Last month, I had a wonderful Labor Day weekend in Santa Cruz, Calif., where I was able to decompress and recharge my batteries.
Noah and I, my mother-in-law and our friends took a delightful walk along Pleasure Point while we were in Santa Cruz. We came upon a neat looking and inviting tree that framed a beautiful bench with a stunning view. As I read the plaque on the bench, I got goosebumps and was greatly inspired:
Noah and I sat on the bench and soaked in our surroundings. I closed my eyes and listened to the wonderful sound of the waves. My worries vanished and I became enthralled in nature and its vast beauty. Life was good and I was focusing on what mattered: that very moment in time.
I was so moved by Pleasure Point that Noah and I returned the following day. This time we sat on a bench that was next to the home of Jack O’Neill, who is believed to have invented the wet suit. There was so much for me to take in. The sidewalk was full of people walking, riding bikes while holding their surfboards, live music was playing and lots of people surfing in the water. We watched sea otters and a seal play in the ocean.
Water is one of my favorite things and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the surfers, some on regular boards and others on long boards. I loved seeing two young kids with their fathers teaching them how to surf. They were quite good despite how small they were compared to their boards. I got excited for them when they caught a wave and rode it in to shore.
It was fun to witness the changes in the ocean. It would be calm for a while and the surfers would sit or lay on their boards relaxing and enjoying the placid atmosphere. Then the next set of waves came in and they quickly responded and hopped on their surfboards and rode in to shore. I found this process to be quite comparable to how we should live our lives: enjoy the calm times, but be ready and energized to ride out whatever and whenever the tides change in our lives, for change is inevitable and yet unpredictable. The sooner we accept and adapt to this, the easier life will be.
I learned a valuable lesson that day on a bench at Pleasure Point. I realized that although there are some things I am unable to do in life, surfing actually being one of them, it does not mean that I still can’t find enjoyment in them. I was not sitting there wishing I could do something that I know isn’t safe for me because of my back, but rather got so much out of just observing my surroundings. Before I knew it, an hour had passed.
Reflecting on that time, I was so grateful for where I was with Noah by my side, what my eyes had seen, what I took in and learned. I will never take for granted a healthy day, love and the beauty that surrounds us! Sometimes a stress reliever can be as simple as getting our mind off our own lives and focusing on others.
How do you balance and relieve stress in your life?