Learning to Reduce My Stress Through Nature

Nature and CHildren

I love fall. The leaves are changing to brilliant colours of orange, green and red, and some of the trees look like they are on fire. I can’t help but be absorbed by the beauty of nature as I sit by the river to help de-stress myself from all my worries. There is something so amazing about the greens of nature, the grass, the trees, the fallen leaves, and the rushing water that just naturally lulls my mind into a natural state that my mind was supposed to be in. My mom told me that I am supposed to spend half an hour in nature every day. As a kid, that was easy, as I lived in an abundance of nature. I stepped out of my front door and I was surrounded by it every where I looked. I had less worries and gym class was outside. But now, as a university student, time is spent in front of this dreaded laptop, typing away, arguing away about some sort of thesis that I don’t actually give a crap about.

But since stress is so prevalent in everyone’s lives, and since stress actually has physically effects on my body, I need to find natural ways to calm my body down and figure out ways to tell my brain that everything is going to be alright. So, this past Tuesday after all my work I went and sat down on the grass and laid my jacket down like a make shift form of blanket. I set my backpack down that weighed like a small toddler, and then I finally sat down on my jacket and stared out at the water. The rushing sound of the water calmed every thought in my mind. Anything that was happening up there just completely shut up.

At one point I became completely immersed with how the waves were formed. It was fascinating. The colour of the water was beautiful too…I couldn’t help but notice it’s clarity. I looked around and notice that a bunch of my peers had the same idea as me. There was a guy close by to me laying on the grass, his head propped up on his backpack, just staring into the water. It was some form of meditation. I guess it was a way of clearing my head after all the garbage that came into my head throughout the day. After awhile I got chilly and so I had to put on my jacket and I decided to head home. Something about my nature experience my me feel refreshed. I felt almost relaxed and energized at the same time. I was more aware of my surroundings and wasn’t just walking around on autopilot, just bumping into people here and there. (Which, I might add, I am notorious for).

Maybe a way of coping with stress is going back to our roots-literally!! Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to unwind. If you are always out putting energy, how are you going to have time for yourself? That my friend, is what in part causes stress. I challenge you to notice the tiniest things in nature: a tiny leaf falling from a tree, a falling rain drop, a flying bird. This is a way of practising Mindfulness which will put you in the here and now, which will help reduce your stress. We can all benefit from a stress reduced life! 

beautiful river

Living with Epilepsy: Daily Challenges

smails

So since I’ve been back at school, I’ve been super busy. I’ve been busy with school, adjusting with living a more independent lifestyle, and living day to day while having seizures in between the mix. I love what I am doing at school, and it makes me feel like I’m on a good path, career-wise.

But, I’m not going to lie: I tend to put on a good face even when I feel like crap. It just feels second nature to me. It’s easier to get through the bad days when I put on a good face because I hate burying my face under the covers for days at a time. Also, lets face it: I hate throwing myself pity parties. Also, I feel like I will feel like I am doing better than I am if I put on a good face. It’s kind of a mental mind trick. And I don’t like to focus on all the negative things that are going on in my life all the time. It’s just not fun.

But, since this is my blog, I can write about negative things all I want because I feel other people can benefit from it too. I also feel like it’s cathartic, because I’m actually a pretty private person, and don’t actually let on how much things are affecting me. I don’t know why. Maybe I just don’t want people to worry? Maybe I just don’t want people to see seizures as to completely encompass who I am? Mostly I think I don’t want people to pity me. I hate pity. Mostly I’m trying to understand what’s happening, because it’s very confusing and frustrating. I’m still having seizures every other day, whether in my sleep or somewhere on campus. It’s pretty stressful because besides the stress of being back at school, and the stress of increased seizures, I don’t know what is causing them. I also worry about hitting my head and getting a concussion. I had an incident last week where I came very close to getting a concussion, but thank god I had a Guardian angel who put her hand under my head as I fell during my seizure so I didn’t hit the tile during the seizure.

I find though, that being social helps me take my mind off my worries. Last night I met up with one of my friends and we went to the mall and tried on clothes. We chatted and laughed and then we went out for dinner. Just by socializing and laughing made the stress go away. Since I know that I always feel better when I see my friends (plus I love my friends!) I always make sure I see a few friends every week. That prevents me from feeling isolated, which makes me focus even more on the seizures.

Take away message: I am still doing everything I want to do despite these silly health problems. Some days I feel pooped, but that’s what tea is for. Or sometimes I go to bed early. Or, if I have a seizure mid-day, I just have to cancel plans and go to bed. It’s reality. I’m not giving up, just working at my own pace until things are under better control. I am so thankful that my University is so supportive and I have a network of supportive friends and family, plus an amazing boyfriend. **Deep Breath**. I feel better already. I hope you’re having a great day. If you’re ever having a tough day, look around you and remember your support networks, or the little things that make things beautiful. It helps to make life better. Hope you’re all doing well! Love you all! xox