I was getting ready for church on Sunday morning when suddenly my husband came in and said, “There’s a bat in the house.” Thinking that surely I couldn’t have heard him right, I repeated what he had just said to me.
I followed him out into the family room, and sure enough, there was a bat flying around in there. We closed off the doors into the dining room and hallway to keep him contained and keep the dogs out, and set about trying to catch him. My husband grabbed my lightweight blanket that I keep out there, and whenever he got close to the bat, he would throw the blanket, trying to cover it and knock it to the ground. In the meantime, I stationed myself over by the kitchen area with a towel and whenever it came my way I’d flap the towel to try to steer it back toward my hubby.
After what felt like about an hour, but was in reality only about 10 or 15 minutes, my husband said, “I think I got him.” There was no sound or movement from under the blanket, but we didn’t see it flying anywhere, so together we gathered up the blanket as gently as we could and took it outside. Once out there, dear Hubby shook out the blanket, and off flew the bat! When we finished our bat-wrangling, I told him I was thankful it had happened while he was there, and not while I was home by myself – I’m sure I could have handled it by myself, but I sure am glad I didn’t have to.
As we finished getting ready for church I started thinking of all the *interesting* events we’ve been through recently. In just the last few months
- We had a wind storm that took down trees at the back of our property and left us without power for three days
- We had a tornado
- We had a garage door opener and water heater go out in the same week
- We had to have repairs made to my husband’s truck
and then, within the last week,
- we had a storm in which we got 6 inches of rain in two hours that flooded parts of the city and caused major concerns that a dam close to us might fail and cause major flooding
- we lost the Grandpa Tree
- and we had a visit from a bat!
We’ve had some stressful events over these last few months! For quite a while, I tried to avoid any type of stress because as anyone who lives with fibromyalgia knows, stress can trigger a flare and send us to bed for days. I guarded my schedule very closely, made sure I paced myself carefully, and avoided any places or events that I thought might be stress-inducing. There was only one problem with that – the more I avoided stress, the more difficult it was to deal with stressful situations when they arose. When unexpected challenges came along, my anxiety would go through the roof. I realized that I was training myself (unintentionally, of course) to be incapable of handling the everyday stresses of life.
Let’s face it – life is stressful! We can’t control everything that happens, and when we try to completely avoid stress we may be putting ourselves into a position where we can’t handle challenges. Having the ability to deal constructively with stress is a vital part of developing resilience, and it’s important to learn to manage it rather than trying to completely avoid it. We learn coping mechanisms and management techniques so that instead of letting it derail us or send us into a panic, we recognize it for what it is and manage our reactions to it.
For our next Wellness Wednesday post, we’ll take a look at some actual stress management techniques that can help us deal with those *interesting* events we all experience from time to time. I hope you’ll join me!
Do you have a particular stress management technique that works particularly well for you? Please share!