Do you notice yourself feeling tense, for example in your shoulders? Does your headache?
Do you feel tired or easily irritated? Does your stomach get upset or do you experience shortness of breath?
While everyone might be a bit different it is important that we notice what stress looks like and notice what happens in our body. Looking for the signals is the first step in dealing with stress. This was one strategy the fabulous psychologist Rita Ames taught us in an interactive talk about dealing with stress and Parkinson’s disease. She got everyone talking, even those who seemed reticent at first.
Looking back these feelings of stress were with me at the January Activate meeting where I felt overwhelmed leading almost everything at the meeting. So I had noted this and delegated a few things and asked for volunteers. I was encouraged to have lots of help and glad to not be stressed during our February meeting.
Rita did the main talk and Elizabeth, another volunteer and gifted communicator, encouraged us spiritually. We had a volunteer bring crackers and water and others helped with registration. This allowed me to be free to organise the meeting while carers could tell their side of the story to our registration helpers. The carers often feel isolated so they appreciated having someone to listen to them and show them love.
The biggest surprise was Juan who I asked to report on our legal status and our plans to create a Non government organization (NGO) so we can receive donations. He shared how he had caught my contagious attitude and was now planning big things for “Activate – Liga Contra el Parkinson”. It’s very encouraging as his plans go way beyond my ideas. He also shared about his life with Parkinson, his struggle with depression and thoughts about how we can help others with this debilitating sickness. It’s exciting to see Juan’s approach changing.
- We may need a new venue in the future so please pray for this.
- We need to have space for exercise classes too (could be the same place).
- Also pray we find a physiotherapist to evaluate people, so we can understand their needs before we start classes and track their progress.
- Volunteers for Registration at events
- Volunteers to distribute and hang posters to educate the public
- Volunteers for administration and translation,
- Our next meeting on the 3rd of March is with a Peruvian Doctor who lives in the USA, so we need to get an organising team going very soon.
So thanks again to those who helped me this month. I couldn’t do this alone.
I am still thinking of how to avoid stress. I’m really enjoying the work but the extrovert in me doesn’t want to go it alone.
What can you do when you recognise stress in your life?