Anyone who has experienced stress, tension, or anxiety will recognise that feeling when it starts to ease off. You’re like a human balloon slowly starting to deflate. The stiffness in your limbs eases off and you start to relax. Your heart rate slows. Your face feels physically different. It’s as though you’re changing in your inner core; cells change, neurons fire in a different direction, and your entire being is exhausted from it. I find that taking a step away from your normal surroundings and being by the water can greatly assist that release from that build up of adrenaline in my system. Nature, without a shadow of a doubt, accelerates my come down.
Today I was lucky enough to feel that come down. I woke and felt the knot of tension at the base of my diaphragm. I sat in my morning meditation and felt grateful that I was able to recognise that my body still held yesterday’s tension. I clearly hadn’t rested properly last night. I rushed around to get ready as I was heading out for lunch with family. I don’t know about you guys, but eating out still makes me feel a bit nervous. Covid has not disappeared and I for one really do not want to catch it, nor unknowingly infect a fellow human being. The cases in Ireland are slowly rising and that all too familiar dread is returning. Not everyone is worrying, and not everyone is exercising precaution. People are becoming quite lax about the whole thing and I don’t like where this might all end up.
We decided to go to a restaurant called Bunnyconnellan for lunch. Bunnys, as it’s more commonly known, is a restaurant situated on the coast’s edge in Myrtleville in County Cork and is host to spectacular sea views. We were lucky enough to be the first there and get a table outside. As if the views from this restaurant aren’t enough, the food there is top notch too. I’ve yet to eat something from here that I don’t like. The staff were all extremely friendly and polite and I really felt at ease. This is when the tension started to release. I was able to sit back, chat with my family, and laugh and joke as normal. We had a really lovely time and I forgot about everything that had been racing through my mind.
After our meal, we drove along the coast road and stopped at Fountainstown beach. The sun was splitting the stones and we went into the cutest little shop for ice creams. The set up was every child’s dream with jars of sweets lining the shelves. We bought our treats, sat by the beach and chatted some more as the kids went exploring the beach.
Something that came up in conversation was how Covid-19 has had it’s lessons. I don’t mean this in any flippant or disrespectful way as I know that it has robbed so many lives. What I do mean, is that it has forced us as humankind to stop, to slow down, and to re-evaluate our lives. Many people have come to realise that they need more family time, more time in nature, less screen time, less work pressures. We’ve come to genuinely appreciate the little things in life. As I sat with work worries meandering around the back of my mind, I made myself think about my health and how I really need to get a hold on my stress and anxiety levels. I’ve done loads of work on these areas over the past decade and I am a hell of a lot better now than I was at 21, but I feel like this will be a constant area of my life that will require discipline and vigilance.
I don’t really like the person I become when I’m stressed and anxious. I don’t like how I am on constant high alert and feel like I might snap at any moment. Life is too short to be living this way. If Covid has taught me anything it is that I need to be responsible for the pace of my life and the amount of stress I let in.
If anyone has any book/podcast recommendations that might help me learn how to establish this balance then please let me know in the comments! Your help would be greatly appreciated!
Until next time,