Stress management has been my focus the past couple of weeks. (shocking, right?)
i found a couple of really great apps in the iTunes store that have really helped me to tone down the "ugly" feelings, the "dark clouds," and fleeting thoughts.
1. Stress Free - this app has a guided meditation that is daily, for a minimum of 3 weeks. The "coach," Andrew Johnson, has a kind of lilty accent that reminds me of Sean Connery (one of my old man crushes) and he keeps me engaged. I have not done the full 3 weeks yet, but i do find that the breathing exercises are helpful.
2. RELAX Stress & Anxiety Relief - this app has different levels of breathing exercises, for different durations of time depending on your schedule. This app is great for those moments you are having a little anxiety or when you need some help falling asleep. There are exercises for beginners, intermediate, and more advanced users.
3. PTSD Coach - my therapist actually recommended this one for me to try. You customize your "safe" places, pictures, songs, and you take a quiz to assess your level of stress. Developed by the department of veteran affairs for soldiers returning from war, this app has great tools, along with therapy, to manage your PTSD. Best of all - IT'S FREE!
4. Bejeweled Blitz - OK, so it's just a game, but it really does make you focus on the task at hand and when you turn the sound off, it really does help you ease out of whatever is preoccupying your mind. Sometimes, that's all we need... just to get out of our head.
And those are my top four suggestions. I am going to look at other apps to see what else is out there, but as a beginner in trying some homeopathic/yogic/nonstandard methods to get my stress levels under control these tools are pretty awesome.
As far as my PTSD is concerned, I haven't been as hyper vigilant about my fire aversion. I've been lighting candles around the house and not obsessing at night whether the embers are going to touch off a speck of dust into a towering inferno. Nor have I been calling municipalities, the Red Cross, other other agencies when there have been fires that have affected families in my community. I did read today about an apartment complex two towns away that lost an entire building containing 10 apartments, that resulted in another building being evacuated indefinitely from smoke damage - and I want to donate some extra furniture that the hubi and I have been storing in the garage. Helps me by helping free up the space in my garage for my car, but it also helps them by giving them something they clearly need. I'm not overextending myself by making financial contributions like I would want to under "normal" circumstances.
Wanting to help someone in need isn't a bad thing, right? I think anyone in this situation would want to do something to make a difference.
On my schedule for this week - I want to check out a women's only yoga class on Wednesday night. I've read a few reviews on Yelp! that make me want to give it a shot. I can't do hot yoga, and this studio is one of the few that still offers hatha yoga classes. I'm a little nervous, but excited at the same time. Namaste.