101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 4

The experience of losing elderly parents is one that tends to bring moments of heightened stress and anxiety. People deal with stress and anxiety in different ways but I think it is extremely useful to make a list of stress-busters that help YOU.  Having a written list provides a menu at a time when you may feel unable to think straight and the mere sight of it can help to bring calm.

Ideally, the list should include activities that only take a minute or two, like deep breathing or visualising a place that is totally associated with calm, as well as more time-consuming activities.

My list included the following:

1. Taking long, deep breaths

2. Visualising  lying on the warm sand at Garrarus Beach hearing the gentle rippling  of tiny waves.

3. Playing with the dogs

4. Going for a swim in the sea and feasting my eyes on the horizon

5. Having a luxurious bath with a scented candle glowing.

6. Going for a long walk, ideally by the sea or in the woods

8. Having a nutritious smoothie with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables

7. Writing about my feelings

8. Getting lost in taking photographs

9. Gardening, especially planting bulbs.

10. Sitting by the fire sipping a hot drink

11. Dipping into books of wit and wisdom that make me laugh.

12. Reading poetry

And walk among long dappled grass

And pluck till time and times are done

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

(from: The Song of Wandering Aengus by W.B. Yeats)

Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and I love to write both non-fiction and poetry.

19 thoughts on “101 Ways to Cope with Losing Elderly Parents # 4”

      1. Not really… I would only add cooking/baking because for me, it is the most relaxing thing I turn to when I’m frazzled (upset, mad, unsure of myself….!)

        1. Yes, I can empathise about the baking. The only problem I have with it is that if I’m tired and not very focussed, I tend to make a complete mess which can aggravate the angst. However, there are a few old reliables that seem to do the trick no matter what!

  1. Those are all perfect things to do because they’re some of the best things to do in life. I’m sure it makes your parents happy whenever you’re enjoying life.

    1. Hi Sheila, thanks for this interesting perspective. Many of the things on the list relate to activities that either Mother or Father or both enjoyed so I guess they make me feel close to their memory.

  2. For you, from O’Brien –
    We sat grown quiet at the name of love;
    We saw the last embers of daylight die,
    And in the trembling blue-green of the sky
    A moon, worn out as if it had been a shell
    Washed by time’s waters as they rose and fell
    About the stars and broke in days and years.

    W.B. Yeats, 1902

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