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)