When my husband passed in 2010, there were dozens of stresses to deal with outside the grief. Paperwork, forms, moving and reorganization were just a few.
My adult daughter was by my side through the blur of shock and change that first year and it was she who came up with the code word–SNOW–that saved our energy as well as sanity.
SNOW stands for “Stop Negativity On Weekends”. This meant no worrying, sorting, stressing or anxiety on Saturdays and Sundays other than daily routine or unforeseen emergency.
As much as it may seem like common sense, putting this “rule” in motion eased the physical and mental strain on both of us. It was said aloud every Friday after stacks of mail and several phone messages loomed before us. We literally swept them aside for two days so we could regroup and settle down.
Was it easy? No, but after repeating “SNOW” to ourselves and each other, it started to work. SNOW was a stop sign that kept anxiety and uncertainty away for a few precious hours.
We still use SNOW now, after things have settled down and it gives our coping ability a jumpstart on Mondays.
Is it foolproof? No, but it sure makes a difference. Give it a try. Let it snow!
Do you have any special sayings or rituals that help relieve stress? Share them with us in the Reader’s Forum.