Kids, bills, job pressures and health problems are all known stress producers. Being widowed should be added to that list. Facing life on your own can make the calmest, most buttoned up woman feel anxious, nervous and completely stressed out.
After Lane died I was shocked how easily and often I felt stressed. Everything got to me. Work, managing the house, taking care of the car all of sudden were stressful. I even stressed out worrying how other people thought I was doing. It was a nightmare. My body started to take the toll. I felt tired and achy. I began looking for relief.
Honestly, at first I did turn to food and wine to help me feel calmer, less stressed. Both ended up creating stress. I was constantly questioning myself -- Why did you eat that? Are you drinking too much? This self inquiry upped my stress level so I had to switch gears.
Exercise helped. The physical exertion relieved a lot of tension and I felt more relaxed. Getting more sleep was also beneficial. I started to take some medication which I think helped some, too.
Not having someone to share stressful moments or issues with is extremely difficult. For me, even 5 years later it is still tough to deal with many of life's stressful situations on my own.
To all of you newly widowed, don't be surprised when your stress level increases dramatically. Making every decision. Dealing with all of the household and family responsibilities is stressful. Not to mention that just missing your husband 24/7 is enough to stress out anyone. It's a wonder we all haven't gone completely insane.
Does it get better? No not really. But like everything else, you will learn to handle it because you have no choice.
How do you deal with your stress?