Skip to main content

Finding Solid Ground -- 7 Steps

Fall ushers in beautiful color, long shadows and cooler weather. Parents and kids thrive with the routine of school. This fall is anything but typical  as we grow even more weary of the pandemic. We worry about finances and fret as to whether to send kids to school or stay virtual. With wildfires and hurricanes of epic proportion and a looming election, it seems the social fabric of our country is being ripped to shreds. In these stressful times, how do we find solid ground?
Photo Credit: Nik Shuliahin

TOM:  We have found it helps to understand that men and women often handle stress differently.  (Excuse a little biology here and of course, there are exceptions to every generalization.)  Stress causes the release of adrenalin,  the "fight or flight" hormone in everyone.  But, men are more likely than women to fight back or to repress feeling stressed and often choose to escape into something familiar or predictable.  I dislike confrontation and what better escape this time of year than football.  Getting lost in football -- games, blogs, fantasy and football conversations with family and friends provide me great relaxation and comfort.  

MFWhen Tom escapes into his football world, I assume he is oblivious to reality and am frustrated that I have to deal with it all.
In women the adrenalin surge is tempered by oxytocin,  the "nesting and nurturing" hormone.  When stressed I see myself as inadequate and my To-Do list swells.  Canning and freezing garden produce, planning for the future, making masks for family and friends and reading incessantly to stay on top of this pandemic keep my hands and mind occupied.  But doing all this stuff is not always relaxing and deep down I want nothing more than to be held and comforted and to know that things will be OK.  

Our different ways of responding to uncertainty and chaos can add to our stress and create distance between us.  We have found 7 Steps that provide understanding, comfort, confidence and solid ground on which to stand during times of stress.

Photo Credit: Almos Bechtold
  1. Pause, Reflect and Breathe.  When we pause, reflect and breathe we can often find a glimmer of hope.
  2. Talk with Each Other.  We can't read minds. Reflecting enables us to choose words that heal, not hurt.
  3. Be Open and Vulnerable.  When I realize Tom, too, is stressed, I do not feel so all alone.
  4. Really Listen.  We go beyond the words to see and hear the fear, anxiety, judgments of inadequacy and the need to protect in the words that we share.
  5. Don't Should -- Don't Shame.  We respect our different ways of dealing with stress.  We accept that our need to shut down is different.
  6. Comfort, Support and Affirm.  We ask each other, "What do you need from me today?"
  7. Live and Love in the Moment We don't fast forward.  No one can predict the future.
In this Fall of uncertainty, we hope that practicing these 7 Steps will instill in your heart the truth that you are loved just as you are. Let this knowledge and the realization that you are in this together be your rock during these stressful times.

Comments

Other Popular Posts

5 Things Men Want

1. RESPECT: (KEN) : When a man is asked, 'Would you rather be respected or loved?' most would choose being respected.  In his book Love and Respect , Dr. E. Eggerichs explains this tendency.   (JANINE) : For years, I didn't appreciate how important it was to Ken that I treat him with respect.  I also didn't understand how hurtful it was when I dis respected him.  When I show Ken respect ( by affirming his decisions,  avoiding sarcasm or by not using a demeaning tone) it translates (for him) into feeling 'loved.'  Another way to say this is: when a man is dis respected, he receives the message he is NOT loved. 2.  SEX:  

What Can’t You Afford to Edit out of Your Story?

Michelle: When I was a teenager, I remember coming home after breaking up with a guy and my dad asking me how it went. I gave the inevitable teenage response, “I don’t want to talk about it.” My dad responded, “You don’t have to. But you do need to remember that there are some things in life that you can’t afford to edit out of your story. Is this one of them?”

The 5 "P's" of Constructive Feedback

Photo Credit:  Ian Schneider (Reprise of post originally published on 09-16-2019) We once read an article on criticism in marriage.  The Author's bottom line was "don't do it."  Even asking: "Can I give you some feedback?" was cautioned against.  Sometimes suggestions given with the best intent with regard to work, chores, relationships with the kids can back fire.  Think back seat driving.  Experience has taught us 5 Key Points for when we just want to give each other a little suggestion.  These 5 simple points set the tone and enable us to let down our defenses and be supportive of each other when offering a little constructive feedback.   

Remember When...

It's easy to get lost in our day-to-day. Once we're out of the honeymoon phase of marriage and real life settles in, we develop routines and patterns of behavior. We become consumed by the here and now, and sometimes we can lose sight of the excitement and passion that brought us together and inspired us to get married in the first place.

The Healing Power of Touch

  Our last blog explored a super power we all have within us – the Super Power of Affirmation.    But did you know that you possess another Super Power?  It’s the Healing Power of Touch.  Holy Hole in a Doughnut, Batman!  Bet you didn’t know you had all that in you!

Easter Greetings!

 Dear Readers, As Spring unfolds and we continue to recover from this pandemic, there could not be a more wonderful time to nurture relationship growth. Wishing you a Happy Easter and a Springtime of Promise. From all of us at TheCouplesPost

When All Else Fails . . . Eat Ice Cream

For many of us the COVID honeymoon is long over.  Isolation, loss of routines, access to the gym, financial worries, working from home and changing school schedules has had us stretched too thin too long.  We'd rather eat an entire loaf of bread than bake one and if we hear how much someone enjoys the extra time with their kids we'll scream!  This is COVID Stress.  We've all experienced it.

10 Things Women Want

1)  Learn her “Love Language :"   And speak it often! (Learn more:  What Language Are You Speaking? ) Janine’s love language is “Acts of Service.” So, when I vacuum or do dishes or cook, it fills up her ‘love tank' - her mood brightens and there’s a whole different vibe between us.   I can tell I’ve found a direct path to her heart.  

8 Misunderstandings That Are Hurting Your Sex Life

Why are we writing about sex again?  Sex in marriage is more important than most people think.  It's mysterious. There are a lot of "layers" and complexities to this whole topic.... read on... 

Getting More of What You Want in Your Marriage

Recently, we attended a work-shop on how to incorporate more positivity into our lives. We were reminded how easily the challenges of life can dominate our thinking. This can be especially true where our couple relationship is concerned. Have you ever thought, “He never gives me any affection” or “She always nags me”?