Stress is not good for anybody, and especially Parkinson’s patients. My tremors get bigger as emotions heighten – stress, anger, and even joy. I am extremely aware of my stress levels, make every effort to minimize stress, and look for pleasure daily.
In an effort to minimize stress, I’ve taken myself out of the family dynamic a little bit. My teenage children run around like crazy to catch the school bus on time. This is not what I taught them as young children. This is not how I operate. I feel the anxiety and discomfort throughout my body every time. The energy in the morning in the kitchen is chaotic and I HATE IT, so I avoid it. I am not an active part of their morning routine anymore. It’s OK. They get through it in their crazy, frantic kind of way. It’s their perfection, certainly not mine.
My biggest pleasure I discovered this year has been hiking with a meetup group. I love the outdoors, fresh air, beautiful trees, and meeting new people. I have been very active with the group, hiking once a week and sometimes twice. I SO LOVE IT!!
At first, it was so refreshing when nobody knew anything about me. I find comfort in that sometimes. Do you? I remember at one of the first hikes, when we reached the mountaintop, I thought we would have been back at our cars by this time. My concern was I didn’t bring my PD meds with me and it was time to take them. The thought went through my mind – “what if I experience difficulty getting down the mountain?” I didn’t panic. I was patient. Everything was OK.
I wish my family was interested in going hiking, but they’re not. My teenagers don’t want to wake before noon, and my husband is generally carting kids around or is too tired from his busy, super stressful work week.
Exercise is important for overall general good health and is especially important to PD patients. It is the only known thing to slow down the progression of the disease. I hike. I yoga. I brisk walk. I box. I will ride my bike this summer.
I am fit and active.
I am grateful.
Do you ever avoid, walk away, or physically exit stressful situations? I certainly do. Please share.