Over the past month, I have been feeling very stressed out. Our 4-H District just hosted a statewide 4-H event, I have a training coming up, I volunteered to teach a couple classes at the high school and my son is moving back, among other things.
The result is feeling over whelmed and has led to poor eating habits, not exercising enough, not sleeping well and stress headaches the size of Beaverhead county.
Last weekend I asked about my son’s plans for moving and wondering about a potential Plan B in case I cannot help him. Junior looks up at me, grins and calmly says, “Mom, watch your own bobber.”
My first reaction, because I wasn’t thinking clearly, was what does fishing have to do with moving? Then the fog cleared and I realized what he meant as he said, "I’ve got my move handled and you don’t need to worry about it." Then he shared he had changed his plans from what we talked about a couple months ago.
Spring can be a stressful time in rural Montana. Sudden weather changes, calving, seeding crops, unexpected expenses, scholarship applications, graduations, planning for summer fun…whatever your list is, it can get big, fast.
If you are stressing out there are a couple strategies to help you watch your own bobber. Write down a list of the things you are dealing with. For each item, ask yourself what do you have control over? Or What can you do to influence what happens with the item? If you cannot change or do much about it, then it is time to stop watching that bobber.
If you can do something about it or have some control over the item, then it is time to do some planning or goal setting to better manage what is happening or what needs to be done.
When you are stressed out, it is hard to look at what you are doing objectively. My son gave me a gentle reminder that he’s got this and he will ask for help when he needs it.
If you are interested in resources to cope with stress, MSU Extension has several MontGuides that may help. One is called 50 Stress Busting Ideas for your Well Being, and there are others that deal with coping with family stress, helping children cope with natural disasters and dealing with financial crisis.
To get these resources you can call your local Extension office, or you can visit the North Central Montana Extension Blog, visit the Pondera County Extension facebook page or check out the KSEN/K96FM blog for links to downloadable pdf files on the msuextension.org website.There are many resources available. You don’t have to let yourself get hooked by things that are outside of your control. My stress load dropped a lot that day and I got another good life lesson from my son when I listened to his wise words to “watch my own bobber.”
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