Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stress Busters

Hey everyone! Sorry I didn't have a chance to post yesterday. I was "busy" tending to my 8 month old who was very clingy yesterday. She's most definitely a Mama's girl and has a very hard time separating from me. It's kind of funny because, in a sense, she seems to know when I'm about to have a flare since she cries for me to pick her up. Now, some of you are probably thinking I'm nuts by saying that because she's just a little baby and how "sensitive" can a baby be-- right? Well the answer to that is simple, babies are pretty sensitive. They can be just as sensitive to their caregivers as a pet would be and when they "react" to you like that, it can actually be beneficial. Sometimes just holding a child or a pet or even tending a to a garden or aquarium can relieve stress. It's a pretty old and known fact and that's going to be the topic of discussion for today.

I've had pets in my home all of my life. Both sets of grandparents had dogs and my parents had cats. I remember having a bit of trouble when I was little with the pet hair because I was allergic, but it never stopped me from loving animals of all kinds.

As an adult, I now have 13 pets that are the topic of conversation in my blogs every now and then. My two cats were in the literal sense of being stray. Diamond was an unwanted an abused kitten before I had him. When I first got him, he hated men. At the time, that was fine with me, of course, because I was getting over a bad relationship and I hated them too lol! But, after a while, he grew to tolerate men once my husband started feeding him. Diamond did a few other special things once he started to see that I was getting ill. He started to follow me around the house during my really bad days and would even move my daughter's toys away from my walking path for me so I would not have to bend. Diamond also learned how to open cabinets to get out his canned food and hair brush. He is very sensitive to my illness, a love to have in my life, and a great stress reliever because when I take the time to be with him, I'm "forgetting" my own troubles for a bit.

Topaz showed up on my doorstep about two years ago and is my other great love. She is my "lap cat" who doesn't mind being brushed (unlike Diamond) and just wants as much attention and love she can get from you. She is the cat that will fight Diamond to get a better seat by my bedside just so she can be there until I'm well enough to get up. She is another wonderfully sensitive cat and is yet another love in my life.

My other pets are two African- clawed frogs and several tropical fish. Fish are another wonderful way to relieve stress-- believe it or not. Some of them that I've had over the years can get excited to see you like any dog or cat would when they see their caregivers come home and some will even eat out of your hand. But the best thing about fish is that you can have calmness in your life by just watching them swim. In other words, they could act as a meditative tool for you to help you relax your sometimes clouded, busy mind. I have a tank in both of my daughter's rooms and a tank in the family room that I love to look at when I'm tending to my children, or just plain by myself. It's a great way to relax and the fish won't mind because they are like all pets-- they are there to be loved.

Children are another great love of mine and they can also be great stress busters. A child can say some of the most profound things if you are lucky enough to listen. They also don't seem to care as to whether you can walk or not either. My 7 year old daughter will look at me after I've told her I can't play ball with her and say, "Okay Mommy, then let's play cards instead." Life is pretty simple for them and we as adults could learn a very valuable lesson from them by finding what relieves our stress and just taking some time to relieve it. I'm glad that I have so many animals, children, and even a husband in my life to help me remember how to relieve mine. Here's to finding yours so you can stay fabulous.

Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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