I’ve just been listening to an interesting podcast over on Wellness Mama about stress. The interviewee, Tildet Varon, talked a little bit about stress and then about communication, particularly within the family. About a quarter of the way into the interview, Tildet explained: “Stress is when demands exceed your capacity,” and I thought her statement hit the nail on the head for me. For a long time, I’ve sort of felt guilty for even feeling stressed, because I’m not chronically ill, I’m not at death’s door, homeless, starving, in a violent relationship, or any other tragic circumstance that I consider universally stressful. I have a blessed life, and yet sometimes I feel just downright stressed out!!! But hearing her say it’s about demands in relation to capacity validates to me how I can feel stressed, really stressed. She explains that we often can’t remove or reduce the stressors in our lives (true), but what we can do is increase our capacity. And she mentions a few different ways, but I think this warrants further thought/attention on my part, for sure. Just last night I was talking with my husband about how I think solitude is vital to well being, and we are increasingly omitting it from our daily lives by tapping into our phones/computers whenever we have a spare minute to ourselves. For myself, I think solitude (ie. time out!) helps me to increase my capacity to cope with the demands of my life. I really felt it after having two sick kids at home for a week with no breaks, haha!