Happy July 2020! It is time for another Al’s Corner note. As is my nature, I will continue to stay positive even with everything that has gone on this year. Make no mistake, it can be hard, so I get it.
Transportation Club stuff- We had a fantastic turnout of 90 people for the golf tournament on June 19th at Eagle Springs in North St. Louis. Considering the social distancing, a much-needed break was provided. Thanks to all the volunteers, and as always, Brad Reinhardt and Anna Hickman. Brad had to change the date several times, and his determination was rewarded with a spectacular day. Lots of networking and laughs were provided. The volunteers were awesome as usual. Amy Bea, Michael Tobin at the drink tent, Dawn Barajas, Wendy Topp, Stace Knabel and many more provided drinks and a ton of fun. Hopefully, more events will follow in the future. Stay tuned.
Now, onto this month’s timely topic- Handling Stress during these challenging times. Just trying to write about it is difficult and tricky. The reason I say that is because both the virus and social unrest are both very politically and racially charged. The big fear is putting something in writing that could offend someone, and even worse having it get picked up and published in social media. Things are so charged that it could go viral and destroy a person’s career and life. That is the big picture. Believe me, almost everyone has opinions on these topics and voicing your thoughts can start a big argument, even end a friendship.
What I will say is something that we are not hearing much about—the stress and mental issues this time period is causing for many people. I must admit that my wife and I have discussed how it has bothered both of us. Just speaking for myself, I have felt jittery, can feel my heartbeat loudly and my sleep is erratic. I went to my MD, and we are scheduling some precautionary tests with the cardiac staff. As background, years ago I had a panic attack due to a lifelong whiplash neck injury I suffered when I was 7. I live in pain a lot of the time, but when this happened it came down to the nerves just being too out-of-whack. It was embarrassing to admit that this big, strong, old athlete and tough person (me) would have such a thing. I thought I was too tough for it to be mental, so I thought I was having a heart attack. Luckily, after a long day at Barnes, and then my MD, they said this type of attack might happen a time or two, and then never happen again. Anyway, when I spoke with my new doctor, she said perhaps 1/3 of people are experiencing mental anxiety. I was surprised, but the more I thought about it the more I understood. You see so many people, millions, have gotten the virus and some have lost friends and relatives to death. I even thought for the first time in my life about what would happen if I caught the virus and died from it (I would be mad). Millions of people have also lost their livelihood and jobs. The social unrest probably doubled the tensions on top of it. The Floyd murder was beyond terrible and on TV for everyone to witness. The protests have been very tense, but mostly non-violent. Political jabbing has been at an all-time high too. So many are demanding change.
So, what should we do and how should we handle these troubling times? Here are a few thoughts:
- Start a daily journal. Make notes on what has bothered you that day or set you off. Once you have identified some items, reduce how much you watch, think, or speak about them.
- Exercise Regularly. Run, walk, hike, rubber bands, weight training. Turn a negative into a positive!
- Play with your kids, pets, and family.
- Maintain a healthy diet. This might sound strange, but people are eating and drinking more. Avoid caffeine too. Some people are calling it the Covid 15 (pounds).
- Take a Break. Avoid watching too much news. However, if you must watch, I would suggest watching more than one station for a different prospective (Little bits at a time and then if you do not like what you are hearing change the channel). Many news channels are providing COMMENTARY NEWS, NOT NEWS REPORTING. Balance your life by reading a book, doing a puzzle, praying, take a walk, or work in the yard. Kathy and I watch a show called “Who’s Line is it Anyway,” that is all improv silliness. We also just turn on the radio and sit outside and grill or something. Watch some birds, love on your pets and kids too, group sing, kiss your wife (best kisser ever)! Binge watch a series.
Other thoughts- Connect with others, get plenty of sleep and rest, and again, avoid lots of caffeine, alcohol, and political talk.
I guess in closing the problem I have with stress is that I have always felt that nothing would be given to me in life, it had to be earned. In grade school shooting 500 basketball shots a day, running several miles per day back then to get ready for the season, or growing our business, that is way I have always been. So, when it comes to worldwide issues, I try to figure them out and try and put forth a plan. This leads to stress in my life. An example of how I work is I drove 150 miles 19 years ago to go on a blind date, in Paris Illinois. I did not just sit around and wait to meet my person, I made it happen. I have a plan and some ideas that I believe will help elevate some of today’s issues and will share them someday with you! That is my end teaser. Until then, I will leave you with these phrases that have helped me get through some tough times in the past.
- Do not look at the sun, look around and past it.
- Do not look at the headlights look past it.
- Trying to be special is the only thing that really matters. Rather you are, or are not, does not matter.
- From the bible about worry—”There is nothing to gain in life by being worried or anxious.”
- Medically speaking “worry can help shorten your life.” Do not worry, be happy!
As you all know I could go on and on, so have a great month and remember you are all special!
Al Hursey President Rockfarm STL