Are you feelin’ it?

This post is my response to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday challenge for the letter “C”. Click here for other letter “C” entries.

I heard a newscaster last week use the term “crisis fatigue” to refer to investors’ reactions to recent wild swings in the financial markets. As soon as I heard the term I thought, “that’s exactly what I feel,” except, of course, my crisis fatigue is more broad-based than just financial. Every day it seems, there’s a crisis, some new threat, that needs to be assessed and assimilated into the everyday fabric of my life.

It doesn’t take more than a moment or two to compile a long list of financial, natural, and manmade disasters. Here are just a few of what we’ve experienced so far in 2011:

  • the attempted assassination of Congressman Giffords and the deaths of so many others in that attack
  • the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant disaster in Japan (and have you heard about the debris field that is making its way across the Pacific ocean?)
  • the ongoing housing and unemployment crises
  • the terrorist attacks in Norway
  • the earthquake that shook the Virginia/DC area, followed a few days later by a hurricane that affected a good part of the eastern U.S., and then just before Halloween, an early snowstorm that left hundreds of thousands without electrical power for days
  • severe drought and wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma
  • worry over what comes next if Congress’s “super committee” fails to meet its mandate to reduce the country’s deficit
  • widespread political unrest including the “Arab Spring” uprisings

Years ago, Reader’s Digest ran an article about point values associated with personal stressors such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, unemployment, etc. Out of curiosity, I “googled” point values for personal stress and, among other entries, found the Holmes and Rahe (H&R) Stress Scale. This scale assigns “life change units” to various events that might occur in an individual’s life over a year-long period, with the final score providing a rough estimate of how stress affects health. The adult scale ranges from 100 for death of a spouse to 11 for a minor violation of law; vacation and Christmas earn stress factors of 13 and 12 points respectively. Scoring more than 300 indicates an (increased) risk of illness, 150-299 indicates a moderate risk for illness, and less than 150 indicates a slight risk for illness.

I’m glad to report that my score on the H&R scale is on the low end, so it’s obvious I have a lot to be grateful for. Anticipating Thanksgiving next week, I’m choosing to focus on the blessings of my personal life rather than worrying overmuch about large scale events I can’t influence. I do hope you find yourself in a similar place—informed and concerned about big picture events but happy and secure on a personal basis.

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17 thoughts on “Are you feelin’ it?

  1. I think I’m not going to take this test…it might make my score even higher!

    I try to focus on the things that aren’t crisis driven, somedays it’s hard but there’s always something…even if it’s just a perfect cup of coffee!

    Thanks for this thoughtful post! Instant media hasn’t done our lives any good.

    Thank you for linking up.

    A+

  2. Oh dear…I could be in trouble. I’m probably off the scale. However, I think we hear the same news stories over and over again. Years ago, we didn’t have news channels 24/7 and the Internet. They all compete for our ear and things are often blown out of proportion or the same story is beaten to death until the next “big” story. Sometimes I just have to turn the TV off.
    +1

  3. I was very encouraged, when I googled and took the test, to see that only scored 167 despite the major health challenge I’ve faced with my husband. Feeling pretty good!!

  4. Agree with Judie and Betty above! Need to switch off otherwise we’d be overwhelmed.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Have a great weekend & look forward to *seeing* you again soon.

  5. I totally understand what your saying.. I have gotten to the point of not turning on the tv news.. they repeat the same stories over and over and it’s making me nuts! I read the net for the days news and move on!
    good post
    Sandy

  6. I think your approach is a good one. There will always be problems in the world at large and even in our communities and families. If we focus all our energy on the problems it’s easy to become paralyzed by the gravity of it all. Gratitude is always uplifting. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

  7. Sometimes I think of our pioneer ancestors and how long it took news to reach them. Somehow they managed to survive without hearing instantaneously about every horrible thing that has happened to anyone, anywhere in the world, and every horrible thing that MIGHT happen.

    I have much to be thankful for! I don’t want to miss it because I’m busy worrying about things I can’t do anything about.

  8. I think you’ve got the right course of action here. Focusing on the family and personal blessings helps us weather the storms around us. And there are plenty brewing, aren’t there?

    Maybe 2012 will be a little less crazy. But I’m not holding my breath…

    “/

  9. I try to dwell on the good side of life as much as possible. I’ve learned life is too short to let the bad news that is all around us drag us down, and I do believe that prayer, meditation, and exercise helps us handle and lower the effects of stress in our lives. Thanks for the thought provoking “C” post!

  10. I’m probably up the scale a bit but I know who holds the whole world in his hands so I’ll just try to lay all that at his feet!

  11. Oh dear…I could be in trouble. I’m probably off the scale. However, I think we hear the same news stories over and over again. Years ago, we didn’t have news channels 24/7 and the Internet. They all compete for our ear and things are often blown out of proportion or the same story is beaten to death until the next “big” story. Sometimes I just have to turn the TV off.

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