Lisa Leonard Designs

managing stress

February 7th | thoughts



i think i can honestly say i’ve been stressed lately.

stressed in the middle of real life, and fun with friends and making family memories.

and in the middle of all our regular stuff, we’ve squeezed in

8 doctor visits in the last couple weeks

driven over 25 hours over to see those doctors

waited and waited for answers

while trying to take care of a sick kiddo and entertain his patient brother.

and meanwhile, i’ve had a small apetite,

i can’t fall asleep at night and my head is so full i have trouble remembering details

(like where i parked my car or what day it is.)

and so i’ve had to think more deliberately–how do i manage stress?

here’s my list…

warmth.  i love a feather blanket, a warm cup of cocoa, and a glowing fireplace.

touch. hand holding, snuggling, a back rub.

organizing my thoughts. blogging, list making, time alone. coffee with a friend.

these things soothe me.


how do you manage stress?

No Responses

  1. Leslie says:

    This may sound silly…. but my dogs…. I get on the ground with them and snuggle. It always helps me.

    Can I just say I love you, love your blog & love your jewelry. You should be woman of the year!!

  2. Gina says:

    A nice glass of wine and a steamy hot bubble bath – make it seem a little a easier to cope with !!!

  3. Bubble bath, yummy candles, and quiet.

  4. Cheryl Sims says:

    I am so sorry that you are going through such a rough time, but glad to read about what helps keep your stress level down. They all sound good to me. Please know that your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
    Cheryl Sims

  5. Jennifer says:

    Getting outdoors always helps me reduce stress. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

  6. Jessica says:

    The Greeks believed that music was an ancient healer and I gotta say I can see why. Listening to music, writing music, and playing music helps me. So much. Sorry about the stress in your life. Thanks for pointing out beauty in the midst of it all.

  7. Emily says:

    Laughter is the only way I can make it through stressful times. Whether it’s my favorite funny uncle or a funny movie or even a few minutes of Bill Cosby’s “Parenthood” routine, I seek out opportunities to laugh whenever something has me at my wits’ end. It always does me a world of good.

    You’re in my prayers, Lisa.

  8. Southern Gal says:

    A good book to lose myself in along with a warm blanket. I love hot chocolate, too, but need to get away from the sweet drinks. :)

    Still praying for your sweet boy and your whole family.

  9. Melody says:

    I just wrote about this very thing on my blog here:

  10. Anne says:

    Stress seems so far off my world right now after staying in bed for hours and days and weeks after surgery (hope all will turn out fine with your boy) but I guess as soon as I am back to life it will hit me hard again.
    so here’s what I always forget / don’t do properly when stressed but which is a great stress-killer:
    BREATHING! slowly in and out. sounds damn easy but isn’t. but if you focus on it when you are stressed and try getting it in order again, you get loads of your energy back, promise! :)

  11. paige says:

    hoping you find some peace & relaxation!
    i love a date with my hubby and a good run with really loud music playing in my ears
    of course
    a clear schedule for the week ahead!

    did i already say this?
    congrats on artful blogging. i loved learning more about you

  12. Jessica says:

    I find that silence is really helpful for me, actually – or quietness, in terms of mental quietness and creating that space for reflection because perspective usually comes from reflection, and that helps me feel grateful and to see the broader picture and forget about the small points that stress me out. Otherwise, anything meditative that has a rhythmic and repetitive action is helpful – knitting, sewing, cooking, walking/running … And, most recently, I’ve found it helpful to question my assumptions of just how high a standard I set on something, or how much I think that others expect of me. Often there is a mismatch between my perception and other people’s perceptions, and that gap is what drives a lot of my stress.

  13. Kathy says:

    A good walk alone or with our faithful dog. Regardless of the weather, it provides me with the peace I need to pray and let go of my fears/concerns. We have a son with disabilities and I truly do understand and get what you are saying. I enjoy your blog very much and hope to decide which piece of jewelry will be my first, soon! Anyway, bless you this next week.

  14. Muffin says:

    some how, it’s comforting to know that other people have stress too.. :) Thanks for listing up those things that makes it easier for you, I shall remember to do more of those – especially the first one. :)
    When I’m stressed I just need to tell myself that things are going to be ok and that this too shall pass. As a christian I believe that nothing comes in my path that I can’t handle, and that it all is a part of making me who I am. I hope the times ahead will be less stressfull for you and that things work out with your kid. :)
    All the best for the last hours of the weekend.

  15. Suzanne says:

    Being quiet and knowing that God is in control. That everything works for the good. I too am sorry you are going through such a stressful time. You have a beautiful spirit and I pray that everything will be fine for you and your sweet boy. Try and see the positive things in every situation.

  16. Holly Presgrave says:

    I turn to my husband, we drive 8 minutes to the beach and watch the ocean. Seeing such a powerful force makes everything seem so small. I am so sorry for your stress….I know the pain and suffering a mother endures with a sick child. God is great and he will provide shelter for you!
    Holly P aka Hunter’s Mom

  17. tammycirceo says:

    My stress is not much compared to yours, but I must say that I consistently struggle to handle it well! Slowing down, creating ‘white space’ in my days, list making, and focusing on the highest priority helps me move forward. I hope your little gets to feeling better soon.

  18. Vogtenberger says:

    The friends, the family, the tea, tricot, embroidery, laugh (ho yes even if it is difficult to find!) my cures in the stress linked to the accompaniment of an expensive and ill person are! Good courage Lisa! Courage to all family! Positive thoughts to all!

  19. Paige says:

    When I feel stressed, I love to “un-plug” and spend some time journaling and praying. I love taking “me” time and refocusing my energy and thought on things that calm and soothe me.

  20. Liz says:

    hi lisa ^-^:

    it’s so nice to meet you and to be visiting your blog for the first time. i found you through keely (Mann Land 5) just now.

    i am so sorry you are feeling stressed these days. your list of stress relievers sound very comforting. i think going out for a walk, reading (maybe) and prayer are also good forms to release stresses of life.

    i am not sure the magnitude of your child’s illness, but i am sure hoping and praying that he gets well very soon.

    by looking at your photos on here, you all seem like a very loving family and wish you all but the best.

    i also wanna let you know you are an amazing artist. i love your pieces of jewelry.


    we also, so far, have two things in common…i also have a very special “STEVE” in my life and he loved CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES, in fact anything chocolate, lol.

    sending you warm hugs and heartfelt prayers for your little one, you and your family.


  21. dawn says:

    I vent to my husband. I try to grab some quiet. I make lists in the notebook I carry around with me (preferably with a colored pen). I read Psalms. I call my mother. I listen to hopeful music. Deep breaths. Prayer.

    hang in there, Lisa. I think you are great.

  22. Tiffany says:

    Exercise, reading, writing and singing. Those are all ways that help me deal with stress. Praying for you today Lisa.

  23. gina says:

    Alas, not as good at it as you seem to be! I tend to sleep more, and maybe that’s a good thing. I also like to catch up on letter writing, which is therepeutic. I just try to keep moving thru those stressful times, knowing that they will pass sooner…or later.

  24. Denise C. says:

    I am not very good at managing stress. I have however taken up running (though not the last 2 days after being hit with 34.5″ of snow!) I find that running helps clear my mind. I am by myself and I cherish it. :)

  25. shannon stinson says:

    on a couch with a therapist! : ) seriously…..i think (i hope) it’s gonna work!

  26. Tonya says:

    some of my best stress-busters include:
    cranking up some praise & worship music
    talking it out w/my closest girlfriends
    being alone in my home

    you’re in my prayers girl!

  27. Mary Beth says:

    Mine are so similar to yours, Lisa. I love to organize my thoughts and make lists and I love the “warmth” things as well. Also, getting out into nature and out of the house and trying to keep picked up inside the house goes a long way towards making me feel more in control and on top of things.

  28. Ashley says:

    Yoga! I do lots of yoga. It helps me get a little time to myself, allows me physical exercise, and helps me to practice quieting my mind. It really helps to destress me in a major way. I hope that everything comes into a place of calm for you soon.

  29. Chantelle says:

    I watch mindless tv to “de-stress” with a cup of tea after my daughter has gone to bed. I know i will be uninterrupted and I don’t have to think when i watch shows like “the real housewives of new jersery”. It makes me thankful i don’t have their lives… my life seems pretty amazing compared to their “living in excess” lifestyle.

  30. Elizabeth says:

    I too need silence… and saying the name of Jesus many times until I calm down… my small prayers for your family!

  31. Whitney Hill says:

    PRAYER – He is the ultimate healer. After that, silence, a book or magazine, coffee with a friend, laughter – the kind that makes your cheeks hurt (I was lucky enough to enjoy that today) 😉 and creating.

    Sorry you are feeling the stress – everyone has a fair amount of stress, but it’s no fun when you start to really feel it physically. Doctor’s appointments do it for me, too – we have to go quite often for one of our boys and it is draining – in every sense of the word. Thinking of you…

  32. Marilyn says:

    Make sure you have some quiet time before bed each night…a glass of wine…a hot bath…read a book…read your Bible…whatever it takes. Then, hop into bed and begin to mentally list everything that is right and good…giving thanks all the while. A grateful heart will do wonders for a good night’s sleep. Don’t worry about tomorrow…tomorrow will take care of itself.

  33. Susan says:

    I manage my stress by girl time, crafting and time alone. Hope tomorrow if a better day. Sometimes just telling myself that if I can just get thru today..tomorrow will be a better day and I am usually right. Keep the faith! All will be well.

  34. Jenn says:

    I journal, repeat mantras to myself like “Faith over Fear” and “I will make it through this day”, talk to a good friend, my husband or my mom, have a cup of tea, chill out in PJs and watch movies or TV, take a walk alone with music….

    Take care, Lisa!

  35. Trina Walker says:

    Lisa, I hope your weekend away helped alleviate some of your stress. That is what does it for me. I have to take time away and time out to help me manage my stress. Working out helps me too. Keeping the faith and knowing that the next day is a new one helps me cope through it all too.

  36. mandy snow says:

    mmm…i don’t manage it sometimes… ends in huge headaches…but, a coffee with a friend is my best medicine!!!…i also clean for the end result…a clean house to sit and have a quiet coffee whilst perusing a new magazine….i know wh you are going through…its very hard…happy thoughts going your way from me across the seas…xxx

  37. Amanda Jean Inez says:

    I manage stress by talking to friends, drinking tea, afternoon naps with the sunlight streaming through the windows.

  38. faith says:

    Valarian root tea. When I had breast cancer and couldn’t sleep at night, I would have a cup of this tea.
    You can get it at most health food stores. It’s worth a try. You can google it to read more about it.
    Hope you and David feel better.

  39. clare says:

    I file my thoughts away in my pocket & only get them out when I really need to.

    A very wise friend told me this a few years ago when I was having trouble coming to terms with my daughters disabilities & I can honeslty say this is the best advice I have ever been given & the one I would always pass on to others.

  40. Lisa says:

    Prayer and resting in the promises God has given us even when I don’t “feel” Him at the moment.

  41. Being with people who make me happy and don’t add to the stress and negativity. Laughter, a good book or movie, sometimes good ol’ fashion distraction really helps to reset the battery.

  42. By letting go of the things that “others” can do and concentrating on what only “I” can do. For me, I’ve found that the stress sensation is a warning to me to possibly re-evaluate what I am doing and slow down. It’s hard, but I try to listen to avoid a crash! :)

  43. Noelle White says:

    I go for a run and get it all out of my system!!! You and your beautiful family are always in my thoughts…..

  44. Lisa!

    Yesterday I was flipping through February’s issue of InStyle. I came across a piece of jewelly and thought to myself, “That looks like something Lisa Leonard would make.” I took a closer look, and sure enough it was! InStyle! WoW! You must be excited about that!!!

    Stress – venting to my husband, a good cry, journalling, writing and a bubble bath.


  45. natalie says:

    YOGA! it will change your life. I promise.

  46. Brandi says:

    You are just SUPER cute!! I love reading your blog…….we could be sisters! And in fact, I wish we were : )

  47. Claire says:

    Prayer, reading my Bible and cleaning.

  48. Carol Wayne says:

    Exercise with some good music….get you heart pumping and get sweaty…the best is a run or a fast walk….just be outside and get that heart rate up.

    Sending you love and prayers.

  49. Miaja says:

    Just stumbled across your website and blog and fell in love. While I was reading, my 14 year old daughter walked in with her shaved head. She is recovering from brain surgery almost 3 weeks ago. I have been through the CT scans, the doctors appointments, the frustrations and I feel your pain. It is amazing how fast children recover-I think she is recovering faster than I am. Although she is doing well (very well actually) I still find myself in tears at what this life has brought to her. Anyway, just my running thoughts as I read your beautiful blog! Thank you for sharing.

  50. Sarah says:

    I’m sorry you are feeling so stressed, but not surprised: You have a lot on your plate right now. The way I manage stress is to go running. I get up very VERY early in the morning to meet a group of girlfriends for runs four times per week. Although it’s hard to drag myself out of bed in the morning, the runs and the talks we have while running are a great way to start the day — both mental and physical therapy. We work through a lot of problems during the runs, have fun, laugh, and think aloud about the day ahead. It’s a true release. Plus, most days I get back into the house when it’s still quiet, before everyone else is up for school/work, and I think the quiet does me some good, too. It’s worth getting up early to head into my work day with a clear head and with tired (in a good way) muscles. Good luck with your current situation. I’m pulling for you and your family.

  51. Barbara says:

    So many comments… do you still follow them…(?)
    A little answer to such an important question:
    I pray and try to really loose my sorrows to God. Even when I don`t feel anything.
    Playing music or listening.
    Stamping, doing some digital art, journaling, painting or sewing helps me to stay on the creativ side of life and allows me to share something with others (blog, little presents)…
    Asking my husband or children for a hug or for verbal comfort.
    Thanks for sharing honestly.
    You are not alone.
    You make a difference – first of all in the life of your sons and your husband!
    Hugs from Barbara – Germany

  52. One of the ways I deal with stress after a long day……I put on some good thumping techno dance music and the girls and I dance in the play room. We turn the music up loud and just goof off with our dance moves. They love it!!!

  53. Amanda says:

    Breathe, step back, slowly and deliberately count your blessings like a mantra. (Love the image of the Rose of Sharon seed pod.)

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