Texting vs. Talking

God gave us tongues and ears to speak and hear, and skin and arms to touch and hug. When we stay away from other people, we aren’t able to hug them and give and/or get the psychological comfort that human touch can give. And when we stop talking to one another, we remove the sound of the human voice. This is why solitary confinement is so hard on many of us.

There is great comfort in the sound of another human’s voice. If you can’t go see your friend or relative, then call them on the phone. Better yet, Skype them so they can see you talk to them. Don’t send a text message. Especially if they are isolated, they need to hear a voice, even if you say the same thing you would have texted. The human voice has a huge range of inflection to it. You can say, “I love you,” in many ways, giving those simple words many meanings, even being sarcastic when said. Those meanings do not come across in the printed word of a text message. People need to HEAR the meaning, along with the words.

When I’m working I turn on talk radio. I can listen when I want to and not listen when I’m thinking about other things. But I can listen to talk radio a lot longer than I can listen to just music, as much as I love music. The radio commentators make me laugh and smile, and sometimes get me angry at an injustice done, or sad for someone else. I can read the same information, but reading the words usually doesn’t evoke the same kinds of feelings. So instead of just texting, use your phone to call, especially someone who you know is all alone during this time.

Do your part for mental health, which can be harder on people than poor physical health. Let them hear the sound of your voice, encouraging them onward. Reading a good story will also help. Send your friends a copy of a book you love.

Turnagain Love was the first book I had published. I wanted a story that had humor, pets, and a situation that people found funny. It makes an ideal read for someone who wants a gentle story that is rated PG. Send this to an elderly relative to give her a spot of cheer. This is also out in a print edition with large type.

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The Top 5 Most Stressful Experiences: A Lesson from a Pup

Experts tell us that the Top Five Most Stressful times in life are:

  1. Death of a loved one
  2. Divorce
  3. Moving
  4. Major illness
  5. Job loss

And any combination of the five, or added stress from another source, can only make matters worse.

476384_4161496656214_67194810_oApparently, not only humans recognize that relocation is traumatic. (It’s #3!) My daughter has a pug in her menagerie. When I arrived at her new house to help her unpack, she (my daughter, not the pug) looked a little disoriented but was putting up a brave effort. It was the little dog that reminded us of how we humans felt. Poor little fellow was hyperventilating big time.

Joe’s big soulful pug eyes were bulging with terror, and he kept staggering around in circles, trying to catch his breath. It wasn’t until we sat down with him in the middle of the empty room (furniture hadn’t yet arrived) that he slowly calmed down, sprawled on the carpet beside us and, apparently, began to accept the idea that this was his new home.

The humans took a little longer to adjust. What had been planned as an easy, one-day move was quickly reformulated as a one-week move. Truck rentals were extended. Unpacking and cleaning rescheduled on a more realistic time frame. Slowly, blood pressures lowered.

Sometimes human beings need to take a lesson from our animal friends. Sudden changes can send us into a panic. Our bodies and emotions overload. We need to make fewer demands on ourselves during these times and just…take it easy.

Granted, there is a lot in life that we can’t control. Death, the loss of love or deteriorating health or even keeping a job–are all too often the challenges we face with the most difficulty. But if there is a way we can give ourselves a little breathing room, the time and patience to recover, it can help.

When life gets complicated and comes at us in a way that knocks the wind out of us, that isn’t the time to put yourself on a schedule and demand that we “get over it” and move on. Whether mourning a loved one, acclimating to a new home, healing after being ill, or finding a new job–we sometimes need to just sit still and let the newness of the experience sink in. We have to learn to breathe again, to trust ourselves and the future. Yes, things will be different from now on. But we definitely will be okay. Right, Joe?

Your friend, Kathryn

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I guess stress is one reason I love to write fiction. Escaping into a story helps me take life a little less seriously, or at least understand that others have faced challenges just as difficult as my own. If you want to share my escape plan and chill out with me someday, you might want to check out one of my novels. Here’s one of my favorites.