We had a decent little earthquake here last week in the Bay Area. I was standing in the kitchen, drinking a glass of water, trying to decide whether to dry the dishes or to let them sit overnight in the rack. Next thing I knew, I'm off-balance, trying to reach the counter, stay on my feet, and not drop the glass in my hand. Behind me, something fell from the top of the refrigerator. I heard the cats' claws scrabbling across the wood floors in the living room. And then . . . then it was over.
It didn't last long, maybe five seconds, but the side-to-side movement of the quake made it difficult to stand up. I've felt vibrations before, rumbling and shuddering and shaking, or hard vertical jolts, but I've never lost my balance. I went looking for the cats, and my heart thudded loudly for a good ten minutes afterward. I felt a little too alert for my own good.
The next day at work, everyone talked about where they'd been and how they felt during the quake, comparing intensities and releasing the worry a bit. Turned out, a lot of us had raced online to find the epicenter and magnitude. And many people went online to buy an emergency kit. The shock of the quake and that feeling of profound vulnerability reminded us how unprepared we are for a quake requiring more than 6 or 7 seconds of quick reflexes.
This week, I'll be gathering different kinds of tips and information for managing acute or chronic stress. I encourage you to try some of the techniques, see what works, talk about it here, notice how you're feeling, and maybe consider this an opportunity to pull together an emergency stress kit. That way, you'll be better prepared when shaken or thrown off balance, or when your world trembles a little.
Let's start by getting a baseline reading, ladies. How stressed are you? To take the poll, you'll need to click
here, follow the instructions, add up your score and find your choice/answer below.