The DeMarco Project Speaks
“Self Care” – A way to reduce stress
By Kim J. Clark
Aka Expanding Love
Before we get into the topic of this article, I would like to personally thank all of our “Angel”
supporters that contributed to making our first fund raiser a successful event. As a result of your
generosity, we have been able to provide food, household items and are positioned to assist with
rent for a veteran who needed a “hand up” during a difficult time. On behalf of The DeMarco
Project, THANK YOU!!
In this article, the intent is to share some of the tools I use to help reduce stress. Sometimes, it is
easy to get off track. In my desire to “fill in the gap,” so to speak, it has been pointed out, that I
tend to put myself last on my list of priorities. To those that care enough to point this out, I say,
“Thank you.” Lost in the details of taking care of other, it is easy to forget to take care of myself.
Interestingly enough, when I practice my “Big Four” people wonder how I’m able to smile, show
up and accomplish goals.
My “Big Four” keeps me “pointed” in a positive direction. Gratitude is my number one stress
reducer. As I’m awakening, gratitude statements are said. Such as, “Thank you for awakening
me this day. That you for the roof over my head, Thank you for…” Then I stretch and relax.
Prior to the loss of my son, this was a daily practice. For a while, I stopped doing this. I was
angry, depressed, and hurt. Mad at God… But love kept showing up in my life… kind words,
hugs, statements of encouragement. I chose not to join him, but to honor his choice and the
choice all military service people make. My focus changed from feeling sorry for myself, to
wanting to be a voice for veterans in pain. For this transition, I am very grateful.
The next tool is prayer. For me, most of the time it is just a prayer for peace… peace in my
heart… my mind… my spirit and peace for the world. The third tool is meditation; sitting in
silence; focusing on the breath to bring calm into my being. Stated in a very simplified way, my
understanding is this, prayer is when we talk to the Creator. Meditation is when we listen for
Be clear, this is not a conversation about religion. This writer’s position is one of respect for each
person’s religious and or spiritual belief. However, it has been proven scientifically, that prayer
and meditation aid in the healing process.
My least favorite of the “Big Four” is exercise. It requires effort and work! Try to be depressed
or have a pity party while exercising. Impossible! This writer has found exercise is a very useful
tool to have in her Self Care toolkit
DeMarco made his transition on August 15, 2015. This mom is able to keep moving forward by
using the “Big Four.” If you are dealing with stress as a result of an event that has occurred in
your life or the life of a loved one, I invite you to use the “Big Four.” We, at The DeMarco
Project are developing healing tools and techniques such as these to help move our clients from
stress to a place of peace.
Kim is the mother of a veteran who loved his country and was willing to lay his life down for the
freedoms he believed in. She is the Founder and CEO of The DeMarco Project, Non-profit
organization. Her life’s mission it to save veteran lives and improve the quality of life for
traumatized military service persons. If you would like to support her in the work, donations are
welcome. Visit the website: www.TheDeMarcoProject.org.