Monday, October 17, 2011

Sanity Saving Monday Tip: Stress Relief 101

I have a problem with stress. I don't usually notice that I'm stressed until it's to an extremely severe level, like last week. I was feeling so stressed that I was starting to get snippy with everyone around me--including John! Poor guy. Yes he's two and obviously knows how to cause a few grey hairs, but that doesn't mean I can lose my cool with him. Discipline should NEVER come from an anger, but from love and a desire to correct behavior in a Christ-like way. I could talk about discipline all day but let's get back on subject --stress relief.

What's causes stress? My stress comes from having too much "stuff" going on. Projects that build up over time from either procrastination on my part or from several deadlines being thrown at me all at once. I like order in my life and when things get hectic, it's hard for me to know how to deal with that sometimes.

This week I had deadlines with my day job, deadlines with my side job, school work to do, and for some reason my house seemed to get in extreme disarray over the course of two days. When I'm busy and not at home as much as I'd like, my house goes to sh....well, you know.

So what's the solution? Quit my job? Hire a cleaning lady? Yeah, right. As much as I'd like to, that's not feasible for my family. Here's how to, as we like to say in my house, "slow your roll" when things get kinda crazy. P.S.....urban dictionary rocks.

1. Draw out a time line to accomplish your goal. I had a story due on Saturday for the newspaper, and I knew I wanted to spend at least some of Saturday doing fun things with family. So when I got my story assignment Thursday, I wrote out a little time line that looked sorta like this:

Thursday evening after dinner and when John's in bed: Research online for story
Friday afternoon after work: Make at least two contact phone calls for story
Saturday morning when John's playing at Mom's house: make rest of contact calls, sit down and write story, submit story by 12:30 so I can go to lunch with family.

So I simply broke up all the work that needed to go into that certain deadline so that everything wouldn't all be left for Saturday right before the story was due to my editor. That made Saturday morning run smoothly so I could reach my personal goal: Spending lunch with  my family. Basically once you get set time lines for your work stuff you can then do the things you REALLY want to do. Does that make sense? By accomplishing your "need to" deadlines in a timely manner you can then do the fun stuff.

2. Ask for help. You need a support system. Someone who is there for you when you need help getting things done. Don't ALWAYS try to do everything yourself. I don't care how strong you are, you'll eventually get way too stressed. My husband and my mom are two of my best supporters. They know my dreams and goals and know that everything I do is for a better life for me and my family.

At the beginning of the week, I didn't utilize my support system. I knew I had all these deadlines coming up and didn't share with anyone that I needed help. I wanted to have a perfect house and dinner on the table every night and all my homework and studying finished...all done through my own power. First off, pray for God to help you get things done. Tell Him your schedule, and give Him your anxieties. You'll instantly feel refreshed and focused. Next, tell someone in your support system that you're stressing. Towards the end of the week, I knew I needed to ask for help so I could get everything finished. I called my Mom and asked if she could watch John Saturday morning for a couple hours so I could do some housework and finish my story. I also apologized to Daniel for being so stressed and not coming to him for help. He stepped in and helped with some of the housework so I would have more time for my story. He also sent me flowers, which was so sweet and much appreciated :) Sometimes husbands know just how to make your day better!

Pretty fall colors!

3. Don't bite off more than you can chew. JUST SAY NO THANK YOU! I know we all have this Wonder Woman mentality that we can be all that everyone needs. Well, you just can't, ok? So get that out of your head right now. That voice in the back of your mind that says "oh man, I don't really want to do this but I guess I'll say yes because I'll look like a jerk if I don't" AHEM.....just say no thank you. Listen to that voice. Actually, if you say no to people every once in awhile, they'll respect you more in the end. Don't believe me? Read this book.

There's three little tips that work for me when I'm stressed, but might not necessarily work for everyone. Sometimes a nice hot bubble bath and a glass of wine can calm even the most stressed of ladies. Just slow your roll, woman!

What are some things that you do when you know you have a stressful week coming up? Please share! Have a good Monday, friends!

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