Sunday, March 13, 2011

Stress Less

Seems I’ve been bombarded lately with words about STRESS.  Two weeks ago, we had an in-service at work about stress management.  There was a special guest last week at my monthly Special Needs parent group who talked about how to have less stress in your life.  And this weekend I attended a conference where one of the workshops I was put into “randomly” was on stress.  Someone is trying to tell me something here.  I’m just too stressed to get the message.

So, in an effort to be healthier, live longer, and take better care of my family, I am committing myself to de-stressing my life.  Starting….now.  Here are the steps I will take to make this happen.  And since I am great at saying these things, and bad at actually carrying through on them, all of you can hold me accountable.  Just don’t push too hard…I might punch you.

Seven Things I Will Do To De-Stress My Life:

1.                   Cut out caffeine.  No, really, I will.  In my 20’s I never touched the stuff.  Then I had kids and couldn’t get through the day-after-the-sleepless-night without a little boost.  Then it required a big boost.  And now I can’t live without this drug of mine.  So I know the only way I will succeed is cold turkey.  WARNING to those around me:  Giving up caffeine is likely to cause more stress before it relieves it.  So I will be a little cranky for the next, oh, two weeks.
2.                 Eat more fruits and vegetables, and less leftover chicken nuggets and pb & j crusts.  I used to eat fruits and veggies at every single meal.  I’m not sure when I got away from that, but I realized the other day that I had not eaten a single one for two days!  I’ve gotten in the habit of skipping breakfast, eating junk for lunch, and picking off the kids’ plates after dinner.  Besides less stress, I’ll have less inches around my waist.  Bonus!
3.                 Say NO to people more.  As in, NO, I won’t do one more thing at church.  And, NO, I won’t volunteer for anything at Squirrel’s school.  And, NO, I don’t have time to cook a meal for that new mom.  And, NO, I can’t be on that committee, no matter how important the cause.  I just don’t have any more energy to say YES to anyone asking me to do anything. 
4.                 Stop feeling guilty.  For everything.  I waste too much energy beating myself up for what I can’t do.  Time to focus on what I can do.  Because, gosh darnit, I do a lot of things, and I do them well!
5.                 Sleep more than 5 hours a night.  And since refusing to get up and take the kids to school and go to work will get me into trouble, I guess this means I need to start making myself go to bed before the clock strikes midnight.
6.                 Exercise.  I hate this one.  I am not one of those people who enjoys exercising.  Call me lazy, but I don’t want to move.  I’d rather sit on the couch and watch tv, or lay around and read a book.  Preferably with a bag of chips and a Pepsi.  But I really do feel better when I exercise.  And let’s face it…Munchkin’s not getting any smaller, so I better bulk up so I can continue carrying him around in meltdown mode.  ‘Cause I don’t see that little problem stopping any time soon.
7.                 Take care of me.  Get a massage, get a haircut, get a new pair of jeans.  You know, all those things I haven’t done yet this year.  Or maybe not last year either, if I’m honest.  And while I’m at it, I’m gonna go on a date with my husband.  And start working on my crafty stuff again.  I mean, with all the things I’m saying NO to, I should have time to do something for me, right?

So wish me luck (especially with number 1!), and maybe even consider joining me.  Because if you are a mom, then you probably need to take a few of these steps yourself.  After all, and as I've heard three different times this month already, stress will literally kill you.  And we need to be around for a long time still to take care of our families.  After all, we know they couldn’t survive without us.  Right?

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