Last week’s post:
2. Thinning out the list
3. Valerian root
This week’s post:
5. Lavender stuff (photo from BathAndBodyWorks.com). This is similar to the superfoods thing: I have FAITH IN THE RELAXING POWERS OF LAVENDER, and so even if it’s NOT working, it works because it makes me feel like I’m DOING something, I’m FIXING it. Plus, anything that instructs me to inhale deeply is going to help.
6. Doing each thing in the right time frame (photo from Amazon.com). If I write when there are kids around, it takes me about five times as long to do the same amount of work as if I write when there are no kids around—and as I’m taking five times as long, I’m also snapping and resenting and feeling awful. So it can’t/doesn’t always work out this way, but I try to organize things as much as possible so that I can do each task at the right time for that task: writing when the kids are in school or otherwise occupied; cleaning when a child is following me around chatting; errands when I have to be out anyway; etc. This system can also be soothing when I’m feeling like my To Do list is urgent and lengthy: as each task presents itself to my mind, I can think, “Yes, and that’s scheduled for right after I take Henry to kindergarten,” or whatever.
(If “Do things at the best time to do them” is a duh concept to you, I’ll hope you’ll be gentle: it’s only recently that I noticed it, and I still have to actively work to remember it. I keep finding myself near tears because I can’t! get! anything! DONE!!!—and then realizing it’s because I’ve got the tasks/times lined up wrong: I’m trying to write an email when a child wants attention, or I’m trying to do an errand when I could be by myself in the house.)
7. At least half an hour before bed of not doing anything that needs to be done. This is one I’ve heard a million times but have trouble implementing: pretty often it happens that I get all caught up in something and then suddenly realize it’s bedtime. But I’m trying to do better on this, because if I can instead spend the last half hour reading a book, doing puzzles, or playing solitaire, I feel so much better: so much less mind-spinning when I’m trying to sleep, and so much less of that horrible, cyclical, “And now I go to sleep and IT ALL BEGINS AGAIN IN THE MORNING” feeling.
7. Shopping at Target (photo from target.com). I find this very soothing, almost meditative: following my same paths through the store, while at the same time checking things off my to-do list (prescription ran out, spinach ran out, the children broke the sieve).
8. Books that are interesting, but not TOO interesting (photo from Amazon.com). When I’m feeling low and bluesy, I want a very distracting and absorbing book: a Stephen King, maybe. But if I’m feeling stressed, an interesting book makes me feel like I’ve got to get back to it, and makes my workload feel all the more burdensome because it’s preventing me from reading. But a book can be soothing if it’s the right level of distracting: just right for the half an hour before bed, but doesn’t sit there making me wish I were reading it instead of what I actually have to do.
There. What are your best stress-managing techniques? I could use more options in the rotation.