My stress levels have been absolutely next level the last handful of months. And just when I think it can’t get worse, it seems to compound! When I think about it, I picture a person running from a tidal wave in a movie or something. I just know I gotta keep moving or I’m toast! Of course this is all assuming you can’t do anything to fix your situation, if you can — do that. For me I know it will be stressful until our house is done and Russ starts working again. It just is what it is! I wanted to share what is keeping me sane lately and won’t beg, but seriously, HELP! Would love to know what works for you guys!!
I write everything last thing down. Things that reside only in my brain go there to die. It just causes problems so I have learned that writing it down is my insurance. I have a week at a glance pad (Thimblepress makes my favorite!) and a month at a glance. I have alarms set for every school pick-up time including early-outs. If I have phone calls or any other events bound by a time, I set them all each morning while I lie in bed. If things come up after that point and I am home I tell Alexa to remind me to do things whenever else. When the pasta is done cooking, when to switch the laundry.
I work out at 6 am. Because I know I can and nothing gets in the way.
I clean my house on a zone schedule. I talked about this several years ago here. The zones change often but I have found it works for me! I know I have more motivation and energy on Mondays so those are a bigger cleaning day – the whole kitchen and main floors. Saturdays are the boys’ rooms and bathrooms because that is what their weekly chores are so I help them and focus on those things. In the middle days I have a day I rotate things like cleaning the fridge, vacuuming the stairs, etc. Laundry is my nemesis and my very last priority so often times Russ does it. It’s not ideal and I actually hate his method, but you will never hear me complain (at least to him! Ha!) He washes basically every item we own over the span of the weekend and then folds it all at once. I couldn’t be more grateful for this on the weeks I need it.
I work during nap time and at night. I keep up my eye on important things throughout the day, but try not to really settle into anything major until the kids are asleep or occupied. Luckily my older boys are really independent and Raleigh entertains himself pretty well. But I still feel guilty and this is the element I have to really have to give myself grace for. I won’t always feel so spread thin. Their mom won’t always be so crazed.
- It’s not forever. I tell myself this all the time. Don’t set fire to your life, your obligations, your relationships during high-stress times. Just know it will get better and take…
- J.O.B. Just one bite. If I think about next week or next month I want to shrivel. I look at my block of time – say from now until Kindergarten pick up. I look at my list and pick a job that fits in that block of time and do that. One bite at a time.
- That list has things that need to happen over the span of the week (like planning my lesson for church) that I can plug in and things that need to happen that day (like a deadline for work.) Once I have that day’s items accounted for in my day’s schedule than I know where I can fit other weekly things in.
- Be okay that things WILL GET DONE. It might not be right now, but it will be soon. I walk passed sticky cabinets and know that come Monday those babies will be shining. And it’s okay that it’s not today.
- Exercise: I am in such better spirits on days I work out, it’s so important to me and I’m sure my family can feel the difference. It’s not all kinds of exercise, it’s very specific kinds, so I only do those. Being sore and stiff because of something that doesn’t give me other benefits seems like a misuse of time. At least right now!
- Vitamins: I take a combination dissolvable B Vitamin (for energy), Vitamin D, the symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency are what got me started on it: tiredness, aches, pains, a general sense of not feeling well, muscle pain or stress fractures. It’s also the vitamin you get from sun exposure. Fish Oil (for brain and memory function) and Biotin (for hair and nails.)
- I’ve mentioned before I use CBD oil at night before I go to bed, helps me sleep so much better, but it does leave me tired in the morning. So I save that for really rough days and then take a Cortisol Blocker every day. Cortisol causes so many problems for me including belly fat so managing that is vital. Copaiba oil is actually really great, too. I have been surprised by how much I love it. I got it from Jenna @dailyessentialco.
- Breathing techniques — I’ve found that I shrug my shoulders and hold my breath when I am stressed. So I get tension headaches and am probably killing brain cells, too. Cool! I try really hard to focus on breathing in for 3 out for 4 seconds, or 6 + 7 if you can handle that. Instantly calms.
- Sleep. Someone is gonna hate me for this but I drink caffeine sparingly, like once a month or less. Caffeine exacerbates the symptoms of stress for me. It just makes it worse. If my body is dragging I give it what it wants: a break. I put a show on for my kids when the baby is napping and I go lay down. If I know I can’t make that happen I’ll drink half a can of something like Bai Bubbles. And still be up until 1 am. I make sleep a priority and go to bed at 9 pm if that’s what it takes. #lightweight
- Have something to look forward to. I know it’s unwise to live in the future, and I try not to do that. I really want to enjoy life with my family and my work no matter what. I’ve just found that having something I am really looking forward to each week helps me keep pushing forward. It could be lunch with friends, a movie date with Russ, a Sunday nap, or tickets to Hamilton (tonight!) When things feel really overwhelming I can have a focal point in the future that helps me.
Can’t wait to hear all your tips!! I know this comment section is super annoying to fill out, so I am collecting ideas on today’s Instagram post if that’s easier!! xoxo