Friday, June 6, 2014

Focus on Wellness

I keep myself busy. I always have. Growing up, my sisters and I cultivated a standard of over-achievement that lingers to this day.

On the plus side of this emotional climate, I find that I am able to do a lot of projects and engage in more hobbies. But more isn't always better, as they say. The stress of constant busyness is taxing. So I've been busy over here devising a scheme to trick myself into relaxing.

Creating peace and relaxation in my life is my next big project. And like any major project, it comes complete with its own Pinterest board. If I make this into a project to be busy with, then relaxing will finally make my to do list and then I'll start to chill out. If things go according to plan, I might even relax enough during these scheduled times that my to do lists will start shrinking, leaving more time for relaxation.

Does it sound like relaxing as an item on a to-do list will be inherently un-relaxing? Well, yes perhaps that is true. The problem is, I'm always planning to relax just right after I get this next thing done. And of course the process of getting the next thing done reminds me that I have about ten other things to do real quick. So if it is the main part of what I'm trying to do, maybe I'll achieve it.

The stress experience for me isn't just about overt feelings of being "stressed out." In fact, I feed on stress and pressure. It's a high that I use to create, or brainstorm, or go on a cleaning rampage. So what has been making me realize how much stress I'm under and that it's too much? My body.

It's been much harder to recover from my pregnancy and birth experience with Bee than it was with Chobie. My energy levels aren't where they were last time around, and I have more anxiety, indigestion, and a whole host of other distressing symptoms that come and go. I've been to the doctors and they assure me nothing is really wrong. But stress alone contributes to all manner of issues, as our friends at the Heart Math Institute have illustrated in this little infographic:

So I'm concluding that it is all stemming from the stress of wanting, and trying to do too much.

Anybody else here with me?

I know that this is kind of common with all of the social pressure to be a super mom. And sometimes I think that blogging mamas, or really any bloggers, especially bloggers with a big following, really feel this pressure, since we're using our lives and activities as the content of our creative blogging endeavors.

The balance here is tricky because while I tend to try to overdo it, the majority of the things I'm doing are all things that I love and that feed me energetically speaking. So part of the fun of my Make Peace and De-stress project will be finding this balance. Plus, I'm really looking forward little wellness indulgences like making myself a little Sunday Spa Day (at home spa anyway, since we all know I'm too cheap to go to a real one).

And there is a lot that I've already started doing that is making me feel more relaxed:
  • prioritizing my yoga practice and adding more breath work and meditation (instead of skipping it or crusing through it like I'm often tempted to do when I'm busy, which is to say: all the time)
  • sighing, it's simple but it really helps
  • prioritizing sleep
  • consciously approaching the little people's tantrums with calmness instead of letting myself get flustered in the moment. This one alone has been really huge for me, even though it seems obvious. Of course, I mean to always be calm with my kids, but when I'm busy especially making dinner or some other kind of time senstive project, it's too easy to begin the interaction feeling flustered.
What do you do to relieve stress?

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