Wednesday, September 7, 2011

First Day of School... and Dealing With Stress

Well, the year is off and running. The school year that is. Seems like my life revolves around three calendars... The traditional year, the homestead year, and the homeschool year. It can be quite the juggling act, to say the least. And this time of year is almost as stressful as in the spring when we're planting and wrapping up school.

In the first week of September, we have two birthdays, school starting, a fall garden that STILL needs some items planted, projects I'm trying to finish, routines to re-establish, committees starting up, fall Bible Study, 4H, swim team, and to top it off, I seem to have allergies every year around this time. Is it any wonder I start hyperventilating? I'm not kidding. One year, I hyperventilated for a week and ended up in the ER. At least now I know what it is and what causes it... stress.

I was so thankful today that I was able to quite literally "catch my breath" when I went out to hang the laundry on the line. I never knew a simple act of home keeping could be so therapeutic. Besides being nearly perfect weather, I got a chance to enjoy the sunshine, hear all the animals and birds, and no one else was out there but me! Am I the only one who finds this relaxing? Hmmm... I doubt it. Just wish I had known this was so helpful years ago.

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Two other things that help me cope with the demands and stress of having to wear so many hats include prayer and knowing when to stop. Just talking to the Lord brings a huge amount of peace and quite to my soul. Knowing He's there and that He never changes. He's not in a hurry and He knows what's really important... what HE wants me to do during my busy day and not just my agenda (which is 90% of my stress!).

About 9 or 9:30 each night, I just call it DONE. Anything that didn't make it to the top of the list today can wait until tomorrow. And sometimes that even means a blog post (I'm telling myself that as much as anyone else!). At the appointed time, I turn out the lights, finish my evening routine, and crawl in bed to read and relax. Up to that point, I've been going pretty much non-stop, so needless to say, I usually sleep pretty well at night. I've found that if I just quit and go to bed, I can get up earlier, have more energy, and accomplish enough to catch up... at least for a while!

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If things are really bad (ultra stress), a soak in the bathtub does wonders! It's amazing what a little hot water can do. Throw in some scented bath salts for some moisture and aroma therapy, a good book, ... have I ever mentioned how grateful I am for hot water! I think it's probably my #1 luxury item. We forget that it's not that common for everyone to have hot water. But I digress...

So, I'm rambling since my brain is fried and I'm tired. It's 9:08 and I'm posting this for tomorrow... a couple of days late. I'm sure routine will find itself at home here again... in a week or two. Then maybe my posts will be more consistant.

Perhaps I'm not the only one?

Care to share your stress relieving tips?


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