It's so easy to feel sorry for myself on these crazy days. Make myself out as the victim, demand others be nice to me because I have a lot going on, etc. But ultimately, I'm in charge of how I feel. Yes, I have a lot to do, but I decide if I'm going to be stressed or just busy, how to manage and reduce my stress levels, and how to avoid something like this in the future:
Here are a few things that work for me:
- Look at projects in small increments. I really should delete that whole list up there, because it stresses me out just looking at it. Instead of singing for 200 people on Sunday, it's calling my accompanist tonight, 20 minutes of practicing this afternoon, go make a copy of the song tomorrow. Small, manageable tasks.
- Exercise. This is a no-brainer, but it works for me. If doing 30 minutes of cardio is something I have no time for, I do a 5-minute stretching and calisthenics break every hour. Just a few minutes of getting my blood flowing helps me concentrate and keep the stress at bay.
- I would talk about sleep here, but I'm so terrible at letting myself sleep during stressful times that I don't feel qualified. Example: it's 4:45am and I'm blogging. One day, I'll adopt good sleeping habits, and then we'll chat :)
- Delegate. This is a hard one for me, because I feel guilty handing jobs off to other people. The truth is, though, that people want to help. My sweet husband comes to mind, and hey - he can cut strips of fabric for camp as well as anyone else can.
- Keep the end in mind. I'm so excited to take my students camping, and the church activity will be fun, and I'm learning a ton from my teacher work sample. When I think of these crazy days as a grand adventure, and as the chance to do so many varied and interesting things, my attitude shifts and my stress levels go down.
And when all else fails, a nice long spring break after this is all over sounds amazing.
How do you manage stress?
I really should do a series on all the advice I've learned from your comments.
You guys are the best therapists and encouragers around.
And speaking of encouragers, let me introduce you to Corina. Corina is such a sweetheart, and one of my favorite blogging friends (Corina, we need to do another Olive Garden lunch!). She blogs at Corina's Corner.
As you can tell from this photo, Corina is 1) gorgeous, 2) pregnant (she's 23 weeks now!), and 3) talented at graphic design. She always has gorgeous graphics in her posts, and I love her clean layout too. Last summer she went to a lot of Utah drive-ins and did a series with her husband that I'm still obsessed with. Oh, and did I mention she's going to Hawaii in a few weeks?? You should go say hi, because I love Corina, and I'm so excited for her and her baby girl!