I’ve been pretty dang stressed out lately. I mean, I’m always stressed out. But what with two jobs, two bosses who don’t communicate well with each other, a ton of deadlines looming, a destination wedding to plan, an interstate move coming up and a fiancé in another state, I’ve started feeling like I might crack under the pressure.
When I get busy and start to feel overwhelmed, I try to make to-do lists so that nothing will get forgotten or neglected. In a way, this can help me to make order out of the chaos, and makes me feel like I have a bit more control over the situation. But it can also make the problem worse. I tend to prioritise everything on the list equally, despite the fact that the world won’t end if I don’t get a couple things taken care of this week. For example, if Hugh and I get to Hawaii without having purchased wedding rings, is that really a problem? Surely, we can buy some lovely jewelry when we get there. Or even buy plastic toy rings from a vending machine. Our wedding will be wonderful and meaningful regardless of whether we have some expensive metal bands to “seal the deal.”
Furthermore, once I’ve made a long list of to-do’s, I have a tendency to mentally turn the items on the list into bricks, which I then stack on my shoulders and carry around with me for days. Not super healthy. No wonder I have back problems!
There are days when I’m not sure I’ll make it to the weekend. There are days when I’m not sure I’ll make it to 5 o’clock! But I do. And then I spend the evening relaxing, whether with friends or on my own, and I feel better the next day. Every time I think to myself, “this is it, this is where I crack!” it doesn’t happen. I make it through another day.
I found this article the other day that explained how I manage to feel better despite having the same number of stressors: because resilience isn’t about how strong or tough you are or how well you endure hardship, it’s about how you recharge. By treating myself gently in the evenings instead of trying to tough it out and get a couple extra hours of work done, I allow my weary mind and tense shoulders to recover, even just a little. When we did Christmas in July, the weekend was super busy and I didn’t relax much, but being around some of my favourite people helped me recharge all the same (that’s not to say I wasn’t a miserable git at softball that Sunday…)
I’ve been doing yoga once a week with Julia, and I know she tries to fit in as much yoga as possible around her long hours of work. The effects may not last long, but if we can relax for even an hour or two, I know that’s doing us a world of good!
So be kind to yourselves this week, lovies. We don’t have to be soldiers! We just need to learn to power down and recharge.