Friday, December 9, 2011

Project Reduce Stress

It is 8:35 a.m., I just put both of my children on the bus, and I am sitting by the fire with a cup of coffee and my laptop. This wouldn't be so weird except for the fact that Noah is in half-day kindergarten this year and usually goes in the afternoon. The whole school has another half day today, so Noah gets to go in the morning. Speaking of half-days, I figured out that since October 31, my children have only had one full week of school. They have had 5 half-days (FIVE!!!) and 4 days completely off of school. Since Noah only goes to school for a half-day, when the entire school only goes in the morning the a.m. and p.m. kindergarten flip-flop so they all get the same amount of days in. It's very confusing.

The whole half-day kindergarten thing has really been hard on me. I put Ryan on the bus a little bit before 8 and then I put Noah on the bus around 12:15.  It has been really nice getting to spend some quality one-on-one time with Noah, but I always feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. If we do anything in the morning then I have to be sure to get back with enough time to get some lunch in Noah before the bus comes. Because of that I end up trying to get tons of stuff done in the afternoon, but still just feel like I running myself ragged so I can get back home before the bus gets home. I am almost always in a state of panic that I am going to miss one bus or another!!

This has really gotten me thinking about how I can reduce stress in my life. Come January, I have a little race that is going to be in the forefront of my mind training-wise (more to come on that later), and I have got to figure out a way to be able to lower my stress levels and schedule my time in a way that doesn't make me feel like I am always rushing and running late and trying to squeeze in my training in between all the other, equally important stuff.

Basically, I need to make myself a schedule and keep it. The tricky thing about that for me is that I don't really have a normal job. My day-to-day schedule is so variable. The only day I have to work is Tuesday when I go to Ithaca.  I've been thinking a lot about this, and my tentative plan, which I will start to shape next week, is to designate certain days/times for certain things. For example, I will try to schedule appointments (chiro, hair, Ryan's appts., etc.) for the same day of the week, so I know that Thursdays, for example, are the day that I will get that stuff done. My thought is that if I can consolidate all the running around to one or two afternoons a week, I can use the others for getting my coaching work done and then have more flexibility for training and practicing (oh, yeah, I do practice the flute every now and then!).

In many ways, I love the schedule I have. It is flexible. It allows me to really spend a lot of time with my kids. I love all of the things I do. On the other hand, it is so flexible that it becomes cumbersome. Kel's schedule seems so solid and simple: go to work at 7, leave at 3, go the gym, come home. I'm not saying I would like that schedule, I just like the simplicity and the day-to-day sameness of it.

So, I guess I will officially dive into my "Project Reduce Stress". I'll keep you posted on my scheduling ideas and stress beaters. Please chime in if you have any ideas, especially if you are a busy parent like me. I'm sure I'm not the only one who could use some great tips.

Interestingly enough, while I was writing this a friend of mine was doing one of those funny things on Facebook where you plug the first 9 friends on your list into a funny thing.  This one was "Having a Christmas Party" and my name showed up under "Juggling three glass Christmas ornaments."  Maybe it's time to just step away from the tree!! :)


  1. No doubt you will figure it out. I am sure that making the scheduling a priority will help!

    I can't wait to hear about the race you are focusing on come January!

  2. You will figure it out! I am excited to hear about your race as well.

  3. Schedules always helped me in college and yet I can't keep one in adult world. I can't imagine adding kids to the mix. I know for sue you will get it all worked out. January will be here before you know it!! Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve:-)

  4. I'm working on the same thing this month, we can reduce stress together!!!

  5. It will take some time to get in the "groove" but once you're there, you won't even have to think about "what to do next"! It's my goal to do this, too. I remember when I was in grad school in Montana, and I moved into a new place with awesome roommates who really supported me in being healthy and active, and I made it a point every day to structure my schedule so that I could get in what I needed to do and also what I *wanted* to do. Good luck!

  6. Bak when my schedule was super crazy intense, I got this giant white board and attached it to the wall in my bedroom. Then I wrote out my schedule each week with dry erase markers until I got things down. With the markers, it was easy to make changes when I needed to & keep track of things. I also have fun with writing with different colors and drawing crazy faces on particularly instense days.

    You will find something that works for you, too! Good luck, and remember to take time just to breathe :)

  7. We went to a stress relief seminar for work and it was crazy to find out how horrible it is to have stress all the time and different ways to relax. In our office, we reduce stress by taking walks to decompress and get the blood flowing. Also, we put in a couch with the best smelling candle--which is a miracle worker for me.

    Good luck on reducing stress!


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