Ah, a recovery week. After three hard weeks of build, I am trying to maximize my rest week as much as possible! I have also been thinking a lot about my undertaking to reduce my stress in 2012.
The main reason I have started focusing on this is because I am becoming more and more aware that daily life kind of stress is really, really bad for me, especially when I am loading up my body with all kinds of physical stress, i.e. training. If I want to take full advantage of the products of training stress - getting faster and having more endurance, then I have to make sure that I am not loading my body up with other kinds of stress.
You know the kind I'm talking about. The stress you feel when you think you might not make it home in time for the bus or the stress you feel when you are angry at the person who just cut you off or the stress you feel when you have a big project coming up and you are procrastinating or the stress you feel when you are at odds with a friend or loved one. This is the kind of stress that, as much as I can control, I am trying to reduce.
So how am I doing that? Well, for starters, I have tried really hard to not be running around like a crazy lady all the time squeezing too much into too little time. I have actually been home in plenty of time for the bus ever since the kids went back to school, and it is amazing how those few moments of time to myself before they get off the bus feel when I am actually calm instead of in a frenzied state to get home before the bus arrives.
I have also started going to bed earlier and getting up a tiny bit earlier, so I have a few minutes to myself before my kids get out of bed. I take a little bit of time to wake up, and I have noticed that if I am still in my "waking up" mode when I am trying to deal with the boys, I am generally not that happy. However, if I am ready to go, then I am much more patient with my children, which means much less yelling and much more smiling. Good for everyone, if you ask me. The benefit to going to bed earlier is two-fold because now I'm climbing into bed before Kel is actually asleep, so we get to chat about the day and spend some time together. It kind of reminds me of the days before our kids were born when we would actually eat dinner in bed almost every night. I kind of miss that!
So my Project Reduce Stress is steaming along quite nicely. Next week I'm back to work at Ithaca College, so hopefully I will be able to maintain my calm and cool composure with the added weight of more in my schedule. I also have a recital coming up the second week of February, so that will be another test.
I'm feeling like I'm going to get an A.