Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Relax, Make Stuff and Be Grateful

Are you like me? Do you have at least nine plates in the air, spinning precariously, threatening to spin out of control at any moment unless you keep them rotating.....with about another five people in your life who are trying to hand you a few more plates? How does one stop the madness? In my case, I really can't. I can't change my circumstances, at least not immediately. But I am doing things to help me cope. First of all I have to come to terms with the fact that I actually like having some plates in the air. I think I would be bored if I didn't have some sort of drama happening. I function best under pressure. But lately I have found that I really have to start doing more to manage the stress I have acquired. It's like baggage I keep carrying around. My friend Nicole sent me an article on stress management. It suggested that taking care of your body may be one of the most important ways to combat stress. Try to get enough sleep, eat a healthy and balanced diet, and get plenty of physical exercise. If you can actually increase exercise, it can be beneficial to your ability to sleep and to your mood. In addition to caring for your body, it is also important to tend to your emotional health. Working hard may be necessary, but take time for relaxation and engaging in activities you enjoy.

So here's what I am doing to decompress: Last week I went and got the first massage I have had in 10 years! I walked in to Massage Envy with a stride similar to that of the Edgar, dead guy in Men In Black, and an hour later I walked out feeling like I had been served a couple of glasses of fine wine. The masseuse let me know that on a scale from 1 to 10 I was an 8 on the stress scale. So I am scheduled for a follow-up massage tomorrow. I think this new path to wellness is for me! I don't want to keep going and going and going until I drop and all my plates crash down. I want to manage my health better, before a doctor has to manage it for me. Is this picture too funny?!
Another thing I am doing is taking my boys out for walks in the evening. It's fun! We feel like spy's in our own neighborhood. We sing songs as we walk, and we talk about what happened in school. We make up stories about what our neighbors may be doing in their homes as we pass by undetected. The air is crisp and sky is full of stars. It is very invigorating and relaxing all at the same time. I have also started to set aside regular creative time for myself on Sunday afternoons. A few weeks ago I went to lunch with my friend, Kathy - the Crafty Chica, and she encouraged me to set a schedule for designing and creating art. It really is the only way to achieve my creative goals. So I am doing that, too. Thank you, Kathy!
Speaking of thanks, Thanksgiving is in two days. It is a time of reflection on all we are grateful for - God, family, friends, living in America, a good job, pets, a home, etc. Focusing on all I am blessed with helps me put my anxieties in perspective. You and I cannot control the world, but we can control how we choose to face the world. Today I am choosing to relax, make stuff and be grateful.

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