What do you like to do to unwind and de-stress? Heck if I know!
The past 2 ½ years have been incredibly stressful for me. As a travel agent during the pandemic, I’ve faced a substantial loss in income. My sister/best friend/twin flame died. My family responsibilities have increased. I adopted a puppy. It’s a lot: my plate is overflowing.
I did not realize just how much stress I am under until I went on vacation. For the past two or three months, I’ve had ulcer-like stomach pain. When we came home from Walt Disney World, I realized that for those 6 days, not only did my stomach not hurt but I didn’t have a single bad dream while I was away. I had been back for less than 24 hours and the pain was back.
I don’t have much, if any, free time. My clients are demanding and I often work six days each week. I have duties here around the compound that often go from sun-up until bedtime. I’m grateful I can do all that I do, but it’s taking its toll.
There are few – very few things – about my life I can change but I’ve identified some. Okay, two. I can eat better. I am hypoglycemic, know that if I don’t watch my carb intake, I’m going to feel rotten and have no energy…not to mention gain weight that will further tax my depleted system. Last week I started healthier (for me) eating and other than Friday (a dumpster fire day at work so I didn’t have anything to eat until about 3 o’clock and a handful of peanuts then) and Saturday (it was my birthday and I indulged in Tex-Mex and a thin slice of birthday cake) I did okay. Over the weekend I made a menu for myself with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas to avoid a replay of Friday.
It's a start.
The other thing? I bought a treadmill. I thought about joining a gym (again) but know I won’t go and, if I did, the only thing I would do is walk on their treadmill, so why not do that at home when I can maybe squeeze in a little time here and there? It’s in the living room so maybe it won’t become a clothes rack. I’ve tried yoga, even have a mat and blocks and all sorts of cute things, but the single time I’ve attempted yoga it was not pretty. My daughter was my in-person instructor. We were following along with a video but I was watching her graceful, catlike moves, then caught a glimpse of my reflection in the front door window. My moves were elephantine. I’ve not tried again. Maybe I need to dust off the DVD.
It's a start.
I know some people meditate, but it doesn’t work for me – I can’t seem to slow down the thoughts – but when the weather is conducive (like not the hell heat of summer) I like to sit in my moon garden. It’s a very peaceful place and while the hamster in my head doesn’t stop running on his wheel, he does slow his pace. I planted in the spring, and it was beautiful, but some maintenance work (replacing a sprinkler head) left it a mess and since the sprinkler was not turned back on once the repairs were made, everything is either dead or near dead, including my single red rose bush (for love) and the juniper bush where I bury my wishes. The new moon is Saturday: it’s a time for planting growing things as well as goals and dreams. Remember the Michael Martin Murphy song "Wildfire"? "By the dark of the moon I planted..." That's the new moon. If the weather cooperates Saturday, I am going to clean out/clean up and make that space sacred again.
It’s a start.
I’m setting some boundaries with work: when the pain of the day hits me, I’m going to take some time away from my desk, maybe go to the moon garden, maybe walk on my treadmill.
It’s a start.
I live on an island yet seldom see the water and haven’t had my feet in the sand since May. I need to incorporate some Jimmy Buffett songs into my lifestyle.
It’s a start.
It’s 90 days until Thanksgiving and I am going to make a concerted effort until then (yes, I’m going to stay away from candy at Halloween but I am not giving up dressing on Thanksgiving). I’ll let you know how it goes.
It’s a plan!
Oh – and if you have suggestions, please let me know!