thought overload

Posts tagged ‘Stress management’

The haves and the have-nots

When I’m feeling down and stressed out about the chaotic life I live, I like to take a quiet moment (which, I tell you, is a rare find in this home) and focus on what I have. It’s a simple enough exercise, but in the midst of overwhelming feelings, hard to see.

It’s a bit like talking yourself into feeling happy, reigniting you inner drive and finding the joy. Focusing on the ‘haves’ rather than the ‘have-nots’. Putting things in perspective. A pep talk to yourself.

Sounding familiar? Then read on.

When I was in high school, managing the stress of study, peer pressure, puberty and all the other fun stuff thrown at you, we were taught to write a list. Two columns with two headings: positives on one side, negatives on the other. The negatives were then broken down into two lists: two headings; things I can change and things I cannot change. The challenge was to come up with ideas for dealing with the things that could be changed and how to manage the things that could not.

A cathartic exercise and a very valuable lesson. In the end, what you have is a plan. Your own words staring back at you, showing you all the good things in your life. Outlining the bad things, the things that weigh you down and rob you of your lightness and how to get it back. What you are left with, effectively, is a self-help guide.  A mind map works equally well. A diary is also a fantastic tool to help get those feelings out and reflect upon. I still have diaries written by my fourteen year old self and now and then I get them out and have a bit of a giggle at how the issues I was facing then are now  a distant memory. I was able to share them with two friends when we met up for a reunion after 25 years. That, let me say, was an incredible experience with a backdrop of  laughter, reflection, good coffee and bakery treats.

25 years is a lot to catch up on!

Today, I try to visualise these things. When my mind is spinning and I can’t get to sleep. When I’m having a roller coaster week and I can’t get off the ride. When I feel overwhelmed,I steal my moment and tune out. I could be washing dishes and doing it, much to the frustrated cries of  ‘Mum’s not listening to me again Dad’. I’m not there. My body is automatically performing manual tasks, but my mind is elsewhere. I am thinking of how blessed I am to have healthy children. Sometimes, I just think I how lucky I am  to have children, when so many cannot. I am thinking of how lucky I am that we have food to eat, when some do not. We have laughter in this home, when so many do not. Actually, even that we have a home,  no matter its chaotic state at times, we have a home and I am thankful. Then I am dealing with all the negatives, the stress factors. I have made this choice. I have chosen to be where I am and I can find a way to manage it. Some things cannot be changed and how I deal with them, well, that is also a choice too. Strength can be mustered.

‘Muuuuuuum!’

I return. Snapped out of the trance like a cold splash of water when you’re sleepy. I smile. It’s a knowing smile that is often met with looks of puzzlement from my family. Somehow, I can tackle another day.

Yep, I'm lucky alright!

What do you do?

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Forgive me WordPress, for I have sinned…

It has been 38 days since my last confession.

There have been drastic changes here at Chez Vix, the biggest one is the return of two family members. My daughter and new

granddaughter have moved in with us. They came for a visit and decided not to leave and I am overjoyed.

I like being a ‘hands on’ Nanna although, it presents a new set of challenges. We also decided to move The Princess to high

school as we felt she had outgrown primary and she is doing much better, more challenged and in her own words ‘it’s fun’.

I have just started a new semester at Uni and in a moment of what I can only call ‘unhinged’, decided that I would tackle two units. There are others doing three. I would like to fast track my degree but I fear I would end in a blathering mess, so for now, two will suffice.

How are you all out there? How are you managing the stress in your life? A lovely blogging friend of mine wrote a great post that I think you should check out:

Maturestudenthanginginthere   What colour is your parachute?

 

My motivation right here!

 

Overwhelmed in more ways than one

Oh, hello blog, this is what you look like…I remember you!

I have been thoroughly overwhelmed of late. University assignments, children going back to school and now the rain. Again.

It has been raining non-stop since Monday and looks like it is set in until Wednesday next week. We have had storm warning after storm warning and looks like there will be extreme weather events in the next few days. Welcome to South East Queensland, bring your gumboots and wet weather gear! There have been news broadcasts of people attempting to drive through flood waters, tourists playing tennis on flooded tennis courts and children rescued from raging torrents.

Here at Chez Vix, we are safe and away from the flash flooding. Roads are closed all around us and the poor neighbours had a tree split in half and squash their car. It’s wet, wild and woolly.  Fun times. The gloominess is getting to me, I do not do well with this weather.

Here are my top stress-busters , mental notes and conversations  for this week:

  1. Get out of your pyjamas and force yourself to take the children to school. Brush your hair.
  2. Smile and say hello to everyone, even though you look like a wet, absent-minded crazy woman who just got out of her pyjamas.
  3.  Get out the slow cooker and serve dumplings with everything. Satisfied bellies in wet weather = peace and quiet.
  4. Dumplings are a new food group, you can put anything in them. Left over ricotta is a winner, ask The Princess, she doesn’t like dumplings but ate these ones.
  5. Keep one room tidy. Pick a room, clean and tidy it and retreat there when you feel overwhelmed.
  6. Do not think about the electricity bill as you are shoving another load of washing in the tumble dryer. Just get the washing done.
  7. Star eating breakfast for once in your life. In fact, start eating properly. Crackers and fruit are not a nutritious diet.
  8. Drink more water than coffee.
  9. Do not think of looming deadlines for assignments and massive reference lists piling up. Do not even think about the Case Study for next Semester. Just keep plugging away daily and worry about the 5000 word count when you finish. Cull is a lovely word, short is not.
  10. The children will have everything they need for school by next week and so will you. The term ‘catch-up’ was coined for a reason.
  11. Playing Uno with Master 6 is a study break NOT procrastination.
  12. The clutter on the bench and piles of paperwork will find a home after your assignments are finished.
  13. The back to school expenses are astronomical but don’t the children look lovely in their new school uniforms and shoes? We can grocery shop next week ( see #4: Dumplings are a new food group).
  14. Laugh. Keys locked in the car and holding a torch in the rain for hubby ( while in your pyjamas) at 1am so he can break in  IS funny. No one saw you. Only crazy people are up at that time. And shift workers and people who are shift workers and have locked their keys in the car. And you.
  15. It’s  amusing, not sad, that there are still Christmas decorations laying around the house.
  16. Do not lament about children leaving home – they come back.
  17. Make pancakes for breakfast this weekend. Bieber loves pancakes and his girlfriend just broke up with him.
  18. Realise that you should have done Bachelor of Education Primary with all the extra schoolwork help for The Princess. Could have got a credit on that alone.
  19. Rejoice that you have dodged Homeschooling  once again.
  20. Do not feel bad when you have been caught repeating yourself, or forgetting conversations with Red. It evens out the times when he has ignored you and dismissed your words.
  21. Hearing ‘I love you’ or ‘Mum, we can’t take you anywhere’ or ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’ cancels out all the bad stuff. I do try. Sometimes I get it right. Other times I break things and spill food on my clothes.
  22. When Bieber says ‘Wow Mum, we’ve been having all the foods I like’, smile. It’s golden.
  23. Stop watching late night TV. Laying in bed, staring at the ceiling is more entertaining.
  24. Remember to take your phone off silent before bedtime. Alarms will not wake you up with no sound.
  25. Plan to do one nice thing for everyone in the family each week so that they feel special, including myself.

It is Australia Day tomorrow and while most of the festivities have been cancelled due to rain, I have planned an indoor BBQ. The children have the day off school and I plan to spend it with them.

I was a tad disappointed that Denise or Bruce Morcombe didn’t receive Australian of the Year 2012 after everything they have been through and their tireless energy and support for other parents of missing children. Congratulations to Geoffrey Rush, another great Queenslander and a fan-bloody-tastic speech. I wonder who wrote it.

Happy Australia Day to all my fellow Aussies. Stay safe and dry to all my fellow Queenslanders.

English: The Flag of Australia flying over Pea...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

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