thought overload

Posts tagged ‘Stress’

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!

 

This thing… called Oestrogen…I just…can’t handle it!

 

There is a battle raging inside of me. It even has a name. Oestrogen.

Oh, how I despise thee. You are completely antagonistic toward my dear friend Progesterone in your constant pursuit of dominance.

 

Like a  spurned lover, I blame you for every problem in my life. You were never there when I needed you and now you are here too much and I don’t want you. You are over the top and your abundance wearies me. You invade every part of my being in your blind conquest and your need for control. What do you want from me?

 

 

Channelling Elizabeth Barrett Browning , How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

  • Depression
  • Bloating/Fluid retention
  • Teariness
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory loss
  • Itchiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

I fear you love me too much and I have come to realise that you are jealous of my friend Progesterone, the quiet achiever.

 

I must end your tyranny and reclaim my being.  The balance of power must and will be restored.

This thing we got going has to end.

Managing stress the Vixy way

This looks about right

 

I am not very good at managing stress. Actually, I will rephrase that. I am not very consistent with managing stress.

 

Some days I am right on top of it like a cherry on a sundae. Other days I am the cherry that slides off , falls on the floor and gets squished in to the ground. Ok, maybe not that dramatic but, you get the picture.

 

Today was a mix of both. I am totally on top of all my Uni work. Two assignments due within two days of each other all but finished. The product of 6 weeks of research, synthesis and write-up. All done with children at home for school holidays, over the Christmas/New Year period and husband working crazy shifts for the last four weeks. However, the children were running around the house like feral animals, the ironing basket is overflowing and Master 6 had no clothes in his drawers. Again. My husband came home from the store to announce there were  no mushrooms (Bieber rejoiced) and no bread left either except for ‘disgusting multigrain’ (I rejoiced). I also forgot to tell him we are out of dog food. The Princess came running down the stairs screaming that she found ‘something in her hair’. Quick, look Mum. You’re not looking. No, I’m trying to cook dinner. What is it? Muuuuuuuum.  I did, however manage to get quite a nice meal on the table. No mushrooms, but delicious nonetheless. I have absolutely no idea how I did it but, it involved a lot of tears and cries of ‘Why can’t you just listen/help me/do as you’re told/stop pummeling your brother and get in the bath/shower/get off the computer and set the table’. At one stage I had to pry Master 6 off his father who was play-mocking him right before I was trying to serve up dinner. I sure hope my husband had his Father Shield on because he was the target of ‘I hate you’ this evening. I burnt the pasta. I really, truly cried as I stood there, stirring the spaghetti sauce.

 

This sums it up nicely at the moment

Master 6 refused to go to bed, citing the reason as being the strange noises coming from his bedroom (we have a resident possum who makes the most God-awful noises at night and sets the dogs off barking). He also double checked every door in the house and scoffed at me when I told him I had used monster spray in all the rooms. There is no such thing Mum, you’re silly. He continued to wander from room to room to see if anyone was willing to have a sleep-over tonight. I won.

 

I managed to knock the set top box off the stand. Bieber did well, dropping the medicine box not once, but twice. This was  in addition to Master 6 breaking yet another plate, spilling his drink all over the floor and his breakfast off the bench.

 

The Princess tripped over and fell up the stairs, gaining momentum and landing with her head just inside the front door.

 

Ever had one of those days? I had yours and mine today.

 

Things I learned about today:

 

  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with toast for dinner two nights running
  • The ironing is breeding
  • You have to physically walk up the stairs and put clothes in the drawers, unfortunately they don’t get there by themselves ( Master 6 learned this too)
  • I should cook all the meals for the week in one day and freeze them, then I can just have one day of crazy and defrost and reheat blissfully for the rest of the week
  • There is no such thing as a SuperWoman
  • You can’t have: it both ways, your cake and eat it too, sanity in school holidays
  • Everybody in this house is nuts (including me)
  • We all need to get out, A lot.
  • I need a plan. I do not like plans but, I need one.
  • The Princess is a drama queen (alright, I already knew that) and
  • Cry loudly-people stop, look, listen and help or at least feel sorry for you

 

 

I did manage to sneak a few moments of sanity when my Canadian friend called me this morning. We chatted as I sat out on the back deck with my coffee. She always knows what to say and helps me gain perspective.

 

Thank goodness for friends

 

 

I took a deep breath this evening and looked at the the floor that needs mopping and the pile of laundry making faces at me. I haven’t taken the Christmas Tree down yet ( my Mother would have been saying that is bad luck). I need to go grocery shopping too. I decided it can all wait until the morning. I’m going out for ice cream.

 

English: This image was copied from wikipedia:...

 

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