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Lately, I’m having to live with a lot more stress than I would like in my life. Some of it is good stress... my office is moving to a beautiful location where there is opportunity to network with other arts organizations, we’re receiving more funding and are quite busy with many new programs and developments on the horizon. My husband’s business is on the rise once again after several years of barely surviving in the depressed economy of our region plus he has several performing gigs coming up. But our family is going through some rough spots - our recent bout of sickness, both boys facing major transitions in their school lives next year and all the fears and anxieties that accompany that, my father is coping with major health challenges, plus the everyday stresses of raising a family... any of this sound familiar? I bet it does.
All together, it just feels like too much.
So how does one cope? The first thing I do is to take a look at my eating habits. Even when I am stressed, it is still quite easy to avoid the avoids. Where I fall apart is in getting the right proportions and have a tendency to eat too many carbs and not enough vegetables, and looking for fast meals rather than taking the time to prepare a balanced meal. Making a commitment to schedule time each day for food preparation is a must. This can be difficult for me as I enjoy being more spontaneous and really enjoy food when it is something I feel like eating/preparing, rather than following a prescribed schedule. But scheduling does work best when I am over-extended and crunched for time.
I also increase my vitamin/ mineral intake, and look at incorporating more of the stress protocols. I find magnesium to be a key mineral in many ways, and certainly beneficial during stressful times.
And exercise... these are times when I must do yoga several times a week, and incorporate time away from family and responsibilities, even if only a few minutes a day, and try to squeeze in larger chunks when I can. I find my need for aerobic activity actually decreases when stress mounts, and I do not have the stamina I normally do. Going light on the cardio is quite beneficial.
Although seemingly paradoxical to the desire for alone time, I also need to find time to connect one on one with others. Today, I took my teenager, who is navigating some rough waters in his life, on one of my favorite hikes. I enjoyed it immensely... and even though I did this “for him” to have time with his mother, I realized I equally needed this “for me”. Funny how that works sometimes. We also went way too far on this trail, a total of 6 miles up and back with a elevation gain of over 1000 feet. But it was just sooo beautiful and we were having a wonderful time together. OK, I’ll work on letting up on the cardio next week.
We took some pictures from the trail of some of my favorite views, plus a couple of myself and my son, click here and then click on the links on the page for the pics.
Here’s hoping there is smooth sailing ahead... and enough coping skills for the inevitable rough waters.
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