Why does Friday seem to be the only day I have time to post?
And why am I up at 3:30 a.m. when I could sleep until 6:30 for once?
Yes, I've gotten myself a bit overwhelmed now, and it's taking its toll. Honestly, most of my stress comes from not having control over my environment. Sure, I can get most of my own work done--the important stuff, anyway--but I spent last night trying to attend to job as art gallery director WHILE also making sure my kids finish their homework, check up on my house when the burglar alarm went off (I think one of the door sensors isn't properly working), and juggle countless other things. Needless to say, I was not the best art gallery director last night. Very distracted.
I am convinced that distractions lead to stress--and too much of it. Multitasking is hard, and the last few weeks I've greeted Friday with a sigh, ready to take a break somewhere in my schedule, just so that I can breathe.
I figure by now that most of you are ready for a break, too. And that break is NOT made up of doing laundry all Saturday, re-grouting the shower (my weekend project), sweeping, taking out the trash, cleaning toilets, grocery shopping, or any of those lovely tasks. Don't kid yourselves. Those are not breaks.
So, what can one do when one needs a break? My first goal is NOT to run straight to food. That never makes me feel better, and it's far more likely to make me feel worse. But I have other things that work better.
First, we have the relaxing things that cost money, but they may just be worth it, especially if one's week has been really awful.
--Get a massage. Sure, an hour-long one will cost $60-$80, but try half an hour, and you'll get most of the same benefits.
--Go to a chiropractor. All that stress (or lots of sitting, bending over computers/papers/children) has likely thrown your back out of whack, and many forms of insurance pay for this.
--Go to a show. Live theatre's great, but movies work, too, as do concerts, orchestras, choirs, whatever. Go to a piano concert, and you might even work in a good nap.
What's this you say? You're broke? No problem! For every one thing that costs money, I have a ton of things that are free:
--Get a movie from the library. You won't believe the selection, even in a small-town library like mine. And it isn't just Schoolhouse Rock, either, although that stuff is very entertaining. If you can afford a buck more, go to Redbox.
--Go for a walk. You might want to time it when the sun isn't too hot (or skin damaging), but a walk by yourself can be a true boost. Just don't take your kids with you. Or at least don't take my kids with you.
--Play piano. Sure, it won't beat a piano concert, but it's still relaxing. If you don't have a piano--or any other instrument--just listen to music. Avoid the AC/DC for once, though. Relaxing is better.
--Read a book. Again, the library is your best bet. You can even download stuff on your Kindle, if you can figure out how.
--Make your house quiet. Give the kids something to do on their own for an hour, and shut off the TV, radio, phone, dishwasher. No wait, keep the dishwasher, and just lean your ear against it. Sounds just like you're back inside good ol' mom... comfy... warm... see, you're relaxing already.
If none of this strikes your fancy, don't stop trying. And don't put relaxing on the bottom of your list, or you won't ever get to it. And then you'll have no choice but to see a chiropractor. And he'll take one look at your spine and break out crying in pity. And he'll tell you it's too late--your bones are fused. Too much stress for too long. No breaks.
And you don't want that, do you?
So get out there and relax! And report back. I'm always looking for more ideas.