Several weeks ago I read through my daily journal from last year, and I noticed that over and over again I wrote about feeling stressed, overworked, tense, too-much-to-do, tired, etc, etc.
No good! That much stress sends me straight to the refrigerator or the candy aisle.
This fall, when heading back to work/school, I vowed to keep my extra commitments under control. I'm not perfect. This coming week is going to be a bear. It's just one of those "vortex" weeks when everything that only happens once-in-a-while just so happens to all get piled into the same week of the calendar. Most of that was out of my control, and the week will come and go, and then it will be over with. I'm budgeting my time, and I'll get through it!
But for the most part, I'm getting SO much better at saying "no." "No" to outside requests, but more importantly, "no" to the expectations and pressures I so often put on myself. I'm working on sorting out my priorities, and paying the most attention to the things that matter most.
Here are some things that get me through the day:
1. Fun, light-hearted oldies that help me relax. I'm breathing easier and smiling after I sing along with this one:
2. Listening to wise counsel. President Uchtdorf's counsel at last week's General Conference spoke right to my heart. I've gone back and listened to his talk a couple of times already, and I may have it memorized by the next time we have General Conference, in April 2011.
You can read it here. I like to read his counsel and absorb the ideas slowly, but I also love to listen to him and enjoy his warm spirit and kindly humor. It's like he's come to visit with me right in my own living room!
3. A little humor never hurts. Here's Anita Renfro with her spoof on Carrie Underwood's song, "Before He Cheats." This time it's "Before I Eat..." Hahaha! Check out Anita's other videos on YouTube. Her humor will de-stress you every time.
4. And here we go with some pure relaxation - a wonderful spine stretch I learned in Yoga class. It's so easy! You should try it right now. (No, really, you should do this. You won't believe how good it will feel.)
First, lie on your right side. Legs are in the position of sitting in a chair. Right arm is straight out to the side, palm up; left arm is in the same position, palm down.
Then, slide your left arm in a half-circle, up and over your head. Bring your arm around to the left side. Your spine is beginning the stretch. Keep your hips still.
Finally, adjust your right shoulder a little to the right, so that your shoulders are both flat on the floor. You should be looking up at the ceiling now. Keep both palms up, and breathe evenly. Hold the position for a minute or so.
After a minute or so, bring your knees to center, and roll over to your left side. Repeat the stretch from the left side.
Now your spine, shoulder, and chest will feel more relaxed and aligned. You will breathe more easily and feel LESS STRESS!!!
That's all for today, except for a quick update on my weight maintenance. After the brief excitement of hitting my goal weight 127 a few weeks ago (haha--that lasted all of one day), I have been hanging out at 128-129. I'm still 129 this morning. I'm not counting every calorie, but I am watching my portions and eating (mostly) sensibly. (All right, I confess, there were those two Rice Crispie treats last night...)
Anyway, I'm thinking that 129 may be my "happy weight" for now, and I'm feeling good about that!
Have a great week everyone! I hope you'll try some of these suggestions to be happy and stress free.