If you think I live a pleasant and calm life, you my friend, are sorely mistaken. My life is just as hectic as the next person's. I have a full time job where my desk is in a location that gets interrupted constantly so mentally I'm always on edge and can never focus for more than 15 minutes. ((Seriously, I timed it once, and I get interrupted every 15 minutes!)) I have a house to keep clean and 4 dogs to spend time with and care for everyday. I run a blog that requires daily work. I am working on my fitness so I have to take walks often and make sure I get well over 10k steps a day on my Fitbit. I also am being mindful of what I eat so I meal plan and cook everynight and I have to tend to my garden. There's not yet been a day where I was "bored".
So how do I do it all? How do I manage my stress on a daily basis so it doesn't get the best of me? Well.....
[I Make Lists]
I have a list for everything. There's a to do list on the kitchen counter for anything that needs done that night. I have a work to do list that stays at work and ONLY contains things that are work related. Lists help me see what I have to tackle and as soon as I write it all out I already feel like I unloaded a heavy burden from my shoulders. When you only keep mental lists, that's a lot for your brain to have to carry around and it constantly keeps you in a state of "what's going on next". For me, it's mindless. I just look at my list and there are all my to do items.
[I Use Calendars]
I have a calendar on my desk at work, one on the fridge at home, and one in my Filofax organizer that is always with me in my purse. When I make an appointment I put it on all 3 calendars, but I always make sure the first one it goes on is my Filofax because that is ALWAYS with me. This way I never forget dates, appointments, and things I need to do. My Filofax has a daily checklist of things I need to do on each day of the week in my calendar. I know many people like to use the calendar on their phone but let me tell you, I just can't do that. What if I lose my phone? What if my battery dies? Good 'ol paper and pen is more reliable for me than any of that. Sure, it may take a few minutes each week to make sure everything is on all 3 calendars but that few minutes of work is a GUARANTEE that I have my bases covered.
It doesn't matter how busy I get, I will never skip a meal. Even if I can't eat my lunch, I have a protein bar as backup. I keep several at home in the pantry, and one in my drawer at work. I also eat nutritious food, rather than processed foods that are packed with preservatives. Salads, veggies, fruits, nuts. These fuel my brain and my body throughout the day so I have the energy and brain power to remember things and get things done.
[My Home is Tidy]
I did the KonMari Method last year and thanks to that, my home is tidy and neat and organized. I know where everything is so I never have to scramble to find anything.
[I Run My Life on A Routine]
I wake up at the same time every weekday and the same time on Saturday and Sunday. I eat at the same times, I have the same breakfast, lunch, and snacks. I go to bed at the same time, I workout at the same time, and I run my errands on the same day each week. If something interrupts my errand day, I push it to a different day. I revolve my life around the same schedule. I wash my hair on certain days, do laundry on certain days, and clean the house on certain days. I never feel like "I have so much to get done" because I always have a day designated for it. Vacuuming and cleaning gets done on Sundays and Thursdays. Hair Washing and workouts are Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. Errands are usually Friday or Wednesday (if Friday is busy). Meal Planning nights are Wednesdays where I make my grocery list for the next week too.
[I Schedule Me Time]
Since Mondays aren't usually packed with any "Must Do" items, I usually post up on the porch with a good book. Also, each night I make sure all of my things are finished before 8 or 9 pm then I'm free to just relax and watch TV. That's my me time. Weekends I get a lot of me time because I do my errands during the week to avoid crowds.
[I Tend to My Body]
I get a fascia release massage once a month with the girl I've been going to for almost a year now. When I feel pains in my body I tend to them right away. I got these 2 amazing tools from Trigger Point Therapy. The Nano Foot Roller is perfect for me because I am always active and on my feet and I used to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. I say used to because as long as I keep up with it now, it shouldn't come back. When I sit in front of the TV I use this foot roller to help stretch out my achey feet. It feels SOOOO good and reminds me of a foot massage. The GRID STK Foam Roller is perfect for pretty much everywhere else but I love using it on the back of my legs. The handles make it really easy when I use it on my back and shoulders and it really gives me a nice loose tissue feeling. Taking care of my body is absolutely crucial for me to manage my stress level because if I don't feel good physically, I won't feel well mentally or emotionally either.
So there you have it.. my secrets to keep myself sane! What do you do (or what SHOULD you do) to manage stress on a daily basis in your life?