Sunday, August 28, 2016

The End of Summer, and the Resulting Stress

I'm feeling lots of anticipatory stress about going back to work. Last year was just so hard. I felt stressed to the max, and exhausted, so much of the time. There wasn't much enjoyment of life, or of my children. It felt like I was sprinting from 5:30 AM to 6:30 PM every day. And after the final big push to get them to bed on time, I just collapsed. Didn't so much enjoy my evenings and use them to try to recover. So I've been thinking a lot about how to make this coming school year better. I don't want to just survive my days. I want to actually 

I've finished, mostly, a giant decluttering of the house after we finally spent some time at home after all our travels. My motto was "get the low hanging fruit" so it's not that every drawer is organized -- maybe someday -- but there's just a lot less STUFF in my house. I made a new rule that nothing is to be kept on the floor. The standing and push toys were purged. Scooter and stroller are in the closet. 

I feel like I can breathe again. but the week or more process nearly made me insane with stress. it's like cortisol just starts pumping through my veins at the sight of clutter. Lnowing that, i shouldn't have done anything else until it was done but naturally, being away so much of the summer, i was also working on my long to do list. i'm mostly caught up with that, too, and i feel like i can breathe again. It's funny how having things be neat helps me have the energy to keep up with it, and accomplish other tasks to boot.

I'm also rereading a book about dealing with anxiety and am trying to get into a habit of meditation. The book recommends a meditation practice of 30 minutes a day and just thinking about a 30 minute commitment makes my blood pressure rise -- i still do my 30 minute workout nearly every day, and I think I can only have one habit like that, time wise, per day -- but i can work on doing 1-5 minutes of focusing on my breath each day, maybe even multiple times a day. 

I've hired also babysitters to bring Calliope home from school 3 days a week and the same sitters will pick up Eleanor 5 days a week, so it would be easy enough to increase to 5 days a week for Calliope as well, if necessary.

Last year i worked out shortly after we got home from school, which was nice in that I didn't have to get up super early to work out before work, as I had done in years past. It's so hard for me to climb out of bed and immediately do something hard, physically. as a result, i always got up and puttered for a while beforehand... but of course that takes even more time. What do you guys think? is it better to get it done, even if it kind of sucks? My body definitely feels better if i do it later. it was nice this last year to do it in the afternoon. Maybe i should find a way to do it in my office at work? Not ideal for logistical reasons -- not that big a space, and having to bring changes of clothes -- when it's cold out, I'd need post-workout clothes to travel home in. But maybe. If i was going to do that, i might have C get picked up by a sitter every day. Since Eleanor is getting picked up anyway, it wouldn't be so expensive.

I'd love to not get up any earlier than i have to, because, of course, getting more sleep means being less stressed. And it's hard for me to go to bed super early... but on the other hand, i wonder if i might be a lot less stressed if i didn't have to worry about squeezing the workout in? With Calliope getting picked up, I could stay longer at work. which sounds nuts, TRYING to stay at work longer, but not having to rush out of work sounds strangely relaxing. it's that constant rushing that makes me so stressed. last year felt like i was sprinting every day from 5:30 AM to 6:30 pm every day.

I also just joined a subscription food service called Su.n Basket. It sounds not entirely UNstressful, because they send me a bunch of pre-measured ingredients that I have to cook, and each meal takes roughly a half hour to prepare. I generally cook simple meals that take a lot less time than that. However, I really, really miss going out for nice restaurant meals. It's one of my favorite things about living in NYC. I'm definitely a foodie. I find food and flavors so interesting. So this is a nice compromise for me -- I get to try interesting foods without having to schedule babysitters to go out to eat, not to mention spending a lot more money. Not the same as eating out, for sure, but a step up from having the same boring meals every week. And this particular company offers gluten free meals, among other options (also Paleo, which is gluten free and dairy free, and vegetarian). The first week I had chicken shakatori meals with a ginger dipping sauce, Vietanemse stir fried beef with roasted sweet potato slices with ginger topping, and Mediterranean cod in a fresh tomato broth. All delicious and organic and for the fish, and meat, sustainably grown or harvested. Not cheap, but feeding my soul as well as my body and I certainly couldn't buy all those ingredients that cheaply. So I'm feeling really good about that.

If any readers are interested in trying it, let me know and I can send you a promo code for three free meals! I got to try it because my brother and SIL had some meals they couldn't use and gifted to me. So good.


  1. I just signed up for a Su.n Ba.sket account. Thanks for the idea!

  2. I like the steps you are taking including meditation and less rushing. I think you should keep working out in the afternoon because it seemed to work well for you. I admit I'm biased because I do NOT enjoy early mornings either.

  3. I remember reading your schedule last year and thinking "no way"! There has to be a smoler answer. Hopefully you've found it. I'm big into minimalism as well and constantly purge unneeded stuff. Having a clear visual field helps mentally, I'm sure of it.