Well somehow, it’s mid November already. I definitely feel like with the holidays coming up, time is moving faster almost. I’m mostly just excited to have a break from school work soon. I feel like I have gotten a taste of freedom as the homework load lightens up a bit. I have finished all the reading requirements and I have one more individual assignment to complete and then just the final two team projects (one for each class). One project is quickly moving along and the other will be started soon. I am just ready for a break from it and to get my weekends back.
This weekend did feel more relaxing. I took a half day of work on Friday and I went to the gym and then worked on some homework in that time. I have been going to the gym most Saturday mornings but since I went Friday afternoon, I just ran my typical errands to the grocery store on Saturday. Saturday morning I was thinking about how I just miss running my errands and not having to worry about projects and assignments. Soon I will get a 5 week break. I actually discovered while looking up the Spring 2021 calendar, that Penn State cancelled spring break for next year. Instead they are starting classes a week later and we run right through. I’ll miss the week break to get ahead on assignments, but I understand the reasoning so there isn’t travel with COVID still around. It’s hard to predict what next spring will look like. Right now, I just don’t make plans more than a week ahead, although there are pretty much no plans to make right now.
The stress this semester has been so high and I wanted to share a few things I have been trying to spend more time doing to de-stress. But if I am being honest, my solution to the de-stressing is mostly to be done with this semester and school in general. But like anyone, there are tough times to push through and it helps to have tools to deal with them, even though the hardest part is getting my mindset to NOT focus on school.
- I recently got a color by numbers adult coloring book. I have a couple adult coloring books, but I was finding it difficult to sit down and pick the colors. That decision was too much for my overloaded brain, so I searched for color by number for adults and bought this one off Amazon. I have already done 4 pages and I absolutely love it for the evenings to sit down and color.
- Yoga – this is probably one we hear a lot to de-stress. Do some yoga. Well that’s easier said than done, even for this certified yoga teacher. I find I am more likely to get on my mat when I have less to do so I can “play”. I also am better if I do yoga first thing in the morning before I start anything else. In October I played along with Bad Yogi BINGO and that really kept me motivated. I have slacked since November started, but Sunday I had some time to just play around which was something I hadn’t done in a while. As always, it’s something I need to make more time for because I have previously seen the benefits to regular yoga and lifting.
- Move your body in some way – for me, I struggled through this summer because I didn’t have lifting and I just didn’t feel like me. I went for tons of walks, did yoga, tried HIIT workouts at home and it was good, but not what I preferred. However, I do think moving your body in some way each day is beneficial to de-stress. Sometimes I just need to walk away (literally) from an assignment and I come back and can write the paper easily. Also I will say I have stuck to 3 lifting days a week for now due to being stressed. I love my 3 days and I just haven’t felt the brain capacity and mindset for more than that at the gym. I will go for lunch time walks nearly daily and do yoga or stretch a bit on days I am not at the gym. That is just how I have balanced it for now.
- Find a book to read for fun – I try to either have a book on my Kindle or a physical copy next to my bed. Whether I read 5 pages or 20 before bed, I do love escaping from the school readings and just reading an enjoyable fiction book. Currently still reading City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
- Make time for your hobby or something you love to do – for me, this is cooking and baking. At one point, Brian was doing ALL the dinner cooking and we got in an argument because I missed cooking. I love trying a new recipe or prepping vegetables for dinner (when I have the time). I especially love cooking on the weekend. Friday night I made a brussel sprout salad and then Saturday I roasted yams and Brian grilled burgers. Also if we cook a big meal on the weekend it is perfect for leftovers to last us until Wednesday most often, which helps cut down on the weekday cooking.
- Watch a tv show or movie and enjoy doing nothing for a bit. Sometimes you just need to do nothing to give yourself a break and that’s ok. I have found a lot of shows on Netflix recently and I will watch an episode each day rather than binge watching so I enjoy it longer and it doesn’t take away from my work too much.
- Hot tub – ok this one won’t pertain to most people, but Brian insisted on getting a hot tub and we lucked out from Craigslist over quarantine. We spend nearly 30 minutes or more in it each day and it’s a wonderful break at night. Plus if I go in right before bed, it warms up my feet and I can get to sleep better.
I hope this gives you some suggestions if you are in a stressful time. I am definitely not perfect and have had my fair share of break downs over the past few months from stress. I do try to do each of these things. Sometimes it helps and other times I am still just very stressed. As much as I love my workouts at the gym, sometimes I just have a project on my mind and I can’t completely focus. This is why I have kept my workouts short during this stressful time, but I still feel better than not going to the gym at all. I am looking forward to a 4 day weekend for Thanksgiving. My work gets a bit crazy over the holidays, but hopefully the 4 days will be nice to relax a bit and get working on my last assignments.
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