Hello April

Balance

My posts have been far and few between but that kind of reflects what’s happening in my world as of late. Because I work at a university, actually two universities, my life mostly revolves around the semester schedule. At Drake we are gearing up for the Relays and at Grand View I’m preparing for finals. Unfortunately those two events happen during the same week.

I foresaw this rather busy time in my life creeping into focus and decided to take a week away from work. I stayed home and relaxed, refused to make many plans, and hit my so-called re-charge button. I didn’t go to Drake, I didn’t go to Grand View, and I didn’t teach any fitness classes. I repeat, I didn’t have any commitments. When was the last time you did that for yourself? Thankfully I am in a position where I get paid vacation time. If you are too, you should use it. There might not always be opportunities in life where you get paid to not go to work!

I’ve been using the following techniques to help me prepare for some long days ahead. Here’s how I’m staying balanced this month:

  • Meal planning. I repeat – meal planning! When stress levels increase food choices suffer so I’m still making my weekly salads, writing out grocery lists, and most importantly, eating healthy breakfasts each day!
  • Sleep. I still adhere to my bedtime even when I have more things going on or end up staying at work longer. I know myself well enough to know that I don’t do well with little rest.
  • Quiet time. I’m still finding 20 minutes each day to meditate and yes, I’m still planning to post about some of the positive benefits I’ve witnessed since starting this practice in January.
  • Just say no. I have backed out of a few social commitments because I know that I need some of that extra time to grade or read or just relax. Sometimes I find myself too busy and that’s when the pressure builds and I start feeling a little anxious. A wise man once told me, “When you say yes, you say yes to stress.”
  • Exercise. There have been days when I don’t think I have the time for a little workout or don’t know if I have the energy to complete a burn session but I always feel better if I do something. Whether it’s a 20 minute walk around campus, a 30-minute yoga class during my lunch break, or a 45-minute POUND class that I’m teaching (I really don’t have the option to miss that workout!) I ALWAYS feel better if I’ve stepped away from my routine and moved around.

I’lll be posting two more times this month so stay tuned! One thing I did during break was a little grocery store investigation. I’m just waiting for someone to say “Excuse me ma’am, we need you to stop taking photos in the cereal aisle.” Until then, stay well, stay balanced, and remember, when you say yes, you say yes to stress!