Saturday, September 18, 2010
Life happens. Not all of it is good. I need to be healthy now, so that the rest of my household can depend on me to be there for them. So, I'm reviewing and restating my most urgent goals to support that end.
1. Sleep. Because I'm stressed, sleep is a problem right now, but I need to be in bed at least 8 hours a night, to allow sleep to happen if I can.
2. Nutrition. More than ever, I need to eat healthy foods and skip the empty calories that make me tired and craving more empty calories. I stocked my freezer with a few nutritious frozen entrees for quick meals, but I prefer to do quick cooking in the pressure cooker -- it just requires a bit of planning. So, I need to plan.
3. Environmental control of food. Make sure those above mentioned empty calories aren't available in my kitchen or office by cleaning out the fat, sugar and salty snackies.
4. Have easy to eat nutritious snacks around. I've stocked up on organic instant oatmeal packets (wonderful comfort food), graham crackers and almond butter, but I need some apples as well. And other easy to eat quick snacks.
5. Watch my posture. I keep slouching and it will make my back and neck hurt more. Sitting up straight is free -- I just have to do it.
6. Exercise. I may not be able to make it to the gym as often as I'd like and I even missed my weekly yoga class last week for an appointment. But I need to be sure to get some exercise in -- walking my mile to work, or walking the half mile around the block. It will help with weight maintenance and with sleep.
7. Water. Drinking the water really does help me feel better. Life on the edge of dehydration is no fun. I will not only fill my water bottle daily, I will actually drink it. (This past week, I took the filled water bottle with me to work and at least twice, it was still full at the end of the work day. Oops.) Maybe the time of year for ice water is past, so room temperature water is okay.
8. Be flexible. Have a Plan B AND a Plan C, just in case.
9. Breathe. Deep breathing is a profound relaxation technique that I have developed through my practice of yoga. When I'm stressed my breathing tends to become quick and shallow. If I'm aware of it, I can slow down the breath and inhale deeply.
10. Control caffeine intake. I'm very addicted to caffeine and am currently holding at two cups of black tea per day. Really, no more. Sleep or no sleep, stress or no stress, more caffeine won't help. And getting back down will be painful.
11. Make time for me to just be. Quilting time is critical for my general happiness. My current project is a "design as I go" quilt -- which is both good and bad as it requires a little thought each time I pick it up. I have a new hand piecing project that is relatively mindless that is for waiting rooms. (There will be a lot of time in waiting rooms.)
12. Take vacation time from work if I need it. This semester has been crazy busy so far and although I dislike leaving my office without coverage during the academic year, I have lots of vacation time and I should use it if my body or spirit need a break from that crazy busy-ness.
13. Spend some time outside. This helps me a lot with stress. And it gives me perspective on my own little world. Gardening, walking around the block or through the woods to work are all good.
14. Remember to make a lap for the pets. Every time I sit in my easy chair, I get two animals on my lap right away. Good for me, good for them. Keep their routines as normal as possible.
15. Be gentle with myself. Some of this list sounds a bit grim, but it will lead to the best outcomes. Accept I won't be perfect. While writing this blog, I've caught myself slouching at least 4 times and straightened up 4 times. So remember that these are goals and not absolutes.