Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Art of De-stressing

By no means am I buddist monk nor do I lack stress.  If anything I'm a high anxiety person.  Recently a good deal of anxiety was wedding, future MIL and grad school related.  Wedding related woes range from being 5 months out and still not having a caterer to not wanting to spend $500 on bouquets but worried I don't have the time to make our own.  As for lab, the work for my PhD dissertation seems to keep having small issues that then need weeks to months of troubleshooting throwing me behind schedule.  The lab stress has gotten to the point where I started to get an eye twitch during weekdays.  It would disappear during weekends and be right back again monday morning a few hours after entering lab.  The twitch I am choosing to blame on scrunching my face every time something else has seemed to fail.  Yes, I know it's science and it's never as dramatic as in the movies...  But I like seeing the light at the end of the scientific tunnel.  =)

In response to the twitch, I've decided to put together a list of ways to de-stress myself.

1.  Exercise
Serves to
~ Drop those extra pounds and tone before the wedding
~ Use up extra energy/wear me down so I don't feel like thinking (no thinking = no anxiety)
~ Release of happy endorphens

I will be setting up a routine as that's the only way I'll make it to the gym without a buddy or a class...
~ M, W, F will be crunches and free weights at home as I feel like a slob around all the trim undergrads at the Peterson attempting to do free weights alone on the mats.
~ T and Th will be cardio involving 30 mins on the elliptical and another 30 on the bike.

2.  Relaxing scents
Certain scents have been deemed relaxing and from my days as an undergrad, the smell of my old roommates incence had a calming effect.
~ Jasmine scent therapy via candles, incense and oils.  ;)

3.  Mood Changing Tunes
I need to pull out the itunes and rewrite my Blues playlists (all lost when I got the new computer).  There's something about hearing someone sing with a soulful force in your voice that just pulls you from reality... almost like you can feel the music.  A combo Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, etc just makes me as happy as can be.

4.  A Good Read
"The art of happiness" by the Dali Lama.  Not that I have the time to read but I plan on incorporating 30min of reading each night to relax me before bed.  I'm hoping that will reduce the stress dreams.  =)  The art of happiness should work well to calm me as well.  During my last read, it put things into perspective and also served to draw me away from the funky mood I was in at the time.

5.  Cup of Tea
Future hubs recommends tea to relax.  I agree as long as it's low on caffeine.  Whenever I'm antsy and anxious, caffeine just makes it worse.  So a nice cup of camomile or peppermint rose before bed or even during the day in our cold lab should do the trick.

6.  More lists
I'm the type that if I don't make a list of To-Do's, I tend to worry about them or else they become forgotten.  So I need to make more lists to decrease the worry and still remember!  =)

So those are just a few of my future de-stress methods...  hopefully I can stick to each of them.  And I hope it might help a few of you out when trying to de-stress.  Anybody out there have any other suggestions?

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