Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stress Relief

I really made an effort today at relaxing and mellowing out. I contemplated putting myself in a day-long Mommy Time Out, but thought that would do more harm than good since the inmates (the kids) would then be running the asylum (the household). I did experience some success, however, with the following approaches:

1. Think of only one thing at a time, instead of looking at my entire to-do list.

This is really difficult for a type-A personality like myself, but I really, really tried to just think of one thing at a time, such as listen to Car Guy read The Beast in Ms. Rooney's Room, instead of, "We have to get this book read, so I can go over Curly Girl's math, and then clean the kitchen." Breaking down my day into manageable parts definitely helped, so I'm going to try this trick more often.

2. Dig in the dirt.

The kids and I started our garden today. Thanks to a friend's suggestion (Thank you, Debi) we are planting potatoes for the first time. Patrick cut the eyes out of the taters last night, and the kids planted them around the edges of our raised beds today. In anticipation of lots of laughs, I also screwed corn cobs onto the squirrel bungee. You wouldn't believe how much you can guffaw while watching squirrels hang on to a corn cob as they bounce up and down in the air. The best part is that since the squirrels are so busy with the corn cobs, they usually leave our garden alone.

3. Exercise.

I enjoy exercising several times a week, but it has been pushed to the side a bit over the last two weeks. Today I carved out 35 minutes, hopped on the elliptical, and watched part of a chick flick at the same time. It felt great and reminded me that I need to schedule exercise time, instead of waiting for it to magically fit into my routine.

4. Inhale hot tea.

I admit that I live off of caffeine. I have tried to wean myself off of it in the past and managed to whittle it down to one cup of tea a day when I was pregnant. Something about holding and sipping on a warm cup of tea automatically relaxes me, though, and I rationalize my five-cups-a-day habit by knowing that hot tea is much better for me than soda.

5. Make a favorite meal.

I have steeled myself and not baked a batch of brownies. I did decide, however, to make one of my favorite meals, angel hair pasta with sauteed shrimp, for dinner. Just like music, foods can remind you of specific times, people, and places- pasta and shrimp does that for me. So I baked a warm baguette and sauteed some shrimp in butter, lemon, and garlic before tossing them over pasta for a fabulous dinner.

6. Vary the routine.

Tomorrow the kids and I are going to hit one of our favorite creative hot spots- an area gallery with several dedicated rooms where children can create their own art. When I mentioned a possible artistic foray, Curly Girl and Car Guy leaped into the air in excitement.

Here's to a creative, stress-free day tomorrow! I hope you have a relaxing day, too.

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