I’m normally not a New Year’s Resolutions type of gal, but this year I have a good reason to make some changes. On December 30th I went to the emergency room with chest pains. We waited almost 2 hours and, because kids were restless, my pains had subsided, and the wait was still hours, I checked myself out and went home. (Seriously? I can see now why people die of heart attacks in the waiting room.) The next day, it happened again and hubby drove me to the ER once again. This time I was seen right away. They did a battery of tests that, thankfully, all came back normal.
We still don’t have any real answers as to what is going on with me, but it was obvious to me that some changes needed to be made. I talked to the ER doc about stress and it’s more severe symptoms. It’s possible that the pains were brought on simply by stress. Yikes.
So my resolution this year is dedicated solely to relieving and removing stress from my life. I’m sharing this with you mostly so I feel some accountability to those of you out there in internet land. But in an easy-going, non-stressful kind of way. (See, I’m already trying) Here is my plan.
1. Cook meals ahead. Meal planning is a major source of stress for me, especially when I haven’t even considered dinner until about 4:30 and everything is still in the freezer. Planning meals ahead has always helped my stress level, so I intend to get back to that. Even more, I intend to actually cook portions of meals ahead of time. I have friends that do this and I’ve always admired their forward thinking. It totally blows my mind to think of the time and stress this would save me. It’s time I jumped on the band wagon.
2. Find an outlet. I don’t do anything for myself right now. Probably a common mom trait. I need something that I can get away to do just for me. The doc says exercise is a great stress relief. I’m not big into running, treadmilling, stair stepping, aerobics or anything like that so the word “exercise” is kind of a four-letter one to me. Dance, however, has always been something I enjoy, with a side benefit of being exercise. So I am hoping to find a Zumba class or something like that to squeeze into my schedule.
3. Play more. I want to set aside time to play each day with my kids. Time that is just for them and me. Sometimes this stresses me out. They stress me out. My thought here is that paying that attention to them exclusively will satiate their need for me and my time and allow me more time to myself. I’m hoping. Stop laughing.
4. Sit with my cat more. It has been scientifically proven that sitting with a cat on your lap relieves stress. Done. I will sit with my cat more often.
5. Ask for help. This has always been a hard thing for me to do. I don’t like to ask for help. I guess that’s a pride thing. What I really want is for my husband to recognize when I need help and just offer it. This doesn’t happen. Am I right, girls? So I have to get better at asking. And not just from him. I have a great support network of friends and family that I can ask as well. Even though that’s hard.
6. Learn to say “No.” This is an important skill that I often have a hard time with. I’m a helper. I want to help people. I want to be involved in things. Everything. My health is obviously suffering for it. So it’s time I got better at saying no. That means recognizing my personal limits. This could possibly be the hardest one for me.
These, among other things still undecided, are the steps I’m intending to take to help relieve my stress and hopefully improve my health in the process. It’s going to take more examining of the things in my life that I’m currently doing and my current commitments to see if there are other areas I can make changes. Baby steps for now.
What are your resolutions? How do you relieve or avoid stress?