Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stress, The Real Culprit.

I have so much to say and to catch up on ahh! I just got out of my midterm and it feels great to be done even though now I have to focus on my anthropology midterm tomorrow.

So something was going on with me yesterday that I think would be really important and useful to put out in the open and talk about here...and maybe even get some feed back :) Yesterday got off to a weird start for me and I was pretty much in a bad mood from the moment I woke up. I ditched my cycling class, had a paper and two midterms hanging over my head, had a sugar attack the night before, and my throat was hurting. I was feeling so unmotivated to do anything and my attitude was that I had no choice but to suffer through the next three days. I did my best to pretend to be optimistic about the way I felt, hoping that it would pass and that if I just planned out my time and gave myself little things during the day to look forward to like snacks and breaks here and there that eventually I would snap out of it. At the time of course it feels like it will never happen and all efforts are futile so why bother? But I am a good pretender and just pretended I was a good student and went to class. Eventually I made it to work and while I was there I actually started to feel better and today I think I figured out why. When I'm at work, I know there's no where else I can be except there and the only things I need to worry about for the next three hours are my little jobs in the library. There's no point in stressing while I'm at work because the clock isn't going to tick any faster no matter what I do. Once I got off work I ran into some friends who were studying for the music history midterm. They convinced me to get coffee with them (and it really took convincing on their part!). Once the caffeine was in my system I started to feel even better and by the time choir rolled around, my mood was night and day from that morning! I was happy, once again, to be someplace where my only concern was the task at hand for the next three hours and nothing else. Plus my energy from the caffeine made a tremendous difference.
I guess what I'm getting at here is that whether or not we choose to realize it, stress is a HUGE factor in our lives that can shade every consequent action we make. In singing, if I sing one note is tense, there's a very good chance the next ones will be too. Getting stressed out about one thing led me to stress out about the next thing and the next thing...When I was forced into situations yesterday where it was useless for me to stress out and I had to focus on other things, I magically felt better! I know now that for me, a part of growing up and becoming a more mature, efficient adult will be mastering the skills of:
  • balancing stressors with relaxation,
  • always allowing myself the time to do what I need to do without sacrificing what's important to keep me as stress free as possible,
  • and recognizing when one stressful thing is causing me to stress about everything else.
It's really hard for me to talk myself down from this kind of stress related bad mood because mostly I don't want to admit that I'm stressed, I don't want to do anything to help because I just don't feel like it will work, and I become overwhelmed and unmotivated. I learned from yesterday that there are things that work:
  • make a schedule that allows for specific and realistic times to get everything done.
  • allow yourself to dedicate a time slot to something completely unrelated to anything stressful where you can focus all your attention on something else.
  • be around other people who are in a similar boat i.e. other people who are taking the test, other people with deadlines, people with similar goals.
  • and as a last resort, have some caffeine for an energy boost!
Hopefully this is relevant to other people as well and you find the advice I'm giving myself sound. I would love to hear of any other realistic techniques for balancing a hectic lifestyle because I am clearly no guru! They can't all be good days but I'd like to aim for something close.

For Lunch yesterday I made an awesome pita sandwich complete with
  • hummus
  • tahini
  • yellow mustard
  • paprika, salt, and pepper
  • faux meat: roasted turkey flavor
  • chopped yellow onion
  • spinach
  • sprout mix
  • cherry tomatoes
  • and pickles
It was so tasty!!
I really have an obsession with blueberries. This yogurt hits the spot for me. It's a good study food!
These veggie chips are insanely good. Another worthwhile Costco purchase. They are made completely out of veggies but they taste like sinful chips!
Medium Fudge Nut roast with a little Soy ahhh. This perked me right up!
I freaking love these dipped Mojo Bars. They're like dessert and are especially good when they come in the middle of a three hour choir rehearsal!!
At home after choir I whipped up a light dinner of
  • cooked brussel sprouts, 2:30 in microwave with a little water
  • 1/2 cup wild rice
  • 1 tsp. vegan butter
  • chopped yellow onion
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • salt
  • pepper
Simple and delicious, got the job done and held me over for a head first study sesh.
Later that night Amanda came over and brought study candy! Trust me this picture is merely a representation of what I had. A few peachy tasting things and more of the watermelons and blackberries, soo good! Amanda is a saint and brought so much to the table for the study sesh I don't know what I would have done without her! She is a certified smart-woman :)
The study sesh went pretty late and I fixed everyone some tea. I also had another bag of Veggie straws and hummus...
It all payed off in the end and I feel surprisingly good about the midterm.

I would love to hear any comments about stress or anything at all!!

1 comment:

muffin said...

You are amazingly insightful!