Update: Dealing with Stress

A few weeks ago, I made a plan and a challenge to myself to help me deal with the pressures of my life and the busyness of life right now. Since we are halfway through the month, I wanted to give an update on my situation.

One of my goals was to make my health a priority, and I’ve done really well with that. I have been eating a lot of veggies, fruits, and lean protein following the 21 Day Fix eating plan, and I’ve been working out regularly. Since the weather is finally spring-like, I am running outside 2 or 3 times a week and that has done wonders for my mood and stress management. I haven’t seen a difference on the scale, which I’m trying to not fixate on, but I feel stronger and more confident, which is more important anyway.

In keeping with my focus on my health, I went to the doctor last week to ask for some blood work to check my vitamin D levels; I have been told by a doctor that I most likely have Seasonal Affective Disorder, and this winter has been brutal as far as my mood and energy levels are concerned. I had already started taking a 2,000 IU supplement, but wanted to see where I stood with an official number. My result came back as a 34–30 is the lowest “normal” number. Obviously, I have been dealing with a deficiency if my supplement took me to barely normal. I’m going to finish the bottle of supplements that I have and then up the dosage to 5,000 IU, which is the highest I’ve seen at the store. That should help with my energy and moods more.

I’m also trying to find ways to treat myself more. Running in the sun, drinking tea on the way to school, snacking on almonds and dark chocolate, and listening to my favorite podcasts are easy, doable ways to help relieve stress, at least temporarily. 

Another goal I had made was to make my morning quiet time a priority. I have been reading a devotional every morning through an email subscription I have, but this is an area I need to make more of a priority. One of my pastors was recently talking about how he feels that the church in general doesn’t appreciate the reverence required to enter God’s presence, and that really hit home with me. I have been treating my morning devotional as a quick read to check off of my to-do list, when I should be treating it an essential part of preparing for my day. My job can be very emotionally and physically demanding, and I need to better equip my mind for whatever my day might bring.

With only 7ish weeks until summer break, I’m feeling much calmer about the busyness of my life right now. It is a season, and it will pass. In the meantime, I know what I need todo to help make this season happier for me and my family, and I’m excited to continue with my routine!

How do you stay sane when life gets crazy?

A Plan to Deal With Stress

The past several months have been stressful, to say the least. Work stress, kid stress, life stress, body stress, stress stress…it’s been a struggle.  

The month of April is going to be the apex of the stress. My students are working toward their two state-mandated standardized assessments that could affect my job, for better or for worse, depending on how they do. I will be taking an assessment and composing a portfolio piece for my National Board certification. My little man is busy busy busy all of the time. I have 6% of my body weight to lose. Plus my church life, my friends, my family, and my husband. And my sanity!

If I can make it to Derby, I will be okay. But I have to get there first.

Since I know that this upcoming month is going to be stressful, it seems prudent to make a plan to try and mitigate some of the stress. I have a plan for my National Board work. I have a plan and support system for work and my students. But I have to make sure I protect my sanity. How can I plan to not lose my mind? I decided that it was going to take forethought and organization.

Two things will help me protect my sanity more than anything else: staying healthy physically, and staying healthy spiritually. Both have to be intentional, which means I have to plan ahead and decide how I’m going to fit these choices into my day, rather than wait for a chance to fit them into my day.

For my physical health, I’m doing another round of 21 Day Fix. I’ve been kind of loosely following it since early January, but I’ve been too willing to skip workouts or eat crap when it suits me or I’m tired or whatever. I joined a challenge group for the first 3 weeks of April to give me some accountability with this.

For my spiritual health, I am going to stop snoozing as many times (why is snoozing so gloriously satisfying?) to be up early enough to read my Bible, do a devotional, and have some quiet meditative/prayer time before my day starts. I think I may start posting pictures of my quiet time/healthy foods/workouts on my Instagram every day to help keep me accountable. 

Following this plan is going to be essential to getting through this month. I just need to stay focused on my goals, especially the one where I don’t fall apart during the stressful times. I need to not be anxious, but give my requests to God, remembering that He cares for me.