Sunday Contentments – Serenity in Stress?

I’m really not having a good time right now. I’ve got more work on my plate that I’d like, and more keeps pouring in. In fact, I’m reaching the point where I’m going to have to turn down paying work just to keep up with the things I’ve got going on right now, and I hate doing that.

So my stress level is a bit high right now. I will survive the next couple of weeks, but it’s not going to be pretty. My biggest concern is the Girl Scout Cookie Coordinator job I volunteered for. To the person who told me this was going to be a low-stress job, you lied to me and I’m going to get you for it one day. That’s a promise. I’ve got cookie paperwork coming out my ears, among other places, and it’s not fun to deal with.

Add to this a novel I’m still writing and have already started podcasting, paying art commissions, upcoming conventions, karate camp and the usual routine of family and home and you can see why I’m about to rip out a good chunk of my hair.

What to do? I hate being in this position, and obviously I’m going to have to figure out how not to get into this mess again, but in the meantime, how do I get through it and stay sane? I’ve given myself some ground rules that hopefully will help.

  1. Set a schedule and keep it. That means a very early wake up call in the morning and going to bed at a decent hour at night. It also means setting aside specific hours for work and specific hours for family time (and doing my best not to mix the two things together). When my schedule is consistent, I get a lot done. When I deviate from that schedule, I end up paying for it through the nose.
  2. Keep exercising. I feel lousy when I don’t get my usual 1-2 hours of exercise in. Given the current state of things, I think 2 hours a day of physical activity is obviously out of the question, but squeezing in an hour, even if I have to break it up throughout the day, is doable. Besides, a little physical activity always helps me blow off stress.
  3. No stress-related eating! I always, always pack on the pounds when I get into situations like this, and I hate that. I’m going to keep a log of what I eat, as I have been doing the last month or so, to make sure I don’t just randomly grab food and stuff it into my mouth at any old time. I can feel the urge to devour a bag of chips even as I write this, but I’m going to put it off until I’m done, and then I’m going to grab the low-fat baked tortilla chips and eat them with salsa. That’s a HEALTHY snack that will do me far more good than a bunch of potato chips with fatty French onion dip.
  4. Keep a to-do list. Lists help me stay on top of what needs to be done. I can check things off as they’re accomplished and add things as they crop up. I’ve got the perfect list app on my iPad right now, and it’s been a big help so far.
  5. Take a break. All work and no play make this Cynical Woman a real bitch to deal with. So I’m trying to take a half hour or so every now and then to just chill. Knitting, sketching, reading, etc. I’m taking a bit of time off later this afternoon to sit on the couch and knit or draw while Hubster and the girls watch football. I’ve even got a special dish cooking in the crockpot just for the occassion. Fact is, I deserve a little laid back quiet time and if I don’t get it, my brain is going to melt out my ear. When that happens, I’ll really be screwed.
  6. And finally, take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I have plenty on my plate. I’m not adding to it. I will be making a few phone calls and emails to people to let them know I am full up on work and am not taking on any more jobs at this time. I will fulfill my current committments, and then I’m going to clear my schedule for a few personal projects that I really want to get done. I think that’s fair, it’s reasonable, and it’s about damned time.

So that’s my plan. I feel better just putting it into writing. We’ll see how it works come next week. Enjoy your Sunday!

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. This is how I live my life and not the organized part.. the unorganized omgtehworldiscollapsingonitself part.
    re: #2
    You are so right.. I feel like crap when I don’t exercise too… I think that it really helps to get things moving for the least for me.
    Now, to heed my own advice.

  2. kicknknit,

    I’m rearranging my daily schedule for the week to make sure I get the exercise in. I think it may help if I get up early and do a couple hours of work first, then exercise for a bit, then more work and another short round of exercise. It will keep me from getting too stiff at the computer desk at the very least. I hope!

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