~ So Much To Do, So Little Time ~ How I Find Stress Relief

I’ll let you in on a little secret.  I have been a complete basket-case, lately.  I feel completely overwhelmed with everything I have to do.  I fantasize about running away for a couple week, do you ever do that?  I know you’re all busy too, but it would be therapeutic if you would allow me to share at least 10 reasons with you regarding WHY I’m feeling a bit stressed.  And, eventually….what I try to do to alleviate it :)  Maybe you could even throw ME a bone…and give me some ideas!
 I’ll let you in on ANOTHER secret…Jessica and I decided to be more open with you all…let you get to know us better.  Assuming you want to??  So, this post is keeping my end of the bargain.  I can’t wait to hear Jessica’s dirty laundry… 
 
Back to my stress…
One,  I have four little kids.  I love their stinkin’ guts, but they keep me on my toes! 

Two, I can’t keep on top of all the housework.  The laundry is insane!  Not to mention, I have spider webs on my ceiling, I need to dust my blinds, scrub my shower….all the “extra” things are piling up!  I can barely get past the basic, every day duties…when am I going to get around to these extras??

Three, it’s tax time…every year I dread putting things together.  It’s a serious pain in the rear that I don’t have time for.
Four, I have an unfinished dining table and craft room shelves staring at me every day…begging to be stained and painted.
Five, I maintain this blog.
Six, the Beard Man is self-employed in this fabulous economy.  I don’t think we’ve uncrossed our fingers in over a year…so far, it’s working.  But, the “you never know” gets really exhausting.
Seven, I’ve got a busy calling at church….involving lots of little kids!
Eight, Spring is coming…my yard is big.  The Beard Man does not like yard work…I do, but it’s an impossible task for just one!
Nine, I’m going to home school my kids next year, actually it’s an online charter school.  “What?!?,” you say.  Yes.  I have come up with at least 54 reasons why I need to do this…I might share with you another day.  And, truth is…I think it will actually alleviate some other stressful factors in life.  But, what’s stressful is being NEW to it…getting in the groove, finding a system.
Ten, I’m pregnant.  Yes, you heard me.  Exciting and scary.  I love my children and have always felt like there is another one that is supposed to be part of our family.  However, that doesn’t mean I’m not totally freaking out over it.  5 kids?!?  I’m really counting on the Man Upstairs to help me out.  Wanna see the little bugger?

Isn’t he/she SO cute!?!  Well, maybe not yet…but, the sound of the heart beat is pretty dang cute.
Phew!  Thanks for letting me share, I feel better already.  Which leads me to Stress Relieving Idea #1…
 
1.  Talk to a Friend - Y’all are kinda like friends now.  It’s been way fun getting to know so many of you…hopefully, one day we can meet in real life!  But anyway, really…one of the greatest ways that I relieve stress is to use my “life line” and “phone a friend”.  It can’t just be ANY friend…it has to be the one you totally trust and anything you say to them will not be used against you.  No gossiping, lecturing, or judging on their part.  Aren’t those the greatest friends??
 2.  Listen to Music – I like to mentally take myself back to the days when I had very little responsibilities.  I laugh at the times in high school and after that I thought my life was so dramatic and overwhelming.  It SO wasn’t.  I had nothing going on.  I used to climb out my window, sit on my roof, star gaze while I played my harmonica…almost every night.  I can’t even imagine being able to relax like that NOW!  My house turns into utter chaos if I leave for even 10 minutes.  I also listened to James Taylor constantly…he was my big hug, always made me relaxed.  So, he is STILL my go-to when I’m needing to calm down.  Music is a great source to turn to!

 3.  Read a Book – I’m really snobby about reading fiction books.  I love learning, so I don’t like feeling that I’m wasting time with a novel that isn’t even true.  BUT…every once in a while, I realize what a grump I am and allow myself to enjoy a novel.  It takes just a minute to remember WHY they are so fun to read…and that it is such a relaxing thing to do.  I’m currently reading a suggestion from a reader, Redeeming Love…from our Romantic Book Post.
 4.  Exercise – We all know that exercise can relieve stress, but I would also like to add to it…any kind of exercise.   Right now, being pregnant…I’m really tired.  And, just thinking of  running on the treadmill and lifting weights sends my stress levels soaring!  But, going for a walk in the neighborhood, observing the signs of Spring, taking a break from the goings-on at home….that sounds pretty dang relaxing.  Or, exercise could be playing a sport.  When the weather gets nice, we meet up weekly with friends to play volleyball.  Our kids play at the park right next to the court and it’s so fun!  It’s a perfect way to relax, get exercise, and enjoy life.
5.  Something I’m loving right now is the The Miracle Ball Method.  Apparently, I send all the stress to my shoulders and back…resulting in some serious knots that have shocked several physical therapists.  I read so many fabulous things about this miracle ball and how it helps relieve pain and relax the body.  It seems almost too simple.  They’re just two little balls that you lay on.  But, it’s true…it really helps loosen my muscles and relax me.  I love laying on them after I get out of the shower or get a massage…when my muscles are warmed up.  Best part, for $12 bucks…it’s totally worth it.  The Miracle Ball can be used for hip pain, lower back pain, shoulder/neck pains, etc.  Read the reviews on Amazon, they’re pretty convincing.
  6.  Back to me being pregnant-tired…Take a Nap!  I’m currently napping every day and it sure does me good!  I actually heard about a new study on the news the other day where doctors are now recommending 1 1/2 hour naps to the elderly because it “reboots” the brain and helps improve their memory.  Any kind of nap validation is a good thing.  Isn’t it hard to not feel guilty when you take a nap?  But, I usually get over it pretty quick when I notice my recharge in energy and how much I get done.  Some people take meth for energy, some people take naps. – Quote by me.
  7.  Take a Bath or Shower - in the dark, even better.  The shower is the one place in my house that I can go where I can actually THINK.  I’m usually constantly bombarded by my children’s curiosity questions  that I don’t have time to think about anything longer than a few seconds.  It’s in the shower that I come up with post ideas, new inventions, deep questions to ask the hubs, who I’m going to vote for, my life goals, and what to make for dinner.  I can be found in the shower up to several times a day. :)  I’m really clean.
 8.  Start or Work On a Stress Relief Hobby - Those might include: gardening, photography, scrapbooking, puzzles, drawing, painting, knitting, playing an instrument, etc.  Have you noticed how relaxed you feel while doing those things?  I love playing the piano or working in the yard…so relaxing!  If you don’t do any of those things…learn how!  I just buy a book, start reading…and get moving!
9.  Watch a Great Movie – Sometimes when I’m stressed, I need to cry.  And, sometimes a sad movie is just what I need to bring it out.  Once I cry,  I feel so much better!  Funny Girl used to make me cry…its really not the saddest movie you will ever see…there are lots worse.  But, somehow…it just did it for me.  On the other hand, sometimes it is super relaxing to watch a funny movie or one that just makes you happy inside.  I’ve said it a thousand times, but I love to watch musicals.  Watch, might be an exaggeration…I love to turn on musicals and listen to them while I get the housework done.  It makes me happy.

It’s really painful for me to not have a number 10.  It just doesn’t feel or look right. But, sometimes taking a “chill pill” and not trying to have everything be perfect is super liberating.
*  A few ideas of things NOT to do when stressed:  adopt a pet, go shopping when you shouldn’t, or pig out.  All of those things are lovely, but usually have after-effects resulting in more stress.  Wait until you’re NOT stressed for things like that.*

How do you relieve your stress?

~ Mariel

Mariel

Mariel

Owner & Author at Or so she says...
Mariel (mahr-eeee-elle) is a mother to six, wife to one. Loves homeschooling, golfing, cupcakes, traveling, cuddling, non-fiction books, gardening, James Taylor, and family time. This is her blog. Enjoy!
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Comments

  1. I had 5 kids in 11 yrs, so my house was not “clean” for about 15 years, I think. I tried, Lord knows, and I sure was stressed, but finally was resigned to the fact that it could not be. But seriously, you could have quit this post right after #1 and I would’ve understood. Take it easy. And enjoy your pregnancy.

  2. Congratulations on being normal. Thanks for showing me I’m normal too. I had this kind of day on Wednesday – minus the pregnancy. This was the day I tried Jessica’s St. Patrick’s Day Oreo Truffles. The coating on the first couple came out like crap. But I cheated and used almond bark not chips. Dumped the gunk & got the chips. Worked better & were a hit. Was so ticked off by the time I was done that I resorted to the exercise outlet before I knocked a hole in the wall. I went for a jog in the warm sunshine. Never took out frustration through excercise b/c I thought it was BS. But surprisingly it really did help!! Try going for a nice walk BY YOURSELF. Breathe & enjoy the cool air and warm sun! You can do it!!

  3. congratulations!

  4. Great post girl! I love all your ideas…. actually last night I kept cleaning and Nick finally told me to sit down and relax-THATS nice!

  5. wow mariel! congrats on being prego!
    i had no idea!
    you’ll do great!

  6. Congrats!! Great post! Oh, and Redeeming Love is currently in the works to become a MOVIE!!!! yippie! Once you finish the book, you’ll understand my excitement :)

  7. Hired help – seriously! I’m a total perfectionist and have too too many things on my plate, and HATE admitting I need help… Moved into my hubby’s house last May when we got married & got pregnant abt a month later :). Between working full time, teaching 2 evenings a week, being sick & tired, trying to unpack & combine our lives, hubby working 2 jobs, I just got overwhelmed! (we all know the feeling)
    Finally decided it was worth it to pay someone to come a couple of times a month for a couple of hours & just clean the kitchen or the bathroom or whatever needs done to help keep up. The first time they came it was amazing – I spent the time folding laundry & working on the baby’s room & $50 later I had clean kitchen & bathroom, a huge stress relief and a happy husband when he came home. SO worth it!

  8. Congrats on the new baby!! :) And great list of both stressors and stress relievers. :)

  9. I think we use that same online charter school you are talking about. Don’t be fooled, it required a lot of parental involvement. It is very worth it, though. We have 10 little boogers right now… and I cherish every moment I get with them.

  10. Tammy,

    Nope, not fooled. I don’t think for one second it’s not going to require lots of effort on my part. I know it will…and, like you said…I know it will be worth it! I can’t wait to release some of the guilt I feel for not spending enough time with my kids! We’re going to be spending SO much time together…hard, but worth it.

    I would love to hear what you think of the program :)

  11. Bless you! I have 4 and am Primary pres too, so I know how crazy that is. I totally agree with the reading. That helps me. That is an escape. I am also a fan of a nap! You need it! Put in a movie for the kids and catch a snooze! When you are rested and happy it makes you a better mom. It is good for everyone!

  12. Wow! I only have 2 kids and I feel the same way you do sometimes. Funny thing, I just stumbled onto this blog during the rare occasion that both little ones are napping at the same time for a few minutes. And, I’m hooked! Great post! I loved every word. This blog will be one of my new stress-relievers. Keep up the great work!

  13. To add to your #4, exercise… YOGA has done wonders to help me reduce stress and control my IBS. I take a ‘restorative’ class which is more about stretching and relaxation, nothing crazy. :) They even have a prenatal class!

  14. Congrats on the little one! Although I knew you were having more eventually.
    I have also noticed my shower is the only “my time” I get during the day, and I lock the door and just enjoy it.
    Great ideas, and it is good to hear I’m not the only one w/cobwebs, dusty blinds and all the extras.

  15. Congrats on the pregnancy! What online charter school are you using? We are thinking of looking into something like that. Would it be nosy to ask for just a few reasons you have decided to home school?

  16. Congratulations girl! And I really enjoyed this post. :)

  17. Lovely lovely post. Excellent. I check your blog everyday. Congrats on the baby! That is SO exciting.
    Just reading this post made me relax! Thanks!

  18. It’s nice to know you’re normal my super sister-in-law. I have often wondered how you manage it all so gracefully. I have half the kids, 1/3 the house, and I feel the same way. You are an amazing mom, wife and woman. Thanks for the ideas!

  19. Since daylight savings time happened (and kicked me in the face), I have been extra stressed and tired as well. My relief? Yoga, yoga, yoga! I’m a beginner, so I know that there are some great moves that ANYONE can do that can totally relax you.

  20. Love your blog! I run a daycare out of my home,and have 4 kiddo’s.
    If my house isn’t clean I love to light a candle and make it smell good, let in fresh air and lots OF sunlight! Then it makes me happy to be here. I get a break when I lay down all the little ones to nap. Check emails, facebook and a blog once in a while.

  21. Stress has been the word of the month for me it seems like. I don’t even know why either… I’m letting myself get too worked up over unnecessary things and I need to declutter and reorganize my life and my schedule. That seems to help me. Thanks for the reminders. And congrats on the little gummy bear. I hope you are feeling okay!

  22. Hey Mariel – Congrats on the pregnancy! I hope you are feeling well..unstressed!

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