Saturday, January 18, 2014

Managing Stressful Days

My body and my mind have been all over the place these first few weeks of 2014. A combination of holiday, using up vacation days, an unexpected day off for snow and the proximity of the weekend in all that gave me a 6 day holiday before getting back to work in 2014.

I knew that January was going to be busy busy busy at work. If you know me, you know I love my job. That doesn't mean that some days/weeks/months aren't stressful though. And despite my best intentions I am not always good at doing the right thing when life gets stressful. If ever there was a demonstration of the benefits of good nutrition, hydration and exercise in managing stress - these early days of 2014 are it.

To start, I knew I would be making presentations in 9 of the first 11 work days (I had a Saturday to work in there). I find it much more difficult to stay hydrated when I'm teaching then when I'm exercising. Exercise generally has determinable intervals - time or distance - at which I can remember to drink. The presentations not so much. I remembered this going in to work January 6th and tried my best to keep a water bottle within reach at all times. I could have done worse in staying hydrated but I could have done better too.

Getting enough to eat was another story. We were all so so busy most of us in the office never got to lunch the first three days of this past week. In hindsight, I should have spent a little more time the night before preparing or bringing something appropriate to eat on the move that wouldn't interfere with what I had to do. After the first day I knew the next two were going to be the same. It wasn't a surprise after that. I have no excuse except being dense and stupid for going from breakfast at 6 am to dinner around 5-5:30 pm. with nothing but water. I packed a normal lunch but never got to it.  I came home exhausted and drained both mentally and physically. I ate something but the benefit of that was slow to be realized (if at all) so instead of going out to run or walk or do any form of exercise after work I slept, watched TV or surfed the Internet. I did manage to get out on Monday (thanks Maggi) and should have paid more attention to how much better I felt that evening!

The upside is that I did a decent (not perfect) job of staying away from the junk food hole that comes from this sort of stress. Unfortunately the cumulative effect of lack of regular nutrition and exercise played havoc with my sleep patterns too. I'm in one of those herky jerky spells where I can't seem to stay asleep through the night despite feeling so tired.

I skipped a chance to meet friends for a trail run today. I didn't set the alarm and figured if I woke up in time I'd go if not.... well I didn't. And THAT pissed me off. I stayed in bed longer than necessary this morning until I realized I wasn't really tired I was bummed and staying in bed was not going to change that. So I got up, ate a healthy breakfast went for an hour long walk and I'm determined to remember the feeling from that. If you are still reading - thank you - unloading in my blog is part of the process for me. Here's to managing the rest of this busy month while also taking better care of myself. On a side note we - my co-workers and I - kicked a** these past two weeks. I'm proud to be part of such that group.

27 Things Update - I haven't done anything new since January 2nd but I did sign up for a bike maintenance class in March and I have offers from friends to teach me making glass beads; archery and new (possibly pre-1600) board games. I'm excited!






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