everyday stress and everyday gratitude

As the trickle towards Christmas gathers momentum, I have become increasingly stressed and anxious about getting things done, pulling Baby out of her current childcare centre and booking her into a new centre next year (more on that later), keeping the house clean and the washing under control, managing orders for birdie said and other silly little things that are breeding a lot more stress than is warranted.

Typically at these times I start craving chocolate, drink too much coffee, go to bed really late and lose the plot in the kitchen forcing us all to eat meals scraped together at the last minute from a diminishing supply of food. I don’t sit down to eat meals properly because I’m too busy running around with five activities on the go at once, clothes washing coming out my ears and odd shoes on my feet.

Yesterday I decided enough was enough. After a teary conversation with and some advice from my sister, I consulted Rosemary Stanton’s book Foods that Harm Foods that Heal along with Lesley Bremness’ book HERBS (my latest op shop find) to help me write a shopping list for the week and plan meals that would help to bring me back to earth. That was after I lit my oil burner and salt lamp, put on some calming music and tied my hair back out of my face so I could go to the shops giving the appearance that I am a respectable and switched on lady that’s really Got-It-Together.

Last night for dinner we had my favourite dahl recipe and I tried to get to bed a bit earlier. Of course, as soon as my head touched the pillow the dogs started barking – one because she’s insanely terrified and confused by thunder and the other because he just wants to keep up with all the excitement. Next minute Baby is crying, dogs are running and barking around the yard as though auditioning for Dog Idol, thunder is clapping and all the rooms are lighting up with the storm. I have to admit Prince Charming did most of the work to get this situation under control while I lay flailing about whingeing in bed, and before long everyone was back to sleep with the doggies calm in the laundry.

I have really noticed how much of an effect my diet has on the way I feel, my ability to get through the day feeling energised, calm, and make decisions. It really has such an impact on my physical and emotional wellbeing. As a mama, I am very guilty of rushing around and making sure Baby has something good and wholesome to eat, and forget to actually stop and eat something myself! Or when I do, I’ll throw down a few rice cakes or a honey sandwich. Not going to get the best bang for my buck with these choices. I think this is common as a parent, and something that needs constant monitoring and adjusting.

Today, a new day, I made sure to start on the right foot with this juice for breakfast along with my first bowl of muesli for the season. There is only so much winter porridge a girl can take! And although I had my morning coffee, I got through the remainder of the day eating mainly organic, whole  and nourishing foods. Topping it off with an hour and a half yoga class tonight I already feel more positive, fresh, revitalised and slightly more in control.

Getting diet under control, as well as remembering the little things that I am grateful for – like access to good food, a body to do yoga with, a class to attend, a beautiful family, a job, a view of some treetops from my back deck – these are the things that need to be focussed on at times of stress. The small things! So to bed now, with dreams of another fresh new day up for the taking tomorrow.

Here is a song to bring some calm to your evening. I have been listening to it the past few days when things have become hectic:

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