“Start by admitting from cradle to tomb
Isn’t that long a stay
Life is a cabaret, old chum
It’s only a cabaret, old chum
And I love a cabaret” -Liza Minnelli “Cabaret”
As I am sure many of you can relate, lately my life has been extremely stressful. As far as work, budgeting my finances, figuring out how to pay for my finances, school, and my personal relationships, my life can now be described in one word: chaos. It does not help that I am a perfectionist who is not happy until everything is in order and taken care of. My life has been going at top speed and I find that I am a nervous wreck… almost literally if that close-call on the highway the other day was any indication.
I am not telling you this just to complain. I have a lot going on in my life and despite the craziness, I am very thankful. No, I am actually writing this because I know many readers can relate. Especially in the United States, our lifestyles these days revolve constantly around work and/or school. It’s a constant battle of errands, bosses, coworkers, teachers, assignments, and God knows what may be going on at home. A friend of mine in the beautiful little country (and I mean little) of Liechtenstein said that when she visited America, she noticed two things. One was that everyone was very outgoing and friendly, even though they didn’t know her or her son. Also, that Americans are always working, always busy, constantly working. It is true that Americans like to stay busy. Our society is made up of workaholics. It is what makes us one of the greatest countries in the world: our work ethic.
While I greatly respect and enjoy the idea of a rock solid work ethic, it is important to take a breather. Work is important, but so is sitting back and enjoying life.
So, here are a couple of things to pep you up, calm you down, make you smile, or help you release your tension when you have a chaotic schedule and little time for a breather.
1) Take a mental health day. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you enjoy what you are doing. I live in Florida, so when I get a day off I enjoy going to Disney to have lunch at one of their unique resorts. I relax by the pool with a mixed drink, stroll along one of their gorgeous walking paths that are shaded by crepe myrtles, or go window shopping in their many interesting shops. It is a cheap one day getaway for me that I have always enjoyed. What would you do on a mental health day? Play a game of basketball with your family? See a movie with your loved one? Go shopping with your best friend? Whatever you do, try not to think too much about work or whatever may be stressing you out in your life.
2) Go outside whenever possible. Sometimes when running around our work place or school or home, we get distressed by seeing the same surroundings. It is easy to forget the idea that there is a whole, big world out there, outside of our work or school. When I have homework to do, I sit out on my back porch and enjoy the breeze. It helps that my back yard has a wilderness on the other side of the fence. If you do not have this convenience, then taking a stroll around the block or in the park is always great. On your lunch break, sitting outside or finding a cozy bench to enjoy your lunch on could be an option. Ralph Waldo Emerson in his narrative “Nature” remarks on how nature is important to open a person’s mind.
“In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, — no disgrace, no calamity, (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
3) Stay organized. Nothing can distress a person more than being disorganized. Personally, if I have too many things to get done or even when my home is untidy, I feel like my life is in turmoil. I over react, this is an exaggeration completely. But, when I come home to a clean house after a stressful day, I am more relaxed. When I have all of my school assignments and appointments organized, I feel more as if I can handle it all with less potential for missing something or messing up. Perhaps organization is not always necessary, but it can help one feel more put together. I live by To-Do Lists. They are simple, easy, and I feel very accomplished when I check off something I’ve completed on my list.
4) On days when you are busy and a mental health day is not possible in your forseeable future, take my advice, and do one activity that will make you feel better. Something that will power-surge your mood, pep up your energy level, or even relax you when you have a lot of tension. Me? I will drop everything on a busy day whenever I get a chance, and I will dance. Not professionally dance… I dance like no one is watching and I go crazy with it. It is not possible to dance like an idiot and not laugh at yourself or feel more cheerful. My best friend likes to drop by a store and window shop. Another friend will invest in a 30 minute massage. Another will go for a jog. One goes to the gym everyday where they hold yoga and aerobics classes. I also like to sit and read a book or magazine, or blog, while drinking a big cup of coffee. It depends on my mood.
5) Keep a journal. Granted, if you have a busy schedule, then writing out a page everyday is a chore. But, just writing a couple sentences about how you are feeling or what is going on in your life can help you releave some tension. It is like organizing your thoughts. You can’t exactly curse out your boss, but you sure can write it like there is no tomorrow.
6) Have a support system. You will probably need a couple of people who would be willing to help you out once in a while when you are in a bind. For instance, a best friend who would be willing to let you vent and complain. This can really help you releave your tensions and as if someone is there who understands. Even if they don’t. Someone to romance you, is great. Nothing says relaxation like a big hug, romantic kiss, or sexy massage at the end of the day. A work friend. The work friend is someone who is an all around nice person, who doesn’t mind picking up a shift for you once in a while as long as you return the favor. This is important if for example you accidentally schedule a doctor appointment to be ten minutes before you have to be at work. The backup babysitter. If you have kids, which I don’t but I know plenty of people who have this issue, then a babysitter or daycare is probably a must. But, a backup babysitter is important if one of the other options falls out. Then, you will have less hassle when you are working and you get a phone call “My dog just died and I have to get home. Can I drop so and so off there so I can go home?” Who else would you have to support you in your busy life, dear reader?
So, as you can see there are many ways to keep your head on your shoulders when you have a busy life. It isn’t easy. But just stay strong, stay positive, and remember that there is always something better ahead. The most important thing to remember is that life is short and while earning money and working hard is great, living life to the fullest is also important. What is life if it can’t be lived? Hope this has helped all of you out. These are my tricks of the trade that I never realized I had till these past few hectic months. These tricks are what inspired me to begin a blog of my own. Let me know how they work out for you.
Your Modern Girl,