15 June 2011

Where in the world is...

...my sanity!

I've been ripping and running (or so it seems) this last month. I'm tired and a little bit frustrated! Do you feel the same? If you do, then perhaps we are together suffering from Early Summer Chicken-With-No-Head Stress Disorder. Oh, the humanity!

Haven't heard of it? Well, to sum it up:

1. You never actually got around to finishing your spring cleaning.
2. You want to plan fun activities with the kids, friends, and family, but feel overwhelmed with all the plans (and obligations) you already have.
3. You're concerned about how much money you will not have saved up (or available period) to do anything extra.
4. You seem more so confined to a few places which occupy most of your time (work, household chores, etc), and have actually realized how much you want to get away for a bit.
5. ..anything else you can add to this list that is driving you crazy this time of year...

Does that sound like you? Yes? Well, while there is no permanent cure for ESCWNHSD, there are some effective treatments.

1. Pray. Stay in church. We sometimes have to be reminded of what we should be focused on. None of us can do it all by ourselves. God stands with you and wants to see you at peace. Remember that.

2. Be sure to take some time and list the things you want to accomplish for just one week. Break those tasks down into days. Try not to do more than 2 tasks per day (depending on the size of the task).

3. Schedule relaxing things to do on a daily basis. Whatever it is that you like to do (play an instrument, sing, walk), be sure to set aside at least a half hour (or an hour) daily to just do that. Make sure it's something that will help keep your mind off all those tasks you have to complete by yesterday (and if you would rather not be bothered, try to keep it at at a time you can remain distraction-free).

4. Get more rest at night. Sleep in the right quantities can help with so many things, including weight loss. Play hard then, sleep tight. You shouldn't be necessarily focused on how many hours you get. The important thing is to get enough "good sleep." That's you, not tossing and turning and actually waking up feeling rested. If you have an iPhone/iPod Touch, I suggest you try the app Sleep Cycle. It's pretty good at waking you up at the "right" time, based on your sleep cycles. Try to give yourself at least 6 hours.

5. Talk to someone. While you could pay a therapist/counselor to help you talk through your troubles, it is also very helpful to have a couple of people that you can trust to talk to. Regular time with friends or family will help you to not only vent, but to focus on more happy aspects of your life. Besides, if you need help, how will you get it if you don't tell someone (who loves you) what the problem is?! Do try not to fall into the habit of only talking to people when there is a problem. There is so much more to life!

6. Eat well. It is all too common for us to screw up our diets when we are stressed out. Whether you're not eating enough or eating too much; when it comes to your eating habits, try to be more strict on yourself when you're stressed out. I tend to be at both these extremes when I'm stressed out. I may go days without eating, but when I do eat, I overload on ready-to-eat junk food. If you've got a lot going on, consider what you're buying at the grocery store. Perhaps you should purchase complete meals that don't require much work. Be sure to check the nutrition label, and avoid those loaded with salts and sugars (as well as the things you may be allergic to). Buy more fresh fruits and veggies that you can snack on on the go. If I were to follow this advice, it would take me about 5 minutes to warm up a frozen dinner (with side veggies) and I would have plenty of fresh fruits (like strawberries or blueberries) to snack on in between meals (or with meals). Another thing I like to do is buy frozen fruit and throw them in a blender (with some kind of liquid) for a smoothie. It's fast and delicious even when I don't have an appetite.

7. Exercise. Your body will fare better in stressful situations if you are taking good care of it. There are many physical signs of stress that can be reduced or eliminated if you were to have a regular workout routine. You don't have to join a gym to exercise. Daily walks around your neighborhood, find free videos on the internet, or even join a free fitness community online (like SparkPeople).

It really helps to be already organized when we're hit with feeling overwhelmed. Usually, we are not that fortunate when that feeling hits. Following these steps will help you to crawl out of the abyss, into the light, and get back to feeling like a normal human being. Even better if you can make these suggestions a permanent part of your life, to help keep you from getting to that burned out feeling.

Now Onto Some Crazy Savings!

I don't know about you, but I like not spending too much on a single item. Earlier this week, I went to Target and look at what I saw...

Plastic dishes on clearance for $0.98. Not just any kind of plastic...these seem pretty sturdy and are dishwasher and microwave safe. I got black and yellow (yeah, uh huh, you know what it is) to match my kitchen decor. Sets were 6 small bowls, 4 medium bowls, 6 small cups, 4 medium? cups, 1 large bowl, etc. I'm not sure how many plates were bundled (My Target didn't have black, so I didn't check).

Always check the ends of the aisles at Target because there are so many things on clearance.

Target has some AWESOME prices on food. If you have a Target Grocery near you, I urge you to check it out. There are even some pre-prepared meals in the fridge. Since it's summertime, you'll find ready to cook kabobs, pre-seasoned meats, and pre-packaged fresh salads. I saw large pizzas for $7 and they accept foodstamps. Take that Pizza Hut!

Earlier this month, in preparation for Ocean City, I was pricing beach chairs on Amazon and Walmart. I found a lot of nice chairs, but they were so expensive. I ended up getting these fold-up arm chairs for $9.88. Not bad, huh? They could even be used at other events/locations.

Well...while at target, I found these folding jelly chairs on clearance for $7.70. Wow! They, too could work at the beach or anywhere else.

Supplies are limited. If you're looking for something to keep in the backyard and are concerned about the color, why not get 'em anyway, then make your own chair covers (and cushions?) for a customized look?!

Five Below also never ceases to amaze me. I found an umbrella at Amazon for $17. This was great, considering it's tough to find one under $40. Five Below has them for just $5. They even have beach towels.

Why don't you share some tips to keep your insanity in check? Also, have you found any great bargains this week? Please share!