Monday, August 13, 2012

Stress Management for the Highly Dysfunctional Writer/Teacher/Mother

Yes, it’s back to school time and with two days to go the stress is building like a shaken soda left in the summer heat. For six years I’ve been able to balance writing and family and school and survive. But this year I want better. I don’t want to merely survive. I want to thrive.

I mentioned in my last post about freezer meals. I’ve prepared several gluten, dairy, corn free meals and stuck them in the freezer with instructions written with sharpie on each bag. Now at least when I’m swamped I won’t blow my diet or subject my family to unhealthy fast food more than a couple times a month. (Hate to tell you how many “sac” meals a week we ate towards the end of the last school year. You’d be sick.)

I’ve got the food covered and in a convenient “30 minute from prep to table” kind of way Rachel Ray would approve of.

But there’s another part of the balancing act for a writer/teacher/mother that is equally as important as food.

Stress Management.

Holy Moly, the stress levels around this house get high at times and with the elevated emotions, I get cranky. Cranky authors write cranky characters, and NO ONE wants to root for a cranky character. I know. My critique partners have told me in many, many ways.

So, how do you control stress when all 24 hours of your day are planned to the minute?

I have no freaking clue. If you find out, please pass the answer on.

While I wait for you, my whole family has taken up the Couch to 5K plan.

With this program you spend 30 minutes 3 times a week building your running stamina is short sprits until you can run a 5K in about 40 minutes.

I am a total couch potato. Walking from mid-parking lot to the Walmart or following my son on foot during his Sunday riding lessons is about the sum of my exercise routine. I’m like everyone else. I don’t have time.

But for some reason this plan has clicked for me. It has clicked for the whole family. The Officer (a.k.a. the husband) is running, so is J (my son) and even Molly (The dog) has lost the extra pounds she put on at the shelter. And we look forward to doing it together as a family. Family time, stress busting, and exercising; what more could you ask for in a multi-tasking 30 minutes 3 times a week?

Multi tasking is the key to survival for us multi talented mothers. How do you beat stress while getting it all done in a day? I’d love to hear your plans.


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