Monday, March 31, 2014

Mindful Monday

I feel my stress in my shoulders and in my jaw. I don't notice that it's happening, but gradually, so gradually, my jaw clenches and my shoulders start defying gravity and hunch up toward my ears. I stop, take a breath, and relax my jaw and let my shoulders drop.

The first few weeks of March were busy and stressful. In addition to the winter that just wouldn't quit, we celebrated two birthdays, buzzed around with the anticipation of match day, and then there was the opening of the envelope itself; I had a lot on my plate.* But I didn't realize it. I was snappy with the girls, I spent way too much time on the internet, I bemoaned anything and everything. When I yelled at Freja or groaned when Matilda wouldn't let me put her down - and then instantly felt guilty for not trying a little harder - I reassured myself that my job is hard and not always fun. I can't keep smiling all the time. All this is true. I was grumpy.

Last Monday was such a relief. I laughed out loud when Matilda knocked over Freja's snack, spilling Kix (sans milk) all over the carpet and causing both girls to start screaming as if the end of the world was nigh. I put the music on and danced with Matilda when she was fussy and needed holding. Hey, this feels more normal. Our loose ends are tied up. We have a plan for the future (at least the next three years). I can relax again.

I wish, however, that I had been able to stop for a minute and give myself a break. I wish I had spent a few minutes to reflect on what was causing my angst. Sure, the stress would have still been there, but at least I would have acknowledged it and, perhaps, been a bit better equipped to deal with the fallout.

I've made a commitment to be more mindful. I'm starting with checking in with myself throughout the day. Literally. I check my shoulders. I check my jaw. I breathe. I relax. I continue. Back to regularly scheduled programming, but hopefully with a little more ease.

Where do you store your stress? Do you have a physical trigger point(s)? Is your sleep affected? Your dreams?

*I really, really, really hope I'm not jinxing us by putting winter in the past tense.

1 comment:

  1. Well put Kristen, we should all take notice of our daily stress and be more mindful as you have so that we as adults can appreciate one another in good frames of minds. Keep up the inspirational thoughts.