Let’s Discuss!

I had an incredible weekend! It was full of lots of fun, relaxing and exciting things that I can’t wait to share with you. Today, however, I want to have a conversation about stress; how to manage it and how to avoid it when possible.

Pull up a chair and let’s discuss because I really need your thoughts!

Last week I worked late every single day. I even worked from home on Friday and instead of having a stress free day, I had a string cheese for lunch and powered on through until 5:30pm when I finally came up for air.

Every once in a while we all have to deal with stressful situations: at work, with family and on the road when people give us road rage but we are too afraid to retaliate by giving the middle finger because we may get shot.

Seriously, just google “road rage leads to shooting” and way too many news articles will come up. It’s been a long time since I’ve given anyone so much as an angry glance on the road even when I’m cut off.

But I’m getting off topic!

Last week was stressful at work which made the rest of my life stressful. I didn’t sleep well. I didn’t go running one single day (mostly because I was getting home so late),  and I ate a whole of crappy meals instead of cooking.

One night I got Chipotle. One night we ordered through Delivery Dudes. One night we ordered a pizza.  You see the trend. By the end of the week I felt like a pile of crap, as one would expect after a week of not exercising and eating like I’m still in college.

Luckily Cecil (and Adam) love me no matter what because I was grumpy.

They say petting a cat (any pet) releases oxytocin which reduces stress levels. Thankfully I have one of the very best cats in the whole world, and on Friday when I worked from home he stuck by my side. He was either sitting in my lap, laying next to me or sleeping on my desk the whole day. I do think that helped!

So, now I am wondering what other things I (we) should be doing to reduce stress when life comes at us? Because the truth is, no matter how self-motivated and ambitious we are, burn out is real and will come for us.

Google has turned up some good ideas, like don’t check your work email after hours and only check your email 3X per day at work so that responding to emails doesn’t disrupt your work flow.

What do you do to balance various areas of your life when time is running low?

In the future I think I’ll order a meal delivery service for the week so that I’m eating healthy without having to come home and cook at night.

What do you do on super busy weeks, besides look forward to the weekend? 🙂 I would really love your tips for work/life/run/eat healthy balance.

Sorry if this post seems like another one where I’m just moaning about my schedule. I suppose it’s lucky that a couple of long weeks at work is the worst thing I have to complain about. Trust me, I am grateful for that.

Please share your tips for de-stressing and balancing work/life!
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  1. March 13, 2017 / 5:09 am

    The past few weeks have been busy with work for me too (but not nearly as bad as what you have been through!) so this weekend I decided to get organized as much as possible for the week ahead. I did more meal prepping than usual so that just about every day something will be almost ready to eat when I get home and then I will have leftovers for lunches. While I am actually at work, I try not to respond to emails whenever I see them- if Im working on something I finish what Im doing then spend a little while doing emails. Also, I try to only stay late one or two days a week if possible- so if on Tuesday I decided to stay late i try to get as much done as I can and then make sure to get out earlier on Wednesday. And I dont respond to Emails from home unless they are urgent. I hope this week is less stressful for you! Oh, and Ive started meditating. I think that can be a quick way to reduce stress that can be done anywhere thats quiet.

    • Kristina
      March 14, 2017 / 8:12 am

      I love your approach to limiting the days you’re willing to stay late at work. I’m going to try and implement that this week!

  2. March 13, 2017 / 8:32 am

    I always tell Paul not to shoot dirty looks at other drivers for fear of getting shot! It’s seriously I thing! Actually, someone almost killed us by running us off the road once. We actually called 911. I will snap you about it sometime, okay?

    I am so sorry work is so busy! When I know I am going to have a really busy week, I lay out all my work clothes, workout clothes, and pack my lunches ahead of time. That makes me feel SO IN CHARGE. As for dinner, we normally have easy stuff to heat up in tupperware but I will be honest, Paul is often the one that cooks those food. Could you cook ahead on the weekends and have it ready in tupperware for easy heat up? Of course meal delivery sounds even better than that! 😉

    I do NOT check my email at home. It is too stressful because then I can’t get work out of my head. When I am stressed I also have a hard time sleeping, so I make sure I read my murder blogs before bed because I literally fall asleep reading them. I need to do that or else as soon as I close my eyes to try to sleep, I think about work.

  3. Susan
    March 13, 2017 / 10:30 am

    I think if cooking meals is taking too much time, use a meal delivery service. We do a lot of cooking on the weekend and during the week Rick takes care of most of it. I also get up ridiculously early (it’s easy for me) and get tons done while I having breakfast and getting ready for my run (I do laundry, run the dishwasher, etc). The day I don’t workout, I head to the grocery store at 4 AM instead and get that done (again, this would not appeal to most but if I am taking a day off and am up anyway, it’s perfect for me to get this done). I guess during the week, I set it up so that all I have to do is work and workout, really. Asking Rick for help (or him volunteering to do things he knows need to be done) is also helpful. Hang in there girl. I hope this is just a temporary thing and all will quiet down again soon!

  4. March 13, 2017 / 11:25 am

    As a graduate student the stress has been incredible lately. Running is what helps me the most when it comes to stress relief. However, running doesn’t always happen for me everyday. So in those cases, I just take a deep breath and acknowledge the fact that I’m stress out. It’s amazing that by just by recognizing that I’m stressed, I start to immediately get more calmed and everything flows better.

    P.S. I know I tell you this in almost every post but I love Cecil. He is so darn cute.

  5. March 13, 2017 / 12:12 pm

    First, sending you internet hugs and stress-free vibes! I hope this next week is easier for you.

    Second, boy oh boy can I relate. It used to be that a good run was how I de-stressed, but because a lot of my stress lately is time management related, sometimes adding a run to my day just makes me more stressed out or leaves me feeling completely worn down instead of refreshed (see also: Sunday when I bailed out of a 12 mile run at mile 3). I’m still working on how best to destress, but I can say that yoga has been great!

    One thing that really helps is planning ahead while I have the time, especially for meals! Like you, I go straight for the take out when I am stressed/overbooked. If on Sunday I make a menu for the week and pick up all the groceries needed, it is much easier to just come home, look at the menu, and start cooking. Taking the decision making out of the process makes a huge difference.

    Of course sometimes I still end up getting pizza, but hey, one splurge a week is better than 5 in row!

  6. March 13, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    I have to get out for runs, no options there. I tell everyone at work, if I didn’t have running I would go insane. I say get out for a run even if it’s 30 min. That 30 min you pulled away from work, you’ll have a clearer head, better perspective, and ultimately be more productive.

    I guess having a beer is a great way to relieve stress too but I’m guessing that falls under the unhealthy column lol

  7. March 13, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    I’m sorry you had such a stressful week, although it sounds like maybe your weekend helped revitalize you!

    I also rely on eating out when I’m stressed or working late. Making sure I get 30 minutes of exercise a day (or thereabouts) does help me manage my stress. But the snowbirds and traffic and the time change definitely combine to make it worse!

    I do try not to check my email at home. Once I’m home, I try to just be there and turn my brain off. Some days it’s easier than others, of course! I hope this week is less stressful for you!

  8. March 13, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    When I have a stressful week, it helps me to get outside, even for a walk. I also give myself permission to have an easy dinner–(for our family frozen pizza). It also helps me to talk the situation through with Dave, he helps me get a better perspective. I also prioritize sleep!
    Sorry things are so busy and stressful for you. Take deeps breaths and remember, “this too, shall pass…”

  9. March 13, 2017 / 9:54 pm

    Have you ever tried “freezer” cooking? AKA, making a bunch of meals and having them ready in the freezer? Or maybe using a crock pot? I feel totally stressed if I don’t have a meal plan for the week, even if it’s just simple stuff like chicken patties and mac & cheese. Kinda like cleaning your closet – no one is ever going to see it, but it gives you a sense of sanity and organization when it’s orderly!
    Hope work settles down for you!

  10. March 14, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    We have done the meal planning service where the meals are already prepped we just need to microwave them, and they were actually really good. the Service we used was Kathy’s Table, I am sure that you have a similar service where you live, let me know what it is 🙂

    Have a great day!

  11. March 18, 2017 / 11:53 am

    I can relate to everything you said in this post. I feel like my life has been super stressful and busy these past few months and every area of my life has suffered.

    Something I like to do is keep some decent frozen meal options in the freezer so that I have something quick and simple to pull out that isn’t going to make me feel even more like crap. We actually just heated up a frozen chili (saved from a large crock pot batch) the night before last when we didn’t get home until almost 9pm. Trader Joe’s has a shrimp stir fry that is pretty healthy and takes lass than 5 minutes to make on the stove top. I try to always keep a bag of that on hand just in case. And of course, I keep several grab-and-go fruit and vegetable options as well (carrot sticks, apples, bananas, etc.).

    I hope you have some time to relax and recharge this weekend!! Esp on your awesome new porch 🙂