One woman, many hats. CEO. Teacher. Home manager. Wife. Minister. That’s a lot for one person, and the potential for me to get super stressed out is high. Obviously, stress is neither good for myself or for the girls, so I have to find ways to reduce stress in ways that don’t involve eating copious amounts of chocolate. At the same time, I want to do things that are good for my brain, good for my body, and somewhat productive. But not soap. Ninety-eight percent of the time, making soap is for business, though I do enjoy playing with it occasionally. I choose activities that can stand separate from soap.
For my body, I’ve been doing some resistance exercises daily, and in the past week or so, the girls have been joining me, so we can count that as part of school as we learn about how our muscles work and how these exercises help us. I started out with planking, wanting to strengthen my arms and tone my core. Then I decided to add push-ups to the routine so I can get rid of annoying upper arm dimples and tone the muscles there. Next, I got this wild hair about doing crunches. Like that’s not enough, a friend posted on Instagram a brief video of her doing roll ups. If crunches are like a street gang’s tag artist, roll ups are Al Capone. Yep, that much more evil. Supposedly, each roll up is comparable to four crunches. This is what they look like.
I started with where I was then, even though my counts were pitifully low. However, I’ve steadily increased my counts, my seconds planking, and my strength. It feels awesome! My first goal? Get these arms toned to look great with my red sleeveless dress before attending a wedding next weekend and the abs smoother so I won’t have to wear a body shaper under it. My second and long-range goal is overall fitness and tone.
For my brain and body, I’ve been spending time knitting. Studies have shown that knitting is good for the brain, as well as stress levels which positively impacts the heart as well. I’ll knit about anything, and I’m constantly pushing myself to learning new patterns and techniques. Last week I finished a long-term project – my first lace shawl.
Pair the relaxation of knitting with the absolute peace that comes from having a cat curled up next to you asleep, and that’s the way I end many of my days. I’m so chill by that point that I can barely make it upstairs to bed. This leads to a sound night’s sleep and a refreshed awakening, which is a great way to combat stress!
What do you do to just chill?