If you’ve read my blog for a while now, you may have noticed that I write a lot about being stressed out.
Since I was in high school, I’ve had a bad habit of taking on too much. My senior year of high school, I juggled Student Government, Drill Team, Grassroots Club, a part-time job, and my daily schoolwork. In college, there was a semester when I took on a full load of classses, two jobs, and an internship. I had a lot of stressful semesters while in school, but these two specific times stand out in my head the most and make me wonder, “What the hell was I thinking back then? I could never take on that much again even if I tried.” Even though I scold myself for putting myself under so much stress in the past, sometimes, I still find myself taking on too much. Most recently, it was last summer when I worked two jobs, trained for a half marathon, fundraised for a non-profit, joined a sport league, planned our trip to Yosemite, and planned our trip to New York.
I think the reason I do this to myself is because:
- Sometimes, I have a hard time telling people no, especially my bosses at my jobs. I want to be known as The Reliable Employee.
- I have a hard time asking others for help. When it comes to certain tasks, sometimes I want it done a certain way or want it done by a certain time, so I just end up doing it myself.
- As stressful as it can be, I like to be busy. I’m the kind of person who always has to have something going on.
I believe that the first step in making a big change in one’s life is being self-aware: getting to the root of the problem and changing it. I’ve been aware for a while as to why I tend to take on too much. Now, I’m becoming more and more aware as to why I need to change: because I’m almost always stressed out, and it’s not good for me. My stress causes me to make unhealthy food choices and makes it difficult for me to lose weight. My stress causes me to have emotional breakdowns when it gets to be too much. My stress will cause me to have health problems in the future, like high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, depression– the list goes on.
So after 10+ years of living a stressful lifestyle, in 2015, I’m going to work on becoming less stressed. And not only do I want to lower my stress levels, I want to start saying “no” to people, activities, and things that don’t enrich my life, so I can start making time for my hobbies– the things that make me happy. I want to stop saying, “I don’t have time to (insert hobby here)” and start making the time. I want to make time for:
Yoga & Running – Yoga especially, because it is such a great stress reliever! I always feel amazing after I start my day with a yoga class at my favorite studio. When I’m not practicing yoga, I want to make time to go running. I became a real runner in 2014 and I want to maintain that title; I want to keep running half marathons and maybe, just maybe, run a full marathon someday.
Blogging – I love to blog and read blogs. Blogging has been a hobby of mine since 2008 and I love it more than ever. In 2015, I want to make my blog a priority. I want to consistently blog 2-3 times a week. I want to get better about responding to comments and commenting on other blogs. I just gave my blog a new look, now I want to write better posts so I can really be proud of this space.
Reading – This one is huge! I used to read so much, and now I hardly read at all. I used to be the kid who always had her nose buried in a Babysitters Club book or who would hang out at the library just for fun. Then I went on to college and majored in English because I love to read and write. But now, I hardly read anymore and it makes me sad. I think I read five books total last year which I find totally pathetic. In 2015, I plan to read at least one book a month and I even plan to join a book club!
Cooking – I want to start working on my cooking skills again. In 2012 and 2013, I feel like I made a lot of improvement when it came to my cooking ability, but in 2014, I totally slacked when it came to meal planning and learning new recipes. In 2015, I want to take cooking classes and teach myself at least one new recipe a month.
In addition to figuring out what I’m going to start making time for in the new year, I’ve also figured out how I’m going to make the time:
- I’m going to start saying “no” more often. If my bosses want me to stay late/come into work early and I can’t make it work, I’m going to say no. I am going to stop putting the effort into friendships where the effort is not reciprocated (more on this in a different post).
- I’m going to spend less time on social media. I already deleted the Facebook app from my phone a few months ago which has been so liberating! I spend way less time on Facebook now; however, I’d like to spend even less time on it. I’m trying to get in the habit of only checking Facebook from my desktop only once a day, rather than 2-3 times a day.
- I’m going to ask for help more. I especially need to do this with Chris when it comes to our household chores. When it comes to specific chores (laundry, bathroom, dishes), I have a specific way I like them done. If I ask Chris to do them, and he doesn’t do them my way, then I just think, “I’ll just do it myself from now on.” Also, if I ask him to take out the trash, and he doesn’t do it right away or plans to take it out a little later, I end up taking it out myself because I WANT IT DONE NOW. Well, I’ve realized I need to just chill out when it comes to the chores and I need to let Chris help me get them done, whether he does them the “right way” or not, because me spending all my time doing chores means less time for myself.
- I’m going to learn to be OK with not always being busy. As of right now, every weekend in January is free on my calendar except for one. It’s kind of weird to see so much free time on my calendar, but you know what? Instead of trying to fill my calendar with a bunch of plans, I’m just going to let it be.
I’m really enthusiatic about my goals for 2015. Lowering my stress levels and making more time for myself is something I should have started working on a LONG time ago. But as they say, better late than never. I’m fully aware of why I’m always stressed out and what I need to do to change that. The result of these changes is going to be a happier, healthier me, and I can’t wait to get there.
What’s your resolution/goal for 2015?