Monday, September 13, 2010

mama mondays: just chill

Obnoxiously, one of the things I keep reading about conception is the need to relax.  This is about as helpful a piece of advice as telling someone who has arachnophobia alllll the scientific findings about spiders that make them harmless.  Well intentioned.  Entirely counterproductive.

In my quest to discover this elusive state of rest (am I allowed to call it a "quest"? that too stressful a term? my over thinking the subject contributing to stress levels?) I've come across helpful advice and not-so-helpful advice.

This has lead to a symptom not unlike having Arnold-as-Mr-Freeze narrating chill puns looping in my mind.

I read this article which was helpful right up until I clicked to the third page of helpful hints and discovered the title: "15 Ways To De-Stress Your Life" wasn't lying and that 15 individual tips were too many to remember.  I'm supposed to be relaxing.

Browsing my office copy of Chatelaine magazine (because I'm 30 and Canadian and not at all predictable) a few days ago I came across another article called "7 Days to a Stress-Free You".  Fortunately, the list down from 15 to 7 and also pitched a stress-free me in a week's time!  Unfortunately, the Getty image they chose to show relaxation was of a peppy woman flashing an energized smile as she ties up her running shoe.  No.

So I turned to TED.  There's nothing like a TED talk to make me feel like whatever I'm spending my life doing isn't big, exciting, weird, enlightened or brilliant enough...but in a good way.  This time, Nic Marks talked about the Happy Planet Index: a global index of the "happiest" countries on earth, based on human well-being and environmental footprint.

In it, he outlines the 5 Ways to Well-Being: 

1. Connect
2. Be active
3. Take notice
4. Keep learning
5. Give

I completed #1, "Connect", the other day by telling a friend of mine about my plans to decrease stress in my life this autumn, starting with a lighter weekly schedule.  She, knowing me well, responded:
"My only recommendation, the fertility expert that I am, LOL, is that you don't just plan to take more Sarah-time from your weeks, but that you actually do take it. "
And so I've successfully cut down my methods of relaxation from 15, to 7, to 5, to 1.  Just chill.

Sometimes it's easier said than done.

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