Kate Marolt Thursday, December 10, 2009

I started this blog as a way to voice my philosophies and thoughts on life, as well as a place I could put my experiences within a potentially larger context. It's interesting how relentlessly positive I was this past summer, and how I have been struggling with optimism for the past couple of months. It has been hard to place my shadowy unhappiness- it only appears sometimes, or as an accumulation of way too much going on in my life.

I think I started to feel less whole sometime around mid-October, though it's not really something I can place, as I didn't notice it until I was already deep in it. But logically, mid-October sounds right. I let myself take on way too much, and left very little time for myself. I was taking five classes, 4 of which were 300-level, and started my second job at around that time. The last three weeks of school I was a haze of caffeine and energy bars. I was mentally exhausted and foggy, and was sapped of the majority of my joy and energy. I got really sick around mid-October as well- the swine flu, actually, and I never completely recovered from all of the work that piled up around me during that time.

Every few months I get run down because I let myself take on too much. I stretch myself too thin, and forget to think about my own health. I lose sleep, only excercise sporadically, eat a lot of processed foods, drink coffee like it's water and eventually my body shuts down from the stress.

I will not allow myself to do this anymore. I am going to work on being realistic about how much time I can commit to outside activities. I am currently working on decreasing stressors in my life. It is easier at the moment because I am on break, but it is also difficult to release habits and tendencies that are so ingrained into me.

Current stressors (to name a few):

  • Projects hanging over my head (including my thesis)
  • Money issues
  • Diet (my nutritional intake these days is far from optimal, even if healthy)
  • Caffeine
  • Overexercising and then underexercising
  • Being alone a lot
Things I'm doing to help ease them:
  • Eat out way less and plan my meals in advance for a lighter grocery bill and less stress over what to eat
  • I have been coffee-free for a week and I have been exhausted. I am going to attempt to limit my consumption to 1-2 cups a day. I refuse to eliminate it completely because I love the taste so much and my life would be less rich without it.
  • Less intense exercise daily (under 45 min) compared to 2-3 days a week of intense strength training (1 hour or more). I am also fortunate enough to be taking yoga classes right now, which is fantastic for my body, mind, and spirit.
I feel like everybody has way too many stressors in their lives.When I become too constantly stressed, I lose motivation and inspiration, which in turn stresses me out more. In order for me to live my life the way I want to live, I must try to eliminate stress as much as possible, via whatever means I can. A little bit of stress, such as meeting a deadline, can be good for me, but not this chronic feeling I have when I am booked solid for 70 hours a week.

Basically, taking time for ourselves is essential. Identifying stressors, figuring out what to do about them, doing that and taking time to do what we love will keep balance and peace in our hearts and lives.

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