Monday, March 25, 2013

chaos theory

the inside of my house looks like this.

needless to say, it is not a relaxing or joyful thing to come home these days. it is stressful and sort of awful and all that awaits me is more packing and some kind of frozen dinner on paper plates. we are definitely in the home stretch (closing tomorrow! moving saturday!) but i have to confess that, over these past few weeks of upheaval and anticipated transition, i have not been in my happy place.

so, i decided to come up with a coping strategy. my struggle against anxiety has been mostly lifelong (i'll get back to you on whether i am winning at this one or losing), and i am pretty proud of the fact that i can recognize (belatedly or not) when i need to step back and figure out a way to get myself back into saner territory.

so, here is how i am coping these days.

1. set attainable packing/moving preparation goals. each night, or in the morning, i outline my packing and preparation goals for the next/that day. this has really helped the endless list of things to do seem more manageable. i don't have to do them all today, i just have to do these things today. when i am done, i can do more if i want. or i can get in bed and read a book.

2. ask for help when i need it. four very kind and dear and selfless friends came over on saturday morning and by the time they were gone my entire kitchen was packed. all i did was take things out of cupboards and find more boxes. this was a blessing.

3. take a break between work at work and work at home. usually i can come home from work and dive into whatever it is that i need or want to do that evening. but coming home from work work and going directly into packing work was really making me nuts. so, i imposed a 30-60 minute post-work/pre-work decompression time. i can do whatever i want, except take a nap or watch TV, because those two things suck me in. mostly i've been taking warm baths and talking to my mom on the phone. it's made a real difference in my ability to tackle the looming projects with new motivation.

4. review my progress to remind myself that i am making progress. every day, mulitple times a day, i tick off the things that are done. it's actually a lot of things. and then i tick off the things that need to be done. that list is getting smaller. then i divide that list into the things i can do today, and try to put the rest out of my mind.

5. remind myself that life will not always be like this. we will, in fact, move. our boxes will get unpacked. our lives will return to normal, except even better than normal because we'll be in a new house with a blue door and a solarium and two whole bathrooms. as they say, this too shall pass.

now, i don't want to give the impression that i have implemented this perfectly, or even close to it. just the other morning my stress got so much the better of me that i was a heaving, crying mess on the bathroom floor at 8a.m. and AWD and i decided it might be best to call it a mental health day. but, i'm trying. and that's what counts, right?

1 comment:

Mom said...

Knowing what you're up against is half the battle! I think you're doing really well. And I like the part where you call me almost every day!