Monday, May 10, 2010

Stop and Smell the Roses

There is a climbing rosebush by my back deck that is currently bursting with blooms. On Saturday morning, as I let my dogs out to do the "doggie thing", they both stopped and smelled one of the large blossoms on the bush. I laughed. Even my dogs know to stop and smell the roses!

I had my last final this morning so I am finished for the semester. Now some time to relax! Megan graduates in less than two weeks. I will be busy preparing for a house full to guests, so my time of relaxing will be a tad short-lived. However, it is important to take some time to download and just do nothing!

As a nontrad, I am so used to functioning at the speed of sound. I have to remember that it's not always good to wake up each morning and immediately jump into warp drive. There is something to be said for relaxing and taking the time to destress from the semester. No more papers to worry about, no more exams to study for, no more rushing to class at 8:55 am.

Healthcare and mental health experts will tell you it is important to let go of stress, that it manifests itself physically (high blood pressure, weight gain, insomnia) and mentally (inability to concentrate, irritability) and can shorten the average person's life span by a couple years. With that in mind, what are some good ideas for destressing?

1. Get rid of your schoolbooks - either sell them or put them away in a box in the back of the clost under the stairs. Take time to disconnect from all things school related.
2. Give yourself permission to just sit. And do nothing. Sit on the back deck with a cup of coffee, sit on the living room couch and pet Fido, sit on your front porch and watch the mockingbirds chase the crows, sit in the backyard and watch the sun set. It's okay to just sit and not have a notebook and pen or open laptop in front of you.
3. Take a walk - slow, leisurely, contemplative. I work on campus, so this is my home away from home. Now as I walk through campus, I can walk and enjoy what I am doing instead of having to rush to get to class on time.
4. Tackle that "to read" stack of books on your nightstand.
5. Do nothing over the weekend except spend time with that group of folks who dirty your house, leave their socks under the couch and don't see the overflowing garbage in the garbage can - your family. Who cares if the house looks like someone is conducting nuclear bomb testing under your property? Have a set time to clean up your house. As for now, immediately after finishing your semester, just go hang out with your family. They, and you, will appreciate the "no pressures" time you make for each other.
6. Bake cookies, make banana bread, make homemade ice cream - do something yummy and creative.
7. Turn the alarm clock off on Saturday morning and get up when you get up. Enjoy that time in bed with what's-his-name or what's-her-name. They need your attention, too.
8. Finally, if you're a woman, go buy yourself a plant or some flowers. There's something renewing about green growing things. If you're a guy, go to Home Depot and smell the lumber.

The whole point? Chillax! You deserve it! Stay tuned . . .

1 comment:

E. Sheppard said...

I really like this posting. Sometimes it IS time to stop and smell the roses and de-stress. I am going to have a garden this year. When I am out working there, it helps me so much to just get back to basics and unwind. Have a GREAT summer.