Monday, September 3, 2012

Night Routine: How to Address the Need to De-stress

Ok, that title makes NO sense, I just love rhyme and alliteration. Hello, English teacher, I'm a nerd. DEAL WITH IT.

Anyway, so I've made it through 8 days of teaching after being off (again) for a year (again). While it's been mostly a great 8 days, I'm already tired, frustrated, worried, and feeling like I'm behind.

To be fair and show that I CAN see the forest for the trees on occasion, I'm not really that behind (hell, I'm actually a week ahead in lesson plans, and I've got the year outlined down to the week), and what makes me worried and frustrated is mostly my own natural instinct to only expect perfection from myself. *sigh*

Part of the tired comes from bad shoes, too - that problem is on its way to being resolved, in that the shoes are ordered and will hopefully ship this week. If you're on your feet all day and like to look cute, too - Aravons, my friends. Pricy but worth it - they last a nice long while (or at least my last pair did - the shoes themselves are actually still decent, it's the liners that gave out after 2 years.) But bad shoes plus not being used to so much physical activity adds up - I hit my first wall on Thursday, but I recognized it and took the time to take care of myself. Which in this case was to go home at a reasonable hour and just relax, then made sure to go to bed a little earlier than I had been. Made a HUGE difference, and I was still tired the next day but MAN my mood was vastly improved.

Now I can't go home earlier every day, but I can try to make my night routine more relaxing. One thing I did right the first week but used my "I'm too tired" excuse to not continue the second week was a nice shower at night - granted, the night shower was a little easier because I was milking a blow-out. So tonight (since it's basically my Sunday night - yay for 3-day weekends!) I'm showering and doing the "first half" of the blow-out (where I basically dry my hair semi-straight with straightening creme) with the plan to use my straightening iron tomorrow morning. Breakfast and lunch is mostly prepped for the week already (hashbrown quiches in the morning, Bentos for lunch), so after I shower and do some quick chores, I'm going to initiate a new ritual to really get me relaxed: A nice cup of tea. HOT tea.

Plus who doesn't enjoy this kind of awesome delivery method?

Yes, it's still summer (at least here in CA, where it'll last until October where I live), but warm beverages are soothing. I've become a coffee fiend partly for the caffeine fix, but also because it's warm and it soothes me. It's a nice morning ritual that adds to my morning drive.

So it dawned on me this weekend that I get the same sensation from tea, and I've been wanting to go to bed earlier - so why not make myself some tea at night? Plus it'll give me the added benefit of feeling like a "dessert" at the end of the night, esp. with some stevia, and I'm hoping it'll make me "end" my day. I play on the internet and watch TV and my mind stays so over-stimulated that I fear it's keeping me awake. I only go to bed (and later than I want to) because my body finally overwhelms my brain... but I'm tired of waiting for my body to win the battle.

So, TEA. I know, it's so new and amazing, right?!?
I know I should be embarrassed that it took me THIS long to figure out, but hey, that's why I'm a hot mess. This year has been a lot of accepting my age (UGH SO OLD) and trying to figure out how to best take care of myself emotionally and physically. A nice warm shower at night (meaning more sleep in the morning) and a warm cup of tea to help me shut down sounds like just the ticket to help me take care of myself some more.

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