So, without further adieu, I give you my list of things to incorporate more into my 2012 schedule in order to keep me more sane-feeling:
1. Yoga: this sounds all mother-earth, granola but the stretching and breathing really help me focus on my body and what it is capable of instead of all the things around me that I have no control over.
2. Running: I guess I can include working out in general due to the endorphins released automatically and naturally altering your mood, but running makes me feel strong and powerful and I know I can do great things, I know I can go further and longer and faster if I keep it up (I am woman, hear me roar - ish like that).
3. Burning Hot Baths: I grew up taking baths; therefore I grew up using it as a mechanism for winding down and getting ready for bed. Nowadays baths are fewer to come by but I still love them all the same. I don't do any fancy bath salts or a candle; my only requirement is the hottest water I can tolerate. In the heat of the water I can feel my muscles relax and the day just melt away.
4. Get a Planner and Use It: I always buy a planner each year with great intentions of mapping out each day and I do well for a while until I miss too many homework goals or workout goals and it just gets too overwhelming to erase it all and start over again. So, planners usually get jammed under the seats in my car with other toddler accessories to never see the light of day until I muster up the energy to take inventory of the floorboard nonsense.
5. Maintain a Clean House: it is hard to add house chores to schedules that are chalk-full of work, school, and raising a child. Everyone knows that if you go ONE DAY without cleaning, your whole house can turn into [what feels like] a HAZMAT zone. If my house is chaotic, I feel chaotic. I cannot relax with a mess around me. Yes, I can sit but I am not relaxing, instead I am freaking out about the war zone my kitchen has become and I am itching to get up and fix it.
6. Sit Down With a Cup of Coffee and ENJOY IT: This goes in hand with #5. I'm usually trying to get everything that I could not get done during the week done on the weekends and my Sunday morning coffee ends up getting chugged while I map out a grocery list and chuck the dishes in the dishwasher.
This is an ongoing list of a few things that help me be less of a crazy person, I'm sure there are more to be added as 2011 draws to a close.
Tell me what helps you to relax; I'd love to compare notes.