Note to self: Schedule a time to breathe.

{deep breath} 

Do you ever just get so busy that sometimes you feel like you forget to breathe? I think that sometimes if breathing wasn’t instinctive and involuntary, I might just forget to do it.

If you haven’t read my introductory post, I would recommend checking it out before reading any further – it will just help this post make more sense 🙂

I thought that when I began my journey as a freelance writer, I would have much more time on my hands. Of course, I said I would willingly work 9+ hours a day or even on the weekends, if needed, because I was getting to do it from home. But, in reality, I didn’t think that would be necessary.

Yet, some days I still find my husband having to tell me that I cannot go without taking a lunch break because it just isn’t healthy. 

Even though, I basically control the amount of work that I have each week (aside from regular clients whose assignment flow might vary), I somehow end up being just as busy as I was at my 40+ hour/week job. 

{Photo credit: severalsnakes Flickr via Compfight cc}

{Keep reading, I promise there are some good tips at the end of this tunnel}

Partly, this is due to school. Now that I am able to actually focus on my schoolwork and do it diligently, it takes much more time. Trust me, it is easy to forget how time consuming school really can be. 

However, this is also because I get “dollar sign happy” as I refer to it. I find myself accepting, accepting, accepting jobs and then realizing they are all due within two days. Oh – but don’t forget I still have five assignments that will be due the same day, and I am still trying to manage it to where I am off weekends. 

So, these past few days I feel like I have been so busy that if I didn’t breathe naturally, I probably would forget and not do it at all.

You know, the feeling where you almost question if you should literally write “breathe” into your schedule for the day?

Along with learning to effectively manage my schedule and not accept any job that comes my way just because I like to make money, I am also learning how to let myself relax. I am teaching myself how to de-stress, even if it is just for ten minutes. I am learning the balance between work, school and down time. 

While I am no stress expert, these are just some highlights of things that I have found to be beneficial in making myself calm down and take a breather for a minute:

  • Make a cup of tea. Maybe coffee is your go-to, it typically is mine too (I’m a coffee-aholic) but lately I have incorporated tea into my morning routine. A warm glass of tea is so refreshing and light – especially green tea {bonus: it’s good for you}. Sit in the quiet and drink your tea. It is amazing what the silence in addition to the warmth of the tea can do for your body. But – I know how hard it can be to not sit there and stress the whole time. Before starting this cool down period, pinpoint something that you are excited about, something you love to do or something that makes you happy. Tell yourself that you will only think about that while you enjoy your quiet, cool down time. Make that your main focus – you are teaching yourself self-control by gearing your thoughts toward something more positive and you are letting your mind roam about something positive rather than stress. 
  • Lay on the floor. Okay – I know that sounds super weird, but just try it. While you are at home, lay out in the middle of your living room floor (or another big open space) and just stretch your body out completely, like in an “X” shape. Maybe roll your knee over your hip. This just gives all your muscles a good stretch and I have found that it really rejuvenates me, especially after sitting all day.
  • Go outside. Now, I am not saying go run five miles (unless running is your thing), but literally just step outside. Maybe take a walk to get the mail and back. Just that slight exposure to the sun and the clean, fresh air will do wonders for your mind. While you’re out there, take it a step further – close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
  • Drink some water. Water is like a cure all – it is life to your body. If you are feeling overwhelmed, stand up and go get a big glass of cold water. Take a few deep breaths, drink some water and repeat. The cold, delicious water will almost cleanse your body like it does your pallet. 

Like I said, I am no expert, but I have found that these few little quirky tricks do help me clear my mind and just rejuvenate before starting my next task.

Do you have any stress relievers that you think are incredible? Share them in the comments below! I would love to hear them

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