October was a month of disconnect for me. It was hot- in the 70s- for most of the month, which clashed with the whole “fall is here” feeling. I was barely in the house for about 2 weeks. First off, Jill’s little sister visited San Francisco, and needed a place to stay, so I shipped off to Ryan’s for a week or so. Then Ryan left town for another week and a half, so I was over there again just to dogsit. Throughout it all I shuffled back and forth to my house for clean clothes and sanity.
During this time I worked longer hours than usual and even though it’s nothing in the realm of what’s normal for a lawyer or an ibanker, for me, the stress was miserable. I spent my free time seeing shows (Jens Lekman, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, Anthony Bourdain, Architecture in Helsinki), eating extravagant meals with an equally depressed friend, and then there was Halloween. Boom. ON TO NOVEMBER.
November is crazy too. Or rather, other people are telling me that it’s crazy and if I agree with them, I guess that’s how it will be. I’m trying to take it easy, but honestly, the “Holiday Season” doesn’t want you to calm down.
A few stress-coping skills I learned from October:
- Spend time with friends and family everyday. They will knock some sense into you when things get tough. They will present options to you when you cannot see straight any more.
- Go to yoga/a bike ride/running/the gym- whatever your “thing” is, do it. You need it, terribly. If you’re lucky, you just might have an epiphany during your exercise. The only caveat is don’t go work out if you’re totally fried and depressed and crying in bed. Probably won’t help. Just go back to sleep.
- Eat well. Drink water. Eat straight up vegetables and whole grains. You will feel better.
- Go drinking when you need to. It helps.
- Sleep. I guess this one should be number one. Wonderful things happen when your body gets sleep, and if you don’t get it, everything goes downhill exponentially.
- Take a full lunch hour at work. Like sleep, it will work wonders. I like to spend my lunch hours shopping or walking to the library. I’m always glad when I take my government mandated lunch hour!
- Make time for things that are important to you- whatever it is- knitting, a friend’s birthday party, grocery shopping, getting a haircut… make time for it. Stay up late and do it, whatever. If you don’t do the things that you enjoy, you’ll start to become incredibly spiteful toward everyone and you’ll lose a bit of yourself.
- Go easy on friends and loved ones. I let my feelings get out of control and I became very mean and irrational during October. Avoid it if you can!
- Say no if you have to- I quit French :(. I really hated that I had to, but work was taking over, and I just didn’t have the time for it. Once I stopped taking French, a good 8 hours/week opened up for me.
- Breathe, meditate, stretch. Blah blah blah. You know it’s true.
- Remember that everything that you’re doing is a choice, and that you are in control. Even if things are bad, you can control how you’re responding.
- When things are really bad, laugh. It will probably be all right.
Oh, of course I’m laughing. Here’s goes November!