Tag Archive | hobbies

The HSP in me

It’s that time of year. The nights are drawing in; no more sitting outside in a comfortable warmth as it gets dark. The mornings are distinctly chillier and I am more inclined to snuggle back under the duvet than to leap out of bed raring to go. Energy levels are sapping just as work schedules are increasing massively over the winter period.

Of course I have a 16-week break to look forward to between February and June, but it seems a long time to wait just now.

So how do I make sure that I maintain equilibrium in the meantime? I know that I need to rest, stay healthy and as stress-free as possible. But how?

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Targets, financial deadlines, Christmas, all words guaranteed to set my soul a-flutter at the mere mention. I am normally very good at managing my stressors but when I’m busy or distracted it’s easy to forget my coping strategies so here are a couple of reminders to myself;

Plan ahead

This is really important and saves me from a lot of unnecessary stress. Last week for instance I had to travel to London for a training day. I knew that the train would be busy, the Underground even more so. I am used to working from home in a quiet environment much of which I can control directly so being in a lecture room with a group of colleagues can be daunting. As can shopping for lunch at a busy time at the midday break.

I booked my ticket in advance and reserved my seat. An early train to get me into London before the main rush-hour. I took my lunch with me.

I also booked the next day off as holiday. I knew that I would be tired after a long day traveling combined with the training so I made sure that I had a restful day before returning to work. Luckily the weather was sunny and bright and I spent the day in the garden and in the garage making hedgehog houses. Perfect recuperation.

Routine maintenance

Maintaining a routine is not easy for me as my sleep patterns vary so much, as do my energy levels. I have learned instead to “go with the flow” and not worry too much if I don’t quite follow my plans to the letter.

Good routines include, at least an hour or two before bedtime, shutting down all electronic equipment. As an information and social media junkie this is difficult for me and I probably pay the price in that my sleep can be disturbed by vivid dreams and I often wake after just 4 hours rest. Instead, I should read (a proper book, with real paper pages and not on Kindle) and in the morning, I should make time to start the day in a calm way by practising something like yoga or writing my journal.

I definitely need to work on this one. I think I’ll start tomorrow.

Hopefully I shall survive my “busy” season with sanity intact having followed my own advice but roll on February.

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A creative mess

Following on from my earlier post I managed to “persuade” hubby to go and visit his friend in Leicester as I was planning to “open my shop”. This is what he objects to (in the nicest possible way) as he has given up trying to make me tidy up as I go along.

But what I can’t get him to understand is you cannot suppress creative urges just because you are focusing on keeping neat. All that divine inspiration would disappear in an instant, lost forever.

Anyway, who cares when your scrap booking intentions exceed expectations and you make a lovely page like this? I have now prepared 29 pages ready for the photos of the wedding day, hen party (ies) etc and I can’t wait to finish the project although I shall miss it when it’s over and done with. I have had to buy a second album to fit all the pages in as 29 will probably end up as 59 but it will be a very personal present and something which I hope that Pippa and Dan will treasure for a long time.

Pippa's wedding album Page 29

PS We had a different postman today who arrived early and hubby had to sign for the package…..sadly my scrapbook papers arrived in a 12″ x 12″ cardboard box so it gave the game away and I had to confess to my indulgent spending. 😦

Do something you enjoy

I have always been very active, and I enjoy a number of varied physical activities such as golf, ice-skating, walking, cycling, gardening and when on holiday, sea fishing. These are all great things to do, especially if I am outside in the fresh air but they can also be exhausting on top of a heavy work and travel schedule during the week. It is only now that I have ground to a halt that I realise that I have been ignoring the need for rest and relaxation in my ongoing battle to remain mentally healthy and up beat.

Over the past 16 months I have been medication-free and it cannot be coincidence that much of this time was spent making things and not actively doing things. I love making things and it is a pastime that I have neglected over the past few months and maybe I need to resurrect my creative tendencies and focus more on sitting quietly being productive and not push myself to be out and about if this cycle of manic activity followed by periods of exhaustion is to be broken once and for all. This is something I need to consider seriously and in more detail so that I can come up with a sensible long-term plan.

In the meantime, when I woke up this morning I forced myself to get out of bed and get ready for my hair appointment so that there was no possibility of calling it off. I then found myself at a loose end and to take my mind off “stuff” I made a flower brooch. It isn’t much, but it’s a start and gave me great satisfaction when I pinned it on my cardigan.

Flower brooch

Flower brooch