(I'm still praying for a day shift. It can happen.)
The thing that has been the most helpful for me is to establish better habits in a routine-less schedule. It is shying away from the mindset of "get up at 7am, read the Bible for 30 minutes, be showered by 8am...or die." Now I am working on developing habits that make life less blech. Here are some that have been particularly helpful:
- Our Mutual Bible Reading: Steve and I have a hard time squeezing in a time for reading the Bible together, so we are reading through the Bible using the same daily reading plan. He reads the passages when he can at work, and I read them in the morning or evening, depending on how my day goes. We can still interact with each other about the passage as time allows, and that helps. When we miss a day, we don't freak out. We just read whatever is supposed to be read the next day.
- First Breakfasts: I usually wake up a few minutes before Steve gets back in the mornings, so I take the opportunity to eat some whole-grain cereal, or toast, or something. This gives me a jump start on the morning (i.e. I don't feel like puking), and it lets me snuggle up with Steve for a while before he goes to sleep and I start the day. Then I eat a larger breakfast of eggs, yogurt, fruit, etc, a few hours later.
- Getting Put Together: For a while I was slugging around until the last minute before getting ready for the day. Since I am now raising my glucose levels right off the bat, I have the energy to get up and head straight for the shower. I make the effort to get entirely ready for the day - fixing my hair, putting on make-up, and getting my shoes out. It's a lot easier to face the morning when I feel more like a human being and less like a slug bug. (Steve had a dream that I was yelling at him to get himself pulled together when he gets up. Poor guy.)
- The Crockpot: This appliance is God's gift to me. Enough said.
- The 15-Minute Tidy: My mom is the FlyLady Queen, and her diligence is both inspirational and mind-boggling. I have adapted the FlyLady methods for my life so that I spend 15 minutes a day tidying one section of the house. Monday is Bedroom/Bathroom, Tuesday is Living Room, Wednesday is Kitchen, you get the idea. Today I have to Declutter something. Scary, but necessary.
- Reading and Writing: I think that feeling like I needed to be "doing" something kept me from taking the time to stop, sit down, and write/read for a while. This blog helps with the writing, and this week I've been spending about 30 minutes in the evening reading through a really interesting book (more on that later). This habit gets me out of myself for a little while and gives my overactive imagination something to do for a little while.
Are there habits that you are developing to make your life less stressful?