Two More Stress Reduction Tips

It has been a challenging week, as far as getting anything done goes. My husband pretty much runs errands or works when I don’t, so I have puppy duty. It’s fun, of course, but makes it tough to get anything done. So right now, I’m taking advantage of naptime to get this update written.

puppy sleeping

In light of the challenges, I’ve come up with a couple of things that help when times are stressful:

  1. Be flexible, and
  2. Have routines.

They seem contradictory but they”re actually not.

We had our family’s Easter dinner this pastย Sunday, rather than on Easter, a week earlier. My daughter had to work on Easter and had already planned to come home the following weekend, so we just switched it. It also meant I got a few goodies for her basket at half price. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Being flexible meant everyone was there, we were more relaxed, and we had fun.

Routines help, too. I do certain tasks on certain days, at certain times. For example, I do paperwork–personal bill paying, as well as bookkeeping for my family’s two businesses, on Monday. I set the bills aside in a letter sorter as they come in (email bills go into a specified folder), then deal with them all at once. Much more efficient than doing a little bit at a time, yet is often and regular enough the filing doesn’t pile up.

I haven’t been working out lately, but when I did, I did it right after I got home from work. Keeping to that routine helped ensure that it didn’t get lost in the shuffle of other things to do and forgotten.

ROW80Logo175Now for this week’s ROW80 update.

The good news: I did manage to open the book file and do some writing five times this week to meet my goal. The bad news: I only wrote about a paragraph each time. I started formatting the ebook but did not finish.

I signed up for an online writing workshop to try and kick back into gear there.ย Spending money on something like that tends to motivate me, so we’ll see how that works. In addition, I’m going to shoot for writing 300 words in the WIP, three times this week. I also want to get the ebook formatted.

What about you–do you have routines for certain tasks that help keep the stress away? Has flexibility helped you lately? Got any more stress reduction tips? Please share–I’d love to hear from you!

Jennette Marie Powell writes stories about ordinary people in ordinary places, who do extraordinary things and learn that those ordinary places are anything but. In her Saturn Society novels, unwilling time travelers do what they must to make things right... and change more than they expect. You can find her books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, iTunes, and more.

12 Responses to \

  1. Having a routine is crucial for me. In fact, when something isn’t working it’s probably because I haven’t fit it into the routine or its happening out of routine. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I see you working through a process here and its great to see. Glad you had a special time with your family. Here’s to working out, getting in the words, and having a great week.

  2. I like a mix of routine and flexibility. And I’m all for celebrating a holiday or event on another day if it means everyone can attend–and be relaxed and happy! Looks like puppy knows how to relax too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I too, have routines, which help a lot. But what’s helping me more is to cut down on the number of things I do, the number of things I consider pressing.

    I went to DC on vacation in March, after rushing around like crazy to get a ton of things done before I left. Know what? When I got halfway there, I realized I’d left at home all my eye care stuff. My husband and I ended up spending $400.(!) for contact lenses, eyeglasses, and all the impedimenta that go with poor eyesight. My lesson: STOP. Just stop racing around so much. I know I’m driven and I’m trying to control that.

    It’s not the solution for everyone, but boy, does it feel good to me. Last week a friend asked if I could go with her the following afternoon to hear her nephew’s college acapella group perform and with only one day’s notice I could say yes! It felt so good not having every nano-second of my days scheduled and the concert was a lot of fun.

  4. I absolutely need a routine or I find myself procrastinating. I read in the mornings, write in the afternoons, and check in on social media in between. I also do free-writing as often as possible, usually after breakfast. I’m trying to become more efficient with my routines. And I’m trying to work some exercise in there, since I tend to spend too much time sitting at the computer or with a book in my lap.

    Have a great week, Jennette. Happy adventures in puppy-land!

  5. Welcome to the world of puppy ownership! They do require a lot of attention and like children, they’re most dangerous when they’re quiet (and not sleeping). I remember those days. “What’s he up to, it’s too quiet?”

    I do much better with routine as well. I can fly by the seat of my pants if I have too, thats how I write, but I prefer structure. Usually it means I don’t have to question later whether or not something got done either, because I know I did it on such and such day because I always do it on such and such day.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  6. Jennette, I don’t know if it’s just me, but you sound so much happier since you and hubby got this sweet puppy, even though it may throw you a bit out of your routine. And speaking of routines, you sound like you’ve got that covered girl. And I don’t think being flexible and having a routine sounds contradictory. Makes perfect sense to me. Flexibility helps us maintain balance in order to keep our routine. So I’m right there with you girl. Keep writing. Every little bit moves the story forward. Sometimes it comes out in spurts and then other times a flood. No worries my friend. ((Hugs!)) ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. SJ, me too! And thanks.

    Coleen, so true – to everything you said!

    Lynette, I’ve had to slow down like that too. Ugh on the contacts! I am totally with you – limiting the to-do list (when we can!) makes life so much less stressful.

    Denise, it helps me to not procrastinate, too! If I didn’t do paperwork every Monday, I’d have a stack of stuff to file all the way to the ceiling!

    LOL Patricia, that’s exactly what I think when puppy’s quiet but not sleeping! Structure helps me a lot.

    Karen, we are a lot happier! The house no longer seems so empty. Thanks!

  8. Know what? I felt my blood pressure go down as soon as I saw that photo of Isis asleep. Maintaining flexibility AND routines is ideal for training puppies and writers. Thanks, Jennette!

  9. Oh my god, your puppy is so cute! oh, I’m so jealous! I have two cats, and I love them, but I have a puppy shaped hole in my heart still ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m not sure how well the cats will take to a puppy invading their space the day we finally get one though! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Im with you on the routines, if I fall out of my routines, everything falls apart. I was at my most productive when I was up at 6 (I’m a morning person) and working out first thing in the day. I found it just sets me off for the day and puts me in a real ‘go get them’ mood. I also found that having specific times when I HAD to write and there was no option to set it aside really helped. Basically as if writing as an appointment I couldn’t cancel. As soon as I let myself cancel once, I kept cancelling.
    And actually my best stress reduction tip is no TV ๐Ÿ™‚ We cancelled our channel subscription over a year ago and it’s done wonders. We still have a physical TV but we cant just put on something crap and gawk at it. We have to make conscious decisions as to what we watch and it means we waste less time watching crap, and therefore have more time to sort out what needs sorting etc. We still watch films and TV shows but much less so! Having more time to do things means I get less of that harried ‘omg it’s all getting too much’ feeling.

  10. Pat, it is definitely calming to just pet her – as long as she’s calm, that is!

    Thanks, Celine! Making writing an appointment is a good idea. I’m 100% with you on TV, too – I watch almost no TV, haven’t for years.

  11. I thought I commented on this, sorry for the miss. I guess it was my crazy in the prep to leave. I’m guessing you’re busy with the workshop, hence the no blog. Totally get it. Hope it’s going well.

    A flexible Easter – a good thing. We’ve learned the same thing. It helps tremendously to be flexible.

    I used to have routines, but they seem to have fallen to hell lately. I plan to script them out and try to hold to them again. I need the structure and hope it will help me be better organized in my work ethic and accomplishments. They haven’t been what I’ve hoped for lately. I’ve let the family derail me and it isn’t good. Time to get back on track.

    How’s pups doing?

  12. I hope you’re making great progress with the writing workshop, Jennette. These are good tips. We’ve done some of our Christmas gatherings on different dates just so everyone can be there. As far as routine, I’m not good at that at all! So maybe I need to give it a shot and see if it helps! Hope you have a good weekend!