Too Much To Do, Too Little Time
Ahhh home renos....my wife and I rarely agree on how long a project should take. While I estimate project length and then multiply by three, I think my wife estimates project time and divides by three. This weekend it was baseboards...oh and a soccer game and skating and washing the vehicles and a couple hours of backlogged work. I get up painfully early Saturday morning to get started. Baseboards are first on the list. I back the vehicles out of the garage, lay all the baseboards out and begin applying some kind of stain and varnish combo...that ought to save time. It smelled like burning plastic...that can't be good for me. So after a couple hours of staining, in a closed garage, my head was spinning from the fumes, which actually helped me to not notice how frozen my feet were. I quickly changed out of my home reno clothes and zip Johnny off to his soccer game. Oh and I gotta remember to throw the skates and sticks in the truck because I promised him and his buddy I'd take them skating after the game...what was I thinking? One-thirty roles around, Johnny and his buddy are getting little-kid-cranky...hey, did I ever feed them lunch? We bolt over to Tim Hortons, get everyone fed and watered, then rush home. The fandangled stain and varnish combo I used on the baseboards is not drying very well, so I decide to slog through emails for a couple hours. In the middle of all this my wife Darci walks in, glances down at the old baseboards, still firmly attached to the wall, then gives me that "aren't you done yet" look. I enlighten her on the drying properties of the stain and varnish combo I used, then get back to my email fest. As I am sitting there, I can feel my stress switch fully engaged and the dull hum of "Too much to do, too little time" stress pulsing through my body. So I push my chair back from the table and I ... breathe. What a novel idea! Whenever I feel this way, I pull out my "3B stress switch" tool and help my body out. The 3 B's stand for Breath, Brain and Body and It works like this: Breath- Take 10 breaths
Start with what is called 4-6 breathing. Inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold it briefly, and exhale through your mouth for six seconds.
Because the 4-6 breath is the opposite of a rapid panic or hyperventilating breath it actually sends a signal to your brain that you are ok and it starts to disengage your stress switch.
Brain- Count to 10
While continuing with your 4-6 relaxed breathing, close your eyes and envision the number one as if it were written on your forehead. Focus on this for two breaths and then envision number two and so on until you reach 10.
This helps to calm your mind by occupying it with something neutral, thus slowing your frenzied thinking.
Body- Tense and relax muscles
As you continue to breathe, focus first on the muscles in your face. As you breathe in, tense all the muscles in your face, hold it for a few seconds and then exhale, releasing the tension in your face.
Move through the muscles in your neck and shoulders, arms, stomach and legs and any other places that feel tense.
This process also helps to calm your stress switch by burning up a bit of adrenalin and signaling your brain that you are calming down.
The 3B Stress Switch tool only takes a few minutes, and can be a powerful little tool to help your body recover from the effects of too much stress. As for the baseboards, I'm still working on them. I guess I should have estimated how long the project was going to take and multiply by six rather than three...my wife doesn't think that's very funny!
Quote to Ponder: I'll be happy when...." is the way many people think they are living their lives. Yet, happiness is not something that happens to you. Happiness is inside you now. " - John Agno