Although I made an actual, real-life inspiration board prior to the semester starting, I did not write out a Tips for Survival list. I’ve had one rolling around my head, though, and if I were forced to put it down on paper (or in this case, the screen), it would look a little like this:
Having a rough day? Have you done the following??
- Breathe. Take three, deep belly-filling inhales. Extend the exhales.
- Meditate. The Insight Timer app is amazing. Keep using it.
- Yoga. Sore back? Mad shoulders? Take them to the mat.
- Reach out. Text, message, or set up a coffee date. Don’t forget your people.
Now, these four steps can’t fix everything every day, but they are an incredible help when the schedule and demands start to spin a little too fast. And here we are, three weeks into my semester of Biggest Adjuncting Ever, and my head has not popped off my shoulders, thank you very much, so clearly something is going right. 😉
Side note: you guys, one of the classes I am teaching this semester is Stress Management. Let’s keep in mind how ironic it would be if I let my own stress levels get the best of me this fall, shall we?!
Now, by going right do I mean all sunshine and roses? Goodness, no. With my exit from the studio and the start of preschool for the Middles and the littlest Little turning one, there has been a lot of energy, not to mention emotions, flying around lately. That is why the need for grounding and doing so through ritual is even more important than before, and I am thankful that I’ve finally reached a place where I can not only see that but go for it, too.
The biggest aid to this grounding (and hitting several of the steps in one shot), has come from spending time on our sun porch. In the winter, it houses our mini-trampoline so the kids can literally jump out the cabin fever and in the summer it is like a sweat lodge, but in September? In September, the sun porch comes into its glory and it is incredible. Some days might still be warm, but others are cool and the breeze blowing through is always appreciated. I can hear and see nature but nature can’t so much get to me (minus the crickets that I keep finding on the floor). I have plenty of space for my yoga mat, and when you add in a stick of incense and some good tunes, well, bliss comes to mind. It also happens to be a great spot for a cup of coffee and some writing time like I’m doing this morning. Essentially, all my happy things in one happy place.
And I am using it. As evidenced by the trail of incense sticks, I am showing up on the porch a lot these days and I think it is helping. In fact, porch time plus ritual might just be what is keeping my head firmly on my shoulders (so, you know, awesome!).
The most interesting part of this porch routine, currently, is my yoga practice. I started out the school year doing some of my fave videos online (Yoga with Adriene – whenever someone asks what videos they should do at home I always say these first because I adore them), but something shifted and now it is just me, some music, and the mat.
I go anywhere from 20-50 minutes and I literally go anywhere. I am not trying to plan a sequence or make anything fancy. A pose or a flow comes to mind and I play with it. I try to make my sides even. But other than that? I am just going where the practice leads me. I am almost three years into this yoga life (two into teaching) and it is remarkable how freeing it is to know enough about my body and the practice to be able to just trust that together they will take me where I need to be.
In the midst of all the things we’ve got going on right now, I am grateful that I have even the tiniest grasp on what I need to be doing for me. Insomnia and stress still flare up from time to time, but that is life. Stress does not go away (I’m going to hold on to hope that insomnia does). But how we process stress? How we perceive it? That makes all the difference.
Wishing you some peace + home + rituals of your own this fine, fall-feeling weekend!