Monday, October 4, 2010

Stress Stinks!

Bear with me for a few posts here. Things are going to get a little odd for me because I am trying something VERY new and VERY different. This year I have dealt with a pretty overwhelming amount of stress that is predominantly work related. As things of that nature are wont to do, they spill over into the rest of your life. It's gotten to a point where I'm not really dealing with the stress in a manner that is healthy or makes me someone who is always pleasant to be around. My temper has gotten really short with people and I've gotten to a point where I tend to OVER react to situations. And it's just made me an overall less happy person. Not that I consider myself an unhappy person, just less happy than I know I could be. I have been gently encouraged by a few people around me, including my husband, to look into means to help me better deal with my stress and try to get a little more balanced. The flip side to that is that I need to find something that can help relieve my stress that won't, in the end, cause more stress. Sound confusing? Let me explain.;o)

I've had a variety of stress management classes recommended to me, but to be perfectly honest, the idea of taking a class only adds to my stress. Sound weird? Yeah, I know, I'm just wired all sorts of funny! But I can explain!:) In taking a class, I am essentially at the will of someone else's schedule. Which means that I have to sign up for this class on a day or time that most likely won't be as convenient for me. In my case, when it's inconvenient to me, that's usually because it means giving up doing something else that I already want to do or feel committed to. That usually involves spending time with the dogs. As it is, I feel guilty enough that I don't spend enough time with them. A class would only further take time away from them. And it's not just the duration of the class that we're talking about either. There's travel time to be factored in. And with travel, there's potentially dealing with stupid traffic depending on where I'm going and what time of day. I tend to be a little prone to road rage. Shocked? Yeah, I didn't think so!;o) So pretty much what I envision when I think about signing myself up for a stress relieving class is this: I rush home from work to get my things at home in order so that I can leave for class. I leave the house at the exact latest moment I can so as to maximize my time home with Adam and the dogs, which means that I then get highly irritated at any person on the road who is going under the speed limit or just generally not in a hurry to get any where. I then show up to class frazzled and mentally running through the things that I will need to hurry through getting done once I get done with class. I will then spend the rest of the duration of the class feeling guilty for giving up this time with the dogs and thinking about what potential training time I'm missing with them and how that will effect our future performances. Once class is over with, I rush out and hurry home. I get home in time to go back to feeling frazzled and then feeling overwhelmed with all things that I think I should have gotten done that didn't get done because of the class. In a nut shell, a stress relieving class would be anything BUT for me. Therefore, I've looked into things that I can do at home that can also incorporate my dogs!

This is where I will admit it gets a little odd. But like I said, bear with me. I think it could be something pretty fun for me to talk about on the blog and hopefully there will also be some progress that I can share. Are you ready for it? I'm going to try meditating daily with my dogs. There, I said it! Phew! Obviously I was feeling a little weird saying it out loud, but now that it's "out there" I feel a little better.:)

I'm shooting for giving weekly updates on how things are progressing as well as having some specific blog posts about meditation, the various benefits, and other things related. This is something completely new to me and I'm looking forward to seeing what it can do for me as well as the dogs. From what I've read, the benefits are supposed to be mutual. What I'm looking most forward to is some mental clarity. My thoughts tend to run amok inside my head and it would be great to start exerting some control over that and learning how to quiet things down. I think that this could also help the dogs and I in competition in a variety of ways, but I'll get to that in a later post.

Today was actually our very first time trying it out. I had thankfully done some reading ahead of time and was prepared for things to not go quite as I had hoped they would. It'll be a work in progress trying this out with the dogs. For our one experience, the dogs were definitely not entirely sure what I was doing. Usually when I'm on the ground with them, it's because I'm directly interacting with them in some way. It took them a bit to understand that I just wanted them to lay next to me so that I could put a hand on each dog. We did achieve this for a short period of time, but eventually both dogs got up and left. Our total "session" time was 30 min. On the down side, they were a little antsy and had a hard time settling in. On the up side, I have a feeling that once I establish a routine they'll come around. After getting a little taste of meditation for myself, I think I'm going to like it. It's definitely going to take some work though for me to keep my mind quiet. But then again, that's exactly what I need.

So hopefully you don't think I've totally gone off the deep end! It's the same me, I'm just exploring some alternative options to see where they lead.


Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

I don't think that sounds crazy at all! If you have time, I'd love to either get the name of the book you read on it or maybe a quick email with tips/hints. I'm returning to work this week after almost 7 months out on disability, and from what I hear from my co-workers, it's a disaster beyond belief. It was stressful and crappy before I left, so I can't imagine what I'll be going back to. I'm willing to try meditation, especially if it involves the dogs!

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