Thursday, March 17, 2011

Staying Sane March

Each month, Minimalist writers share our thoughts on "staying sane" with the world. Read below for our March reflections.

KZ - Over the past few months I have been learning to take things one day at a time. I'm a worrier by nature. Last October, as many of you know, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer (read my cancer blog here). Update - I'm cancer free and life is pretty much back to normal post-surgery and post-chemo. In any case, having cancer was one thing that showed me that worrying is a complete waste of time and energy. Did I ever worry about getting cancer at age 27? Nope. I worried about things like: boys, job stuff, being in a fire, etc. See? None of that did any good or made me better prepared for the major life event I just tackled. Staying calm and taking things one day at a time is helping me keep my stress at bay. The fact is, I can't control what tomorrow brings. I can only do my best with today. I may have to remind myself of that fact daily, but it's true.

ES - The schedule of a grad student is far from regular and over the past eight months I've developed this awful hybrid eating habit where (due to my crazy schedule) I use thirty minutes to grab a bite to eat, take a break from studio, run errands and catch up with friends. Needless to say, I end up eating cheap crap that's convenient to the nexus of the universe (also known as the intersection of Franklin and Harrison Streets). Over the past few weeks however, I've re-discovered the simple pleasure of cooking at home and even when it happens at 1 am it leaves me relaxed and with meals I enjoy for several days. I stress less about spending money unwisely and eat healthier. Three of my favorite recipes of late that are great as left-overs:

West African Vegetable Stew

Oven Baked Ratatouille

Green Risotto with Spinach, Peas, Herbs and Runner Beans

AMV - What a timely post, since my sanity has been tougher to access this week. Two things are helping keep me positive during a recent job loss and resulting job search: saying no when necessary and instead focusing on a few top priorities, and getting outside on a regular basis.

I want to be involved in everything that sounds cool. I'll make promises to myself and others, and soon feel overwhelmed and find that I'm spending a lot of time on lesser priorities. I've had to say no recently to some cool and interesting projects. I remind myself that eventually, when other more pressing needs are sorted, I can get involved with these creative projects.

With our recent time change, there's more sunlight for us to enjoy now. For sanity's sake, I'm getting a bit of sun on my shoulders everyday. I pull myself away from the computer (force quit?), and get outside for a dog walk, jog, or walk to the grocery store. And while I'm outside, I am gently focusing and refocusing on the lovely weather, and away from that computer screen!

EJ - I couldn't agree with Anne Marie more! My "sanity" has been buried deep the last few weeks and I've got to consciously dig it up every couple days amidst the chaotic schedule that comes with spring. To stay on the top of my game, I've been taking just five to ten minutes each night to "reset" my bedroom. This simply means: put away scattered items, fluff the pillows a bit, light a candle and freshen it up. It's incredible how such a simple little habit can calm you through and through. I go to bed feeling safe in my sanctuary, and when I wake in the morning I'm not hurried trying to find the items I need for the day. Also, Apartment Therapy just posted a great DIY tutorial on how to use clementines and olive oil to make great smelling and environmentally friendly candles. These little guys smell so fresh!

Minimalist readers - share your thoughts on staying sane with us in the comments section!


Anonymous said...

@EJ - I have a similar habit of making a 10 minute "run" through the apartment and putting things away before bed. Also, whenever I make the time to make my bed in the morning (a two minute task) I feel so much more in control of my space and life. Even if it's a false sense, it still helps. Such a simple thing.

miss emily jones said...

@KZ- absolutely nothing in this world beats a fresh-made bed. another thing i forgot to mention in the post is fresh cut flowers! putting a vase anywhere in the apt helps me feel relaxed and refreshed!

Anonymous said...

YES! Fresh cut flowers are so worth the money. They give that "fresh and perfect" feel just like making a bed. I almost did a blog photo series documenting the flowers on my dining table back when I was buying them every couple of weeks.