Friday, November 23, 2012

Stressed Atmosphere

It would be a lie if I told you much past hunting was on my mind right now. I think for the next few weeks—or until I get a kill (whichever comes first)—you'll be hearing a lot about Deer Season. But even though it is the passion of the moment, that doesn't mean the rest of my farm fades away. Chores are still chores, and the animals are restless from the weird mood swings in weather and sounds of gunshots all over the mountain. For example: today it was sunny and warm enough to sit in my deer blind in a light sweater and in a few hours there's a chance everything will be covered in snow. Combine all that atmospheric hootenanny with the fireworks of random gunfire and it's anyone's game around here.

If it does snow, then I am looking forward to some time inside to write, clean up this house, and catch up on emails and design work. I have logos and websites to spiff up, a new prepping workshop* with Kathy Harrison to announce, and the big Wool & Words Weekend to get ready for. I hope the farm will have snow on it by then, even a little. I feel spring and winter workshops could really use the dusting of powdered sugar to hide the burned parts of the farm...

I feel incredibly tired lately. I think it's the early mornings and all this time spent outside, but I also don't sleep well in general and I find myself getting winded doing regular chores. It's not usual for me to feel like that, and it's really unusual now that I'm a month into my workout routine and losing weight. I should feel better than ever, but instead I feel stretched thin. Perhaps it is stress. I think I need to make more time for meditation and organization around here. I haven't cleaned out my truck in a month and it looks like I live out of the back seat. Cleaning, strange as it sounds, always gets me in better mental shape. What do you folks do to create better overall wellness and stress relief? Any advice for the farmer on the hill?


Blogger kaelak said...

Meditation. Time with friends. Breaking sone thing down into small parts and getting a few parts done. Perspective. Snow!

November 23, 2012 at 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Run a lyme test?

November 23, 2012 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger PansWife said...

Do you really need a workout routine on top of all the chores you do? You seem very active just taking care of farm business. Cut out a couple hundred calories a day from your diet and you can skip the running or Jillian video.

I do agree that cleaning and organizing helps manage stress. Just having a tidy kitchen with nothing on the table but a vase of flowers or a pumpkin can lower my blood pressure. Clutter creates stress, so try just putting things away that might be scattered about.

The insomnia thing is pretty common for women in their 30s, and it tends to stick around through menopause. Don't fight it. Read in the middle of the night if you find yourself fully awake. Try and sleep again after an hour of that. If you wake up thinking about problems it helps to make a list of what you are stressing about and possible solutions. It sort of clears it from your head. Sometimes it helps to tell yourself your only chore right now is to sleep, everything else will be dealt with in the morning. Repeat like a mantra. You also might want to try napping if you feel even the slightest urge. A 20 minute nap came rejuvenate a body.

November 23, 2012 at 5:07 PM  
Blogger Kelsie said...

De-stressing for me means having a clean kitchen and then time to cook a fresh, beautiful meal for myself while sipping wine and watching Food Network shows online. I LOVE being left alone in the kitchen to work. It's my happy place.

Sleeping is problematic for me as well, but several things help:

-The "Bedtime" tea made by Yogi Teas is awesome. It never fails to at LEAST make me sleepy. I drink a mug of it about half an hour before bed.

-White noise. White noise drowns out not only any ambient sounds that might jar me awake, but also helps drown out the voices in my head. :) I use, which is a free, online white noise generator.

-Total darkness. I didn't used to be this way, but now that I'm approaching 30, any sort of light at all really tends to keep me wired up.

-Avoiding using the computer right up until bed. There have been studies showing that the light of the computer monitor has the effect of keeping us awake and our brains active. I shut down the computer about an hour or so before bed and read a book or watch an episode of Game of Thrones instead. :) When I use my computer for the white noise, I just turn off the monitor and block any lights with a book or something.

Clean sheets on the bed ALWAYS make me sleep better, too!

November 23, 2012 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Make sure you are getting enough iron!

November 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

And Vitamin D!

November 23, 2012 at 5:33 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
Maybe you are vitamin D deficient? I've started taking some due to feeling tired all the time and I've noticed some improvement.

As for not sleeping, the supplement Valerian Root can be your friend!!!
Lisa in Maine

November 23, 2012 at 5:37 PM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Restorative yoga. A really good 90 minute restorative practice -if you allow it to be and releasethe need to do- can be as rejuvenating as a fullnights sleep. And If you do fall asleep in a pose... Great!

November 23, 2012 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Rich With Life said...

I clean :) Just like you said, for some reason it seems to put me in my calm and de-stressed mood. I have also found that painting really helps, though it's nothing to brag about, just something I enjoy focusing on for an hour once every couple of weeks.

November 23, 2012 at 5:53 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

My line of work calls for regular bodywork (or I'll turn into a scrunched up ball of surgery candidate), so every other week I have either a massage or a Rolfing session. They're as much a mental and emotional dump as they are a physical recharge. I've bounced a lot of ideas, worries, plans, excitement, etc. off my therapists and sometimes I get great ideas, or sometimes I just get a huge breath of fresh air from the release of pent up nervous or negative energy. I picked up one of my goat kid's names from one of them. :)
I also get a recharge from just sitting out with my goats while they climb on me or stick their noses in my face, or the kids chew on my ears. They're so meditative. Sometimes I just need to stop and do nothing for a bit and appreciate the gift of it.

November 23, 2012 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger E said...



November 23, 2012 at 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also make sure you're getting enough of the B vitamins.

November 23, 2012 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Clutter always stresses me out. I rest and relax so much better in a clean house. I agree with the Vit D and Iron..get them checked out. And this is not a dig on your age (hey, I'm 51) but when I turned 30 and then 40, I noticed my body reacted very differently to things. Hope you get that deer soon!


November 23, 2012 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Mayleen said...

"Stretched thin" is a phrase I have used myself. For me, it means too much worry (even if it isn't conscious) combined with generalized running-about, and not enough refueling on the energetic level: socializing with people I REALLY care about; relaxing with a cup of tea and just watching the chickens peck around; reading a book for fun instead of knowledge. I agree with the organization/ clutter comments, too. When I cannot get all of my world working the way I need, I can at least have some control on the smaller scale - clean the truck, sort a random pile, paint the bathroom. On the physical side, be sure you are eating enough and well, drink lots of water, and do vigorous excercise like your running or a long canter. Right now, I have my kung fu to keep me sane. And breathe... and again... and again..

November 23, 2012 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

Movies, cider, roaring fire, gravol. Yoga in the morning.

November 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Keep the liquids pouring in, eat those dark green veggies and make parsley tea and stuff like that. I find the day's I do 30 min. of Yoga, and I do the easy stuff, I have energy to burn (and I'm 78 now). But the biggest health boost is not consuming sugar, or vastly cutting it out of the diet - plus more of the B vims you get in meat like, liver, lamb, beef. The 10 years I was vegetarian were a major mistake and I've been digging out of that pit for years. I wish you good deep sleeping for a huge starting tonight!

November 23, 2012 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Meditation. Clean --really a clean house and truck, everything in it's place makes a huge difference. And try giving up wheat for a few days and see what it does for you...there is some pretty compelling science emerging on that front with modern wheat. Little breaks may clear your head and energy (worked for me).

November 23, 2012 at 7:48 PM  
Blogger barbsbirds13 said...

Plus - when you can't sleep - my chiropractor/nutritionist suggests chewing a calcium supplemen which sends it strait to the blood stream, bringing on sleep.

November 23, 2012 at 7:50 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Like kaelak said---Break things down into small parts. As each bit is done, mark it off the mental list. Feel the sense of accomplishment. Don't just think--"Okay--done with that but now I have to ____." No. You're done with that. Period. Good on you. You've made progress. Take a deep breath. Smile. Okay. Now, next?

November 23, 2012 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Ohyeah. AND you need a good laugh. Prescription?

Listen to The Second Week of Deer Camp by Da Yoopers.


Thirty Point Buck by dang--forgot. Bananas at Large maybe?

November 23, 2012 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger Erin and Scott said...

Get tested for Lyme disease. You live in a bad spot for it. 1 year ago I was like you. Wondering why so tired. Not typical of me. Got tested. Positive. The antibiotics suck bad, but I felt better. If it continues. Get tested. Stick with the hunting. Do you have a muzzleloader? Odds are better then, you can get your feet wet with a doe. If not, I bet we can find one for you to borrow.

November 23, 2012 at 8:26 PM  
Blogger Erin and Scott said...

Lyme Disease. Same happened with me. Don't mess with it, get tested. Stick with the deer. It will happen.

November 23, 2012 at 8:29 PM  
Blogger English sheep gal said...

I love to spend some time on my spinning wheel - although sometimes when there is a lot to do it's hard to give yourself permission to just sit. I find it almost hypnotic, the rhythm is calming and all chaos buzzing in my brain gradually unscrambles while I spin.

November 23, 2012 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Lots of good ideas here. When I was super stressed working my way through grad school, I would often "opt out" of one thing in my schedule, whether it was skipping class or a party. Just having an unexpected free block of time made me feel like anything I got done put me ahead of the game, and made me feel more secure about keeping up with The List I carry constantly in my head.

Also, just writing The List down would help get it out of my head for awile, particularly at bedtime.

(Was just about to post this when I had to stop and clean up something the dog coughed up...thought you might appreciate that.) :)

November 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger ican said...

You're getting great advice here! Definitely up your water intake, your vitamins (Bs and some fish oil), cut out sugar and simple carbs (sorry, that means bread!), disconnect from technology for a stretch each day, and aim for 8 hours of sleep preceded by at least 30 minutes of total down-time.

Good luck!

November 23, 2012 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Nerissa said...

Aside from regular destressing activities during really stressful times in my life I would make a shower ritual. I would light a candle, and incense, and had a handful of stones which I would hold under the shower head and visualize all the stress, disdain, and yucky feelings run away down the drain. Then I would clean my body. It was nice and really was a time when I gave myself the time to move slowly.

November 23, 2012 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Kevin and Beth said...

Atmospheric hootenanny... No better description of our crazy weather has ever been written!

November 23, 2012 at 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I can't sleep I put on a favorite podcast. One of two things will happen a) I fall right asleep because I've stopped focusing on whatever ideas/worries are bouncing around my head b) I still take a while to fall asleep, but I don't get anxious about it because my body is at rest and my mind is on something enjoyable.

When I'm really having trouble I listen to one of the many guided meditation podcasts.

November 23, 2012 at 11:18 PM  
Blogger shrlckhlms said...

Caffeine all of a sudden became a problem for me around your age. Try cutting back or out?

November 23, 2012 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger feathers217 said...

A good deep cleaning does it for me , once I finish (all day job w/ 3 finished levels & 3,600 sq ft) I just walk through the whole house admiring & nit picking , everything looks great. I take a long warm shower , fresh clean smelling lotion , comfy pj's and just a glass of Armaretto......just takes that stress right out of me. Just something about cleaning !

November 23, 2012 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

All the previous comments are good, but I keep thinking about your thyroid. I, myself, felt stretched thin, overwhelmed, and out of breath for a long time, and then when I wanted to have a baby I had a routine blood test for my thyroid. If your thyroid is out of whack you can't have a baby very easily. The normal range for your thyroid is between 2-5 and mine was at 25.96.

I have hypothyroidism, which means no matter how well I was eating my body was still starving, because I couldn't metabolize the food I was eating. The only cure is to take a hormone replacement, and I did ask my doctor if I could do something else to help it, but basically hypo or hyper thyroid isn't able to regulate your hormones.

It is just another suggestion to look into, and since I have been taking care of my thyroid my hair doesn't fall out constantly, I am not out of breath doing simple tasks, little things don't overwhelm me, and I have energy. I still have a lot of weight, but then I did just have a baby.

November 24, 2012 at 12:27 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I agree with Sue's comment above regarding the thyroid. Same thing happened to me and several oher women I know. Good thing is, the testing is easy, the medication is cheap and you feel better immediately (in my experience.) Hope you feel better soon!

November 24, 2012 at 6:37 AM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thank you for all the suggestions and advice! I have had my thyroid tested, it was fine. And I have been regularly tested to lyme. I was on antibiotics for it a bit ago when the doc thought I had it...

I think it is all stress related. It's my head and life that needs cleaning out. When that is is better shape the body will reflect that.

November 24, 2012 at 7:06 AM  
Blogger seagrrlz said...

To tell you the truth, almost every single person I know is complaining of the same thing. Tired as all get out and BLAH. I think it's the changing season personally. Right now the weather here is the same as there. Not really winter and not really fall. The weather here has been freakishly warm this year. Friends of mine went swimming last week a pond. Unheard of here. I think once winter really arrives, it will be better!

November 24, 2012 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger farmwifetwo said...

S.A.D. hits us all sooner or later.

But I find writing it down in a journal, making lists so the chores to seem so overwhelming, reading, using melatonin to sleep if necessary... all help.

If you don't need to get up so early... don't. Even if it's lying on the sofa watching the sun come up in the morning for a few minutes.

This year, I cut back the kid stuff bigtime. Dh still has a lot of his stuff but we've been lazy this fall... we're were overtired. Since nobody has missed the running... then they were too.

November 24, 2012 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Hound Doggy said...

Ditch the alarm clock. Let your body figure out what it needs.

November 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Holly said...

Have you tried body cleansing solution? Sounds crazy but I was all tired and did one recommended by health store owner. Really felt like it released stored toxins and cleaned my body. Also,I agree with others about housecleaning. And you have to acknowledge the stress in your life: running farm, caring for animals, money. Then take stress busting steps so you feel better. Is there an area you havn't tapped into as income producing? Could you promote farm CSA to a new area? You enjoyed going into grade school any...grants for writer going into schools? Perhaps examing your options and doing a slightly different direction might help. Work with Battenkill Bookstore to develop a homesteaders series, earning you and them money for talks/demonstrations. More work may seem like a crazy solution but you are so creative and that creativity may need a new direction for awhile to create energy.
Just some thoughts! Wishing you well always!

November 24, 2012 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger J.D. Collins said...

Lemon balm tea 3 times a day. Used since the ancient times for general wellness and to bolster immunity (or is that immunitea?)

That's my tonic.

November 24, 2012 at 4:27 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Sorry i am a little late with the post, i had similar symptoms a few weeks ago, besides stress, my calorie count was just plain low, too much activity without enough input. I am an eater too, but i needed more than lots of veg and protein. I now try for 6 small to medium meals a day with substance including lots of whole grains. I have given up trying to fit into my college jeans an added an extra helping of brown rice and apple crisp. Hope you feel better soon!

November 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM  
Blogger karen said...

Don't have anything to add, just want to pass on my good wishes for this to pass quickly. Sleep problems really stink and if you can conquer that, the rest will probably follow. Karen from CT

November 24, 2012 at 9:13 PM  

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