Friday, September 2, 2011

time to slow down

I am realizing how much I haven't been taking care of myself. Not enough sleep, not eating well, not stopping when I am tired, and filling my days with do-to lists that could cripple an OCD ward. I need to make some time to breathe and stretch and put on some moisturizer and pick up a pair of jeans without holes in them. A few days ago I was so worn out it scared me into slowing down. My body pretty much demanded, without argument, that I rest. So I am resting this weekend.

I'm not going to stop writing or blogging (that would drive me crazy), but I am going to take my activity level down a few notches. I am making more time for me, even if it's just an hour in the morning. The farm here is a beautiful thing, but sometimes it moves forward with pounding hooves and I need to learn to step back or it can trample right over me. I have to remind myself that just because I have all the supplies and daylight to extract honey and bottle two gallons of beer doesn't mean I have to do it. Maybe I can do one each day, over this weekend, and spend a little more time stretching in the morning sun, breathing deep, being grateful, and enjoying healthy meals. I think I need it. Last night was the first time I slept 8-hours straight in years. It made a difference.

Feeling very tired tonight. Not complaining (I hope this doesn't come across that way) I'm plain worn out. It happens every now and again, and if you already have a small farm or wish to own one yourself: you'll probably relate to this silly plight. I expect the first colder nights with woodsmoke and crisp leaves to pull me back into full speed, but right now I could curl up into a dog bed if it was the closest mattress...

Not sure you folks want to hear about this sort of thing? But it is what's happening right now, and since this blog is pretty much a play-by-play of one life, it was shared. Some nights I'll stay up hours typing about loving this farm, and some nights I hope it leaves me alone for hours so I can stand upright without tottering.

Anyone have any suggestions on best ways to unwind? I should preempt that by saying I don't have a bathtub and this is a family-friendly site.

Here's to sleep.


Blogger Kathleen Stoltzfus said...

I often tell myself that I can only do what I can do. The rest will have to wait. And you know what? The world doesn't end. Personally, I need one day a week where I have absolutely no expectations for myself. I might putter, but no agendas related to work. Just this has helped tremendously.
As far as ideas to unwind? I do love a good novel. Usually something along the lines of Dean Koontz. You know - nothing related to farming, homesteading, etc. Just a good juicy plot that takes me away from the everyday. Also not to be overlooked are romantic comedies. When I'm looking to relax, in both books and movies, I require something that doesn't take a lot of thought to enjoy. Just a cheap laugh or thrill.

September 2, 2011 at 9:07 PM  
Blogger beanyween said...

We have a fox who is coming by at 7:00am and 8:00PM -he got a hen and a rooster, so we are rising early to wait for him and coming home to wait for him till dark in the pasture- getting the free rangers is TIRING - then you have to feed everybody....I do find just sitting in the field waiting for him very relaxing in a nervewracking kind of way!

September 2, 2011 at 9:30 PM  
Blogger Chicky said...

+1 to Kathleen
A good novel does wonders. A novel that you can get lost in - a plot that doesn't require deep thinking, just plain enjoyment. Dean Koontz is great. Janet Evanovich writes a hilarious series with a fun-loving main character named Stephanie Plum. I don't promote alcoholism, but I do promote a yummy glass of wine or a lip-smacking microbrew (or homebrew!) to make the unwinding that much more enjoyable. Not sure how your running has been going, but a cardio workout can help your mind unwind. Yoga is amazing, but the heart is a muscle that needs to be worked. For me, the most amazing way to unwind is a good run, a homemade meal, a glass of wine or pint of homebrew, & an easy novel to take my mind off the everyday.

September 2, 2011 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Steph and Em Go to Gaza said...

Darling, you deserve a massage. If funding the chimney has put the kibosh on going to a professional, you should con a friend into giving you one. I'm quite sure that your muscles deserve it.

Also. Go do some yoga.

September 2, 2011 at 9:44 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

Fishing does it for me! Sit or stand, listen to nature; doesn't matter if I catch one or not.

September 2, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Jenna - you don't have to have a farm or a homestead to feel this way. I have a three year old and and 18 month old, an old house we are renovating in fits and starts and now, the clean-up from the tornado. This is on top of my husband's parents both dying in the last 18 months as well as dealing with a million other little issues known as Life. I am a to do list person but I am realizing "time for me" has to be on the top of every list. Am I doing that? Sometimes. It is getting more important because like you, the physical wear and tear is starting to show and I feel much older than I am. So, as for tips, not sure. All I can say is cut yourself some slack and let the dishes pile up or eat sandwiches for days - whatever keeps it easy.

September 2, 2011 at 9:45 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Also, as for books to get lost in try Room by Emma Donoghue or Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. Also, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill (I think it might have been called Amira's Quest in the US because of the sensitivity of the title even though it is a historical document compiled by the British) - great escapism.

September 2, 2011 at 9:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you can manage some downtime. It's very important, of course, although I'm really very bad at doing this for myself.

My favourite wind down (when I manage it) is reading a really good book (not too much of downer, when I'm really wiped), by candlelight, and preferably snuggled down under a big comforter (not so practical in the summer heat, I suppose, but ideal all the same). Tea on the side, maybe a cookie, or some pie, or something else yummy. Perhaps I'll do that tonight, now that I think of it - I've had Neil Gaiman on the top of the pile for a good long while now.

September 2, 2011 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger coley said...

One of the best things you can do is sometimes the simplest, such as taking a hot shower with some good smelling soaps and then giving yourself a pedicure/manicure, grab a glass of your favorite drink and sit down with a good book on the front porch or the couch and then maybe some yoga or simple stretches. The main thing is don't over complicate relaxation. (This is coming from a 29 yr old mom on a small farm with three boys ages 6 months, 3 and 5 yrs.)

September 2, 2011 at 9:55 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When I had my sheep, one of my favorite activities was to bring a lawn chair out to a section of pasture that required particular attention, with some knitting and just sit out there knitting away listening to the girls munch. Sometimes they would come for a snuggle and I'd stroke their ears and it was just a nice way to end the day.

September 2, 2011 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Good jasmine tea can fix almost anything, I'm sure of it. Here's to relaxation!

September 2, 2011 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger Indio said...

I know what you mean about feeling tired. Rarely do I look forward to winter, but this year it feels as if it will be downtime. All the stress of the past week with the hurricane and helping friends in the aftermath have worn me down. A 3 day weekend will be a treat.

September 2, 2011 at 10:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I have to slow down, without sleeping, is to read a book or work on a mindless knitting project so I can think a little.

Just lately I've been experiencing the same type of tiredness, except I was allowed to sleep. I hope you can fit in some quick nap time or a little bit of a break soon!


September 2, 2011 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger nese said...

Yoga! You can watch yoga videos on Try a morning and evening sequence. I like Jason Crandell's videos. When you become familar with the asanas you can create your own practice. Maybe there is a class near you. Namaste!

September 2, 2011 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger mpocket said...

i've got a farm and a few part timey jobs to make all the ends meet to boot, so i feel ya!

i like good escapist novels. and a friend recently introduced me to the fine of art of the self foot rub. massaging my own feet even for a minute or two on each side at the end of a long day when i'm whooped really helps release tension and aid in relaxation. good luck!

September 2, 2011 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Margie said...

I heard a man on NPR last Saturday. "Life is not hard, but sometimes it's troublesome. Just make it through the day."
Catch up on your sleep. Sounds like you're exhausted.

September 2, 2011 at 10:35 PM  
Blogger frakier said...

I do not think this will help you relax like it does me, but you may enjoy the irony.

I get on-line and start looking for land I could build a small farm on. It's not in the cards right at the moment so to speak, but looking is like a mini vacation of sorts. Stretching the brain out and sitting back and imagining what I would do and how I would do it. Believe it or not I have put myself to sleep dreaming of that future farm instead of the little garden I have now.

I'm a graphic artist (sort of) and web page developer. Sometimes the little mini-vacations I mention above is the only way to get the js/html code, page layout, color decisions and logo design out of my head so I can sleep. Helps with a fresh start the next day so all of my designs do not start looking the same.

September 2, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger admin said...

Evening— a hot shower, comfy pj’s, fluffy pillows, wonderful candles as lighting or just colored Christmas lights, a quilt and a favorite movie or documentary on the couch with my achy legs propped up. If this is happening I’m usually too tired to hold my eyes on the page of a book. Orange spice tea or something stronger to sip on, a few dogs snoozing on the floor nearby—unwound. I always try to unwind in the morning now as a commitment to try not to get worn out (which I tend to always do about every few months/weeks…) coffee and breakfast with music and/or a good book/magazine, a walk when I have the energy, and I force myself to not think about anything I need to do during this 30-40 minutes.

Been a little over a year since I left my little homestead. I’ve found a higher paying job can just almost produce the same feeling as maintaining animals and property though. Day to day record would not be truthful or accurate if you didn’t report on such feelings. I bet writing helps clarify feelings/solidify decisions too. Rest-up this weekend.

September 3, 2011 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Lynnanne said...

Go to that nearby creek, perch upon a rock and just breathe, deep breaths. Close your eyes, listen. Open your eyes, observe. Go without your dogs, without your music, with only yourself. Take a meandering walk through a woods. Take a blanket to your yard and watch clouds, read a book, take a nap. Enjoy yourself!! Even a workhorse has to have an occasional break. :)

September 3, 2011 at 12:16 AM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

Naps with dogs.
Long slow aimless (not a jog! Not going somewhere!) walks in the woods, along rivers, or down country lanes.
Curling up under a quilt with a steaming cup of tea. Or hot chocolate. Or a hot toddy. I know, we coffee addict fanatics find it hard to imagine a piping hot beverage that is not black strong and caffeinated, but it exists!
Drink lots if water.
Make good food and then eat it.
Familiar tunes on bank or guitar on porch.

September 3, 2011 at 12:18 AM  
Blogger Bovey Belle said...

I can sympathise. We have had a VERY stressful couple of months here, one way and another, and I have done more reading this summer than in the past several years. Escapism was essential for coping. It helped when I couldn't even face crafts - which is my normal way of relaxing.

This week I was fortunate enough to join a Spinning and Weaving group for a morning (see my blog for report!) and spinning for a few hours - just the total ME-TIME of it - plus chatting to new friends, was SO therapeutic.

I hope you find some me-time this weekend. You are the pinwheel of your farmstead, so you need to be in best form to run it smoothly.

September 3, 2011 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger Nerissa said...

I've started turning everyday things into rituals of relaxation.

Showing is an easy one. I never before thought about how harsh my bathroom light is so sometimes I will leave the lights off and burn candles for light instead. It almost instantly shifts my mood. During these longer showers a nice body scrub can be nice and free. Sugar+lavender/chamomile/rose/orange peel/vanilla+honey make me feel like I'm at the spa.

A friend of mine used to bake bread to relieve stress. Her favorite was sour dough, which she would pound the crap out of. Really pummel it in a healing sort of way.

September 3, 2011 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 3, 2011 at 12:35 AM  
Blogger Jasmine said...

I'll second the self-foot massage!

Also hot footbath with willow leaves or birch leaves.

Herbal facial steam. Go into your yard and pick dandlions ( leaves or flowers) and plantain. If you have it, comfrey calendula, coltsfoot, rose petals, lavender are all lovely. Rosemary if you have oily skin. Pour boiling water over herbs in bowl, sitting at bowl lean over and beware in steam, cover head with a towel to make a little sauna. Melt into the steam.

Also, as far as yoga goes, release notions of a work out and do some restorative poses. Legs up the wall pose hold for 3 minutes. and standing forward bend hold for one minute. Done.
Or supported bridge pose. Or supta bhadda konasana reclining bound angle pose. Easy twists. Hold the pose and let your muscles relax melt and release the toxins (lactic acid and energy) they're holding...

Give yourself a period of time and release the expectations you hold for yourself.

Ps in the above post I meant banjo NOT bank... Lol

September 3, 2011 at 12:36 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

i dont have a farm, but i have a new baby, a non handy husband and a mother in law from a way different culture, who has a live in maid and cook at her house, that just came to stay for 4 months. this is what i do:

-go outside
-walk away from your house until you cannot see it anymore (into the woods if you can)
-find a rock or bench or patch of grass
-stop, just for as long as you can

if that does not work

-find a place away from people (in the winter i do this out on the ice covered lake)
-take a deep breath
-scream your ass off till you laugh. it works sooooo well to de-stress and worms the blood.

September 3, 2011 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

I'm so happy to hear that you're giving yourself a break! I can't tell you how many times I've thought "that girl needs to get more sleep". Sleep is really, really important to your health (immune system, weight, mental health, etc) much more than we realize.

Anyhow, my brain is always buzzing all the time, and I found a great way to turn it down: meditation. Check out this website - you can download Diane Winston's meditations for free and they're really relaxing:

It's very straightforward and not wacky at all - just very relaxing.

September 3, 2011 at 12:59 AM  
Blogger beccaWA said...

Sugar scrub! Like the expensive spa treatments, except homemade and just as good. 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup olive oil, a few drops of your favorite essential oil scent. Mix it in a plastic dish or container that's easy to reach into, and take in the shower with you. Exfoliate! Scrub, leave on, rinse off. Relaxing & silky. You will feel spoiled!

September 3, 2011 at 1:27 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I think you're on the right track with changing your expectations of what you can get done in a single day. I used to be guilty of that -
making a "to do" list a mile long that there was no humanly possible way I could do it all and would end up feeling frustrated and disappointed in myself. On a farm, there is always the unexpected thing that pops up that has to be done so if you don't leave room in your day to do those, you just go nuts. So, I now plan only one "extra" chore (meaning not a daily task) a day and am happy if I get that done and estatic if I can do more. But, when I get to the point where I need a break I agree with the suggestions for yoga, meandering walks with dogs, reading and essentially doing things but without a time frame. I think this is the biggest stressor - the artificial time contraints we put on ourselves. Let's face it, on a farm there's ALWAYS something that needs doing. You just have to do what you can one thing at a time. This may be an obscure reference but I use a line from the TV show MASH as a mantra at times. This was said by the stuffy Charles Winchester when he first arrived at the unit and was taking his time in the surgery. "I do one thing, I do it very well and then I move on." This always reminds me not to get too scattered with all I think I have to do immediately. Good luck and good rest!

September 3, 2011 at 2:37 AM  
Blogger daisy g said...

Sleep and being in nature does it for me. Your posts are REAL, don't ever go changin'.

September 3, 2011 at 6:35 AM  
Blogger Ryan said...

My wife relaxes by reading your blog. I'm experimenting with relaxing and working at the same time. There is always so much to do on our farm that instead of waiting until the neverending list of jobs has been exhausted before I relax, instead I'm trying to work a little slower. Stop and look at the sky, appreciate the mist in the hills, count the different birds I can hear, suck in some air and focus on what is going on in the real world, not the fantasy world of thoughts in my head.

I expect you already know how to relax, the trick is how to not work so hard.

September 3, 2011 at 7:04 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

I'm going to try that shower/sugar scrub right now. I dont have any essential oil, but I do have some real vanilla extract... I'll turn myself in a milkshake in the shower.

Looking forward to it, since I just flipped sal and lisette to trim their hooves.... what a racket that was. Sal does not go down easy!

September 3, 2011 at 8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to hear about the wisdom of living apart from pressure and expectation (from outer and inner forces) in order to live truly sustainably, sustainably in terms of one's own energy.

The white elephant in the room of our culture is that we are all overwhelmed and afraid to fall behind, and we work ourselves sick regularly. As a culture we are working ourselves sick.

The balance between pursuing your passion and honoring your true energy is a difficult one, and we all struggle with it. So I want to hear you talk about it.

One who pretends to never be tired is rarely kind or compassionate, rarely in awe of the glorious world, rarely tuned in to the mystery of being a continually growing human.

People who know tired, as you do, and who are compassionate and giving members of a community, can sometimes make a great gift of sharing the fact that human beings have limitations and that there is no dishonor in giving quarter to them. There is grace in it.

September 3, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

After spending 8 days in the hospital with our son who had heart surgery, then went into kidney failure, then finally got better and came home, I needed a day to relax and de-stress. I met a couple of friends at a local winery and spent 3 hours there laughing and eating my homemade cheese and their storebought crackers. We bought one bottle of wine and between us, we almost polished it off, so the drinking part wasn't the focus, at all. We all go way back and just reliving all the fun times, and laughing, laughing, laughing, was very therapeutic. Find someone to laugh with. Invite someone over that doesn't expect anything farm-y from you. Order pizza or get sub sandwiches...don't stress about the food or the wine or anything at all. Play a board game and laugh your butts off. Then SLEEP.

September 3, 2011 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Chance said...

Im going to say something a little different from everyone else, but I find my exhaustion often stems from flinging myself at my own personal goals, and I stop living in the present and anxiously cast forward to the more prefect future, when the new chicken coop is done, or I don't have a job I hate or. When I am living in my imagined future, it is exhausting for me.

The cure for me is volunteering somewhere, and this is very relaxing because it reminds me of what I have right now, not what needs to be done. Volunteer to serve at the soup kitchen and every spoonful you serve becomes a prayer of gratitude.

For what you have right now, your present day imperfect life, not what needs doing. Plenty of volunteer options around there right now...maybe this doesn't fit where you are but i thought I would throw it out there.

Otherwise I vote for the sugar scrub and Cutting For Stone, a fabulous book.

September 3, 2011 at 8:47 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

thank you for all your advice and help, I tried the sugar scrub and it was AMAZING!

Chance, I like that idea.

Thank you to all for your kindness...

September 3, 2011 at 8:52 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hi Jenna.
You and I are alike. Taking on multiple projects, pursuing ALL of our interests at the same time and putting in killer hours everyday and wondering why we are worn out! I am learning that the physical exhaustion often follows the mental exhaustion. I find such relief on the days I don't have a scheduled appointment or don't "have" to do something. This gives me a break from the constant pressure of thinking "I MUST get this done". These are the days I usually accomplish more as I am relaxed and pursue tasks because I want to and enjoy them.

I am also learning to take a break-even for only a few moments-during the day. It is really hard to go from one thing to the next without stopping to catch one's breath. Late yesterday afternoon, I did groundwork with my horse, then went for a ride, then a little more groundwork, put him away, put the chickens and guineas away, changed my shoes and walked the Wolfhound, brought him home, went and got a pizza for my hubby and me, fed the horse, fed the Wolfhound and finally sat down at 8:30pm. If, somewhere in all of those chores, I had sat down for a few minutes to de-stress and change gears-I'd probably not be so tired this morning!

Work a few breaks into your schedule as you can and you'll not be so tired-as I try to do the same!

September 3, 2011 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

One of my favorite ways to unwind is to cook a delicious meal. Something that takes time to do. I turn on the music, dance with the dogs (when I had them) and cook. I then enjoy my meal watching an old movie and leave the dishes for the next day.
A marathon of Gilmore girls does wonders too :)

September 3, 2011 at 10:22 AM  
Blogger beccaWA said...

Here's to milkshakes! You can also, apparently, do a salt scrub, too. But I don't know the ratios. Glad the scrub helped... I love them. They are rejuvenating yet relaxing at the same time.

September 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM  
Blogger Sylvan said...

Also, try getting a massage every now and then. Many massage therapists will barter for a session or two.

September 3, 2011 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Sue Sullivan said...

I don't read it as complaining, I read it as very important messages from your body that you're finally noticing. As someone who did everything on her list for about two and a half decades, telling herself that she had the constitution of a peasant woman and could push herself always, can I advise to stop doing that right now? It's been two years since my adrenal glands gave out and I am slowly, ever so slowly, regaining energy and pulling myself out of this trough of exhaustion and periodic illness. It would have been so much better, easier and more lovely if I had just gotten enough sleep every night, rested some every day, ate very healthily, didn't let my mind dwell on negative thoughts, and most of all, listened to my body so that it didn't have to prostrate itself to be heard.
This is the second time I've read that you feel like you've run yourself into the ground (I think the first one was last May when you bought the house.) It's possible that your body won't let you keep doing that forever. Sustainable living isn't just about how we manage our land and lifestyle, but the health of our body, mind and soul as well.
Wishing you a lovely recovery time,

September 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM  
Blogger Teresa H. @ Oak Tree Farm said...

I was so glad you posted this, Jenna. When I read your blog, it is definitely an inspiration, but it also reminds me that everyone is different, and I may not share your stamina. I have followed your blog for about a year now. My husband and I bought a farm just over a year ago. We are much older than you are, and we both have full-time jobs, and between the jobs, the long commutes and the domestic and farm chores, we can get pretty darned tired at times - though, we never give up -- so, please understand this is not a complaint -- we are doing what we want to be doing. It was just nice to hear that you and some other folks also feel that way from time to time. Thanks everyone! BTW, one of the things I do to relax is to read your blog. This December, my copy of Barnheart is on my relaxation reading list. :o)

September 3, 2011 at 12:44 PM  
Blogger Cynthia R. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

September 3, 2011 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Lori said...

I imagine the Battenkill is still flooded?

I am single and live alone with just 3 acres and my critters (horses, chickens, dogs, rabbits) and my garden. I work a full time job and just had major surgery 2 weeks ago.
I had a reality check this week that I can't do all that was able to do before surgery yet. So today with Tropical Storm Lee giving us "perfect sleeping weather" of wind and heavy rain I am relaxing inside. A little cleaning and then I plopped in the recliner with my dogs at my side. Lunch is simple and dinner will be a guess.

Love having my comfy soft pants and oversized Tshirt, old broken in recliner and rain on the roof.... all of the animals have dry spaces to go and it is completely up to them if they go there.

Hope you get the deep down inside rest you are looking for / needing.

September 3, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I always find it odd how we - ourselves - can make us feel guilty about not accomplishing sooo much in a day. When I was younger I too ran fast, burning the candle at both ends - and sometimes right through the middle too. No one benefits from a tired farm girl, least of all the farm girl.

The hardest part is pacing yourself - I know. Over the years I have developed a sort of routine especially for weekends. First off I linger, sometimes forcing myself to lounge in bed a little longer. The animals wont suffer if they get fed 30 minutes later. After morning chores I stroll around the farm or take a walk in the cool morning air, easy stepping not power walking. Sometimes I do this in the evening, especially when the sun is out later.

Light soothing music and a cushy lounge under a shade tree is also great for replenishing a tired body. I can float away on the breeze for hours.

I also instituted a "no work" day for one day on the weekend. This is the day I will search out a concert in the park, or a festival or just have coffee with friends or lunch with my sister. Only the animals are fed on this day.

There will ALWAYS be something to do on a farm, no matter what the size. You can't get it all done in one day or even a weekend so don't try. Remember - it's the journey not the destination that makes a life good.

As for eating well - get your self a crockpot. It's a single gals best friend. I make big batches of soups or stews and freeze them in single serving containers. That way I can pull one out in the morning and know I'll be sitting down to a good meal come sundown.

I also find that if I stick to a fairly consistent bedtime I'm much more able to handle the day. I like to write and blog too and find that if I stay up too late I pay for it for days. So, get a good nights sleep.

One last thing...take a hard look at the farm and see where you can make some changes to make your life easier. Like organizing the chores so you only have to do them once a day or every few days, or installing water faucets so you don't have to haul water or getting larger water troughs that hold more. Anything that can help cut down on the running, hauling, carrying, lifting.

Hope you get some good ideas from the comments...I did.

September 3, 2011 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Becca, I thought it would be sticky or weird, it was amazing. My skin felt like it was new!

And I do see a massage therapist here in town, I realized after seeing her a few times that I learned to pay attention to my body more. Between massage and yoga, my back is starting to hurt a LOT less, without painkillers.

September 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Tara said...

My means of unwinding when I'm in that sort of state is sitting and staring at the wall for awhile. No joke. If the weather is nice, I might go sit outside and stare into space. It sounds boring, but really sometimes it's exactly what I need.

Also, wine. And movies with zombies or sh*t blowing up (bonus points for both). I'm that kind of girl. That's probably not very helpful at all.

September 3, 2011 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Bluebelle Quilts said...

I also find that volunteering is a great way to unwind. Making throw size quilts for the local sheriff's department is one way I combine my favorite past-time of quilting with volunteering and practicing good stash management. I cut my leftover fabric scraps into 5" squares. When the bucket gets full, or my guild receives a request for more quilts, I start playing with my charm squares. I randomly select and stitch squares together. It doesn't require a lot of thought and before long, I have a quilt top or two ready to be made into a quilt for someone in need.

Browsing bookstores, a glass of wine with friends and journaling at my favorite spot by the lake are other ways I unwind.

Ditto on the sugar scrub. It works great!

September 3, 2011 at 7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have the same approach to lie - do, do, do. It usually works great but occasionally I hit the wall. Being a 'to do list' girl has it's advantages so lately I've started putting "relax" and "have fun" ON the to do list. It's a constant reminder when I come across it ont he list. And because I'm motivated by the list, I try to do it and check it off. ; )

September 3, 2011 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger LMM in Idaho said...

You would greatly benefit from this book..."Sabbath" by Wayne Muller. It will meet your needs at this me, I speak from experience. I am certain you will find it ever so meaningful! Especially now...

September 3, 2011 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger Misty said...

Relax? This time of year? Ha! It is the end of summer and everything needs to be done before winter. Just this morning I woke up late after baling hay the day before and popped some ibuprofen before I even washed my face. The aches and pains of today seem to multiply by the next morning.

I dragged myself around my morning chores, then went down the road to do chores at another farm where they are on vacation for a week. By then the dew had evaporated and we headed out for another bout of baling. And, by the way, never ask what can go wrong when there is a rain storm on the way, because it did go wrong. I lost a wheel off one hay wagon (I never did find it.) We lost a cross-member under another wagon after a nasty animal hole in the hay field was "found" by a wheel. The baler string got wound around the knotter. A shear pin was broken. Aaaaghhhhh! But tonight the hay is under cover, the chores are done, and dinner eaten. I will take pain relievers before going to bed and again when I rise in the morning. But at least there won't be more hay to bale until next year.

Tomorrow it's all the things I haven't had time to do lately. There's tomatoes, pears and apples to can. Jam to make. A hole in the foundation to patch. And numerous outdoor activities that include fencing and shelter for the long winter ahead. There will be time to rest when the wood has been stacked and everything put away before it freezes hard to the ground. But first I must wash the dishes. I need clean dishes so we can have breakfast.

Being tired is all part and parcel of this lifestyle. You'll get your rest eventually.

September 3, 2011 at 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we all get tired from time to time, especially during this preparation season that is the end of Summer. I barely have any animals, and I still am exhausted. We're building a bigger coop and a better run for the chickens (all whilst hoping they remain quiet so the neighbors can't catch us with them), I need to build more rabbit cages, a hutch or two for winter, finish planting the Fall garden, there are crops to harvest in my small gardens, and on top of all that is both work and school starting up again. It's hectic, stressful, and worth it in the end.

You'll make it! I'm glad that you're letting yourself rest. I find reading and taking a long shower to be relaxing.

September 4, 2011 at 3:39 PM  
Blogger Helena said...

I like that you share this sort of thing; as you said, it's what's going on right now.

As for ways to unwind, I like to read novels (something compelling or even just brain candy). Non-fiction is wonderful, but if I'm trying to wind down I sometimes don't want to be learning new things or finding new things to worry about. I also like to put on a movie I've see before (so I can follow it without watching closely) and knit, preferably with a warm cat snuggled in by my side.

Naps, if you can get them, are fabulous, but with a two-year-old, that just doesn't happen much around here.

September 5, 2011 at 10:46 PM  
Blogger Lorri said...

Came back to visit after a summer away (from your blog) and realized how much I'd missed reading. You do more to keep me in touch with the seasons than living in this swampy southern area ("sauna" and "rainy" are not seasons! LOL)

You're not the only one that's had to remind herself how to slow down, and that it's not a bad thing! Take care of yourself, too.

Relaxing: Cross-stitch, or a good sci-fi book. I found Kristin Britain recently, her Rider series is good.

Sugar or salt body scrub:
3 parts sugar or salt (either, but not both)
1 scant part baking soda
1 part olive oil

Mix well. Store in sealed jar; if top gets crunchy, just stir well. Apply in shower after soap, scrub, rinse off. I also use after washing my hands if they're getting really dry.

September 6, 2011 at 12:23 PM  

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