It's a pretty intense time in our household at the moment, what with the house move pending and our two youngest taking their GCSE and A'level exams. Oh, I can feel the stress levels steadily rising!
I am a bit of a worrier at the best of times so I'm feeling particularly anxious at the moment. Is our house sale going to go through? Is our house purchase going to go through? When are we going to move? Will it all go smoothly? Will the bedrooms be big enough? Will we notice the traffic noise? Will MissG settle into her new school? Will Guy enjoy his college course? Will they make new friends? Will they be happy? Will we be happy?
Last Monday, while walking to my office, I noticed a poster advertising a Managing Stress course and thought maybe I should take a closer look. The one day course was being held at Mind, just round the corner from my office, and the poster said "learn and practice skills to reduce and manage stress in your life". "I need to find a way to reduce and manage my stress" I thought so I booked myself a place.
I'm quite shy when it comes to meeting new people and attending social events so felt quite daunted about joining the course but it was very informal and everyone was friendly. It really was very informative and we discussed stress, what is stress? what causes it? and ways in which we can reduce stress by being more conscious of the things that cause it, and learning to handle them better, using relaxation techniques and well as other lifestyle changes. Some things that make us feel stressed are things that we can't control so we need to balance them out by doing things that make us feel relaxed and happy, whatever that may be - a leisurely walk, a jog, a good book, a bit of me time. I left feeling much more positive. I'm going to introduce much more me time, more happy moments, into my weekly schedule. I'm going to counterbalance my stress level!
And to start as I mean to go on... I collected MissG from school and we went for an impromptu picnic. She had just finished an exam, the sun was shining and we had a free afternoon. The fields around Kirkby Lonsdale are covered in buttercups and look beautiful and golden.
I bought some British strawberries and they tasted of summer. They were the oddest of shapes though - a real rouges gallery of strawberries!