Coping with stress when there is no time to relax

 I have a lifestyle which can be stressful for me. 

It might not be stressful to others, and might seem incredibly busy to still other people. Probably I'm just leading a normal life for a married person with a child and a full time job. But regardless, stress can build up for me. 

 One of the things I find aggravates my perception of this stress is an unrealistic expectation about when and how I should be able to relax. This weekend, for example, I spent a lot of time doing things I might not have chosen for myself. I enjoyed some of them, others were more like chores, but none of it was particularly terrible to do. I even got to take a nap today.

 But I feel no more relaxed today than I did coming off the week on Friday afternoon. I feel like a weekend should recharge batteries but maybe it is my own personal issues leaving me almost dreading the week to come.

 After doing some soul searching, I think it comes down to physical activity. I am simply not getting enough exercise. For a while I had been walking 45 minutes a day in addition to my normal activities, then things got busy at work and instead of finishing off at the same time every day (roughly) I ended up working until my son got home from school. This is the time of day I normally hang out with him, get some chores done, and make dinner. All of this means no time for that 45 minute walk. 

 I had also been trying to get that time in on the treadmill in the evenings if I wasn't getting time outside after work but somehow that fell by the wayside as well. It's a feedback cycle. You get tired from stress, which leads to exercising less, which leads to lack of stress maintenance, which leads to more stress. 

 Time to break the cycle. I am going to try to get on the treadmill again if I don't hit activity (steps, essentially) goals during the day. I can try doing this before bed. I realize you aren't supposed to exercise before bed but some fast walking on a treadmill doesn't seem to interfere with sleep at all for me. I will also try to do more pushups, stretches, and other exercises during the day as a break from sitting at my desk. 

 I'll report in here in a while to see how this is all working out. 



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