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Taking control of my stress

It is not until recently that I realized how stressed I was for the first half of 2017.

I was under stress mainly because of the group fitness classes that I started to teach. I was a newly certified group fitness instructor, there has been a lot of stress about teaching new class format and getting new ideas for what to teach in a class. The stress I was going through was kind of ridiculous when I think about it now. During Christmas time, I was so stressed that I would not be able to teach a perfect class that I was having nightmares.

And just recently I was watching a TED talk, some thing with a title like the things that will happen when you stop giving a fuck. The gist of it was kind simple and many might have heard of this in one way or another. Basically, it is telling us that we have only so much time, energy and money, and we have to spend them on things that we give a fuck about, the things that we really care. And when we are making a decision whether to go to a party that we are not really interested in going, it comes into place. If hanging out with the party people is not your priority, then you should not give your fuck bucks to them. We only have this much fuck bucks in our reserve, so save it for things that you really enjoy. And so another big thing that I learn is that I can gracefully say: sorry, I can’t make it. And that won’t be the end of the world. I will be a worse person if I agreed to go, but then trying to think of ways or excuses to get out of it.

So I made a little list of things that I want to happen this year. For work, I would want to go to a really prestigious meeting, and maybe publish a paper that would be even greater. For relationship, we are TTC, so that would be it. For myself, I want to relax. Just trying to reduce some stress that I have been experiencing lately.

And I think once I got a little list like this, I have some more perspective. For the myself part. I have been journaling everyday before bed. I think it is a great little practice for me. Earlier this year, I was having issues sleeping, when I start thinking about what to do in class, my head just starts racing and I just can’t fall asleep after that. Ever since I started this journaling, I tried not to take my phone into the bedroom, so once I finished my journal, I go to bed. And for the journaling, I would just write down what I did, and whatever that is, let it be. Another thing I learned from talking with a professor is that, try not to judge everything you do, especially meditation. We don’t judge whether our teeth brushing is a good one or not, we just do it. We should take the same attitude towards meditation. Don’t think to yourself “oh I was thinking too much”, the most important thing is that you are doing it. On the same end, I got back to my yoga practice after a few months without doing it. I know that I am getting out of balance and I need some ritual to ground me. Ashtanga yoga started off as a really rigorous regime for me to exercise my body, but after I stopped doing it I started to realize that I need it back in my life. Now I am doing yoga everyday, sometimes following yoga with Adriene’s video, sometimes just simply child’s pose, sometimes some vigorous sun salutations. I just let the practice be, whatever I want to do that day, I will. And I am doing this for myself, so every morning, I think to myself, there is no need to hurry today, so let’s do 20min of yoga, just for me. And after yoga, I just set the timer for 5min, for some meditation.

I think for my stress control I have to stay on top of it. For example, I get a little anxious even 2 days before my class, I then just tell myself, today is not the time to worry about it yet, let’s worry about it later. And I think those self talk really helps to calm me.

Being a group exercise instructor has been a challenge for me, I was thinking of stop doing it after one semester, my husband was cheering me on. And just a few days ago, my supervisor was observing my class, which I felt pretty good about, but then she was criticizing it into pieces. I was like I didn’t ask for this, why you were so mean to me. And again, I was thinking of giving up, just leave all the stress for all. Again, I somehow get back into the groove. This second semester of teaching is getting better than the first one, but still new input, new insight, new motivation. And I will keep going strong.

 

 

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OK so I suck at this, but I will keep doing it.

The thing is I am not as passionate as I want to be about my job.

Then I came up with this mentality.

When I began to run, I suck. I remembered very clearly that I hate every single minute of running. I only get the sense of accomplishment after running, but man, while I was running, that was total suffering. Period. I told my friend, I have been running for such a long time, and I haven’t seen any improvement, I still pant so hard, I still suffer.

But now, after 7 years, I say, I enjoy running. I start to get the beauty of it. The active meditation part of the story. There was even a point that I decided I would not run any long distances anymore. But I went back, I stick with it, and then I found the breakthrough. Now I think of it as a way to release my stress, and I genuinely enjoyed the process.

Then I realized that I can apply to my job too. I have to admit that I suck at it. So what? I will keep doing it just as I did with running. I just stick with it. And that’s see what happens.