I think part of the reason I have been so exhausted lately is not only thanks to the earthquake which has increased my stress levels by infinite amounts, but also because I have just been overstimulated in general. Besides work being busy with many new contracts and projects coming my way, I've been working on a few of the goals on my 26 by 26 list and had started reading while walking to work. Plans for the new apartment so that someday we can show it off to friends are among the day-to-day to-do list. Then you have the google reader which has over 600 unread items plus emails from family and friends, etc. etc. etc.
Overstimulation = lack of rest = being exhausted + having work pile up = feeling overwhelmed = more stress...and the circle begins again.
So, as part of trying to simplify life until things get back to normal, I have tried to strip as many of the factors contributing to this stimulation as I can. I can't do much for work because well, its work and they pay me to be there. But I have started leaving behind the muli-tasking that I normally do to just focus on one thing at a time. In these times of non-existing concentration, this helps me accomplish tasks much more than changing screens from one thing to the next.
I stopped reading on my walk to and from work. While I love the books I am currently reading, I find I need to just be able to not think while walking to work and let my mind rest. Reading these awesome business books that get me all hyped up about working on my side business do not aid in relaxing at all. I come up with all sorts of ideas and projects for which I just do not have the time right now. Period. I still try to read a bit each evening before bed, but not with the same voraciousness that keeps me going until the book is finished and I have a new to-do list a mile long. I have come to the realization that even if I don't get around to implementing the great ideas presented in these books right now, there will be a place and time when I can implement them.
I follow several business blogs on google reader and they are a big culprit in having over 600 unread posts. But, along with the same logic that it just might not be the time for these ideas, I let them pile up for when I have some downtime and can really read them and extract the important ideas. The one posts I can't pass up are the foodie blogs I follow because I love me some recipes. Finding new recipes to cook is fun for me and definitely helps me forget about everything else when I am focusing on the food. Granted I haven't had much time for cooking...but I still like those food blogs!
While I love to hang out with my friends, many times it is hard to match up our schedules. For a while I would stress over this because I really wanted to hang out with them, but now I am just going to take things bit by bit. If I can't get together with someone for lunch, that is that. No fuss, there is always next week or the week after. And when I do go out, maybe it will just be for a while, not for hours on end. We had a birthday party this weekend and instead of not going at all because we were tired, we went from 10pm-1am. It was tranquilo and when we felt it was time, we left.
I am sure there is more I can do to simplify, but this is a start. I am hoping to start meditating or doing yoga a few times a week to help clear out my mind as well. At least Friday is a holiday in Chile so that means a 3 day weekend. I wish it were 4 days like in Argentina--they get Thursday off too...but I'll take 3 days over the normal 2 any time. We will be heading to Viña to visit with family and friends. It'll be our first time back since the earthquake, kind of crazy. I am hoping to just chill out and not do too much. Long naps and sleeping in sounds perfect to me right now!