Sure Ain’t No Palace

Welcome to finals week.  In conjunction with May Day (my favorite almost-holiday), we will be cocooning in our unit for the next several days to write, write, and write.  We are both mental messes. And, we both need to do dishes and take showers.

Homemaking (and surviving) when the world stops for a moment is nearly impossible.  I’m collecting some coping strategies, though, while all of the surfaces in our home are collecting dust.

Cook in Batches — BJ made two dishes of lasagna at the beginning of the week, and so we’ve got a fallback meal should our engines die.  I also cooked a huge dish of Chicken Divan, which we’ve both been eating on long after the initial scoop.

Make Your Bed — Even though I would like to crawl from my bed to my desk and stay there for the rest of the day, I’m going to commit to making our bed regardless of whether my schoolwork feels more important.  Life just feels nicer when you’re bed looks pretty.

Keep Your Morning Routine Exactly the Same — This time in the morning for journaling, reading, and injecting caffeine is invaluable to me.  My work always suffers when I ditch the morning routine.  It’s also a great centering activity; it reminds me that a day of paper-writing is no different from a day of classes — the energy is merely focused in a different direction.

Feed Your Pets — Just because you’re struggling to take care of yourself doesn’t mean that your pups should go hungry.  (This happens every exams week for us).  We write notes to ourselves to help us remember, and the dogs help too, of course — with big, begging eyes.

Don’t Detach Yourself — When we go into our cocoons, we do it well.  This is always a problem when our friends and family start wondering if they’ve offended us.  Even though you’re stressed, be a normal, social being who just needs more time than usual to focus her attention elsewhere.

Don’t Change Your Sleep Schedule — Every time you change your sleeping schedule, your body has to readjust, and it can take up to a week for your brain to accept your new business hours.  Your brain has enough to deal with if you’re pressing through finals or another stressful time of life — let it have some consistency.

And the most important, for me at least:

Practice Roller Coaster Thinking — “It will all be over in two minutes.”  Two minutes isn’t so bad for belly-flopping, mechanical hysteria.  In the same vein, one week isn’t too bad for a moderately strained brain.  Do what you need to do in a stress-filled season, but don’t forget to find relief in the fact that it will come to an end.

Our home sure ain’t no palace right now (Is it ever?), but it’s our vehicle for getting through this week in one piece.  Time to get on the roller coaster.

{Studious image courtesy of the husband}

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