Shopping and Other Recommended Stress Busting Activities

(No, really – specialists suggest such things!)

I was reading an article from the Ottawa Citizen not too long ago – in fact I have it in front of me right now.  Anyway I don’t know if it’s because I’m so sad to be going back to the grindhouse that is nursing school or because I am still trying to figure out how ‘groceries’ turned into ‘3 bags of clothing\purse\overlarge red beret’, but either way I got to thinking about stress and ways to combat it better in 2007.  I mean, don’t get me wrong: swearing at my nursing colleagues (you remember, the ones who plagerized and then got mad at ME for not doing my work?) was quite releaving, but only momentarily.   Thus the need for me to find other stress busting activities that don’t involve me reaching my interact limit 3 days in a row.  Ahem.

But back to the article.  Laura Byrne Paquet wrote about 11 Ottawa-ites (Ottawans?) who have managed to keep relatively sane by pursing what she called their passion.  There were dancers, singers, collectors, yogis, writers, gamers, runners, seamstresses and actors who have full time jobs/careers, yet are able to enjoy the pleasures of life without sacrificing their obligations to family, employers, or themselves.

I couldn’t help but wonder how these people managed to do such a thing.  Returning to my office for the winter break reminded me just how nice a set schedule can be if you are interested in actually doing something with your life outside of the core hours of 8am and 5pm.  It also reminded me just how much I missed having a life outside of nursing school and the daily pressures that befall the victims students of AC’s class of 2009.  Plus the fact that although I managed to NOT go out and NOT do anything but study, my GPA remained the same as last semesters where I infact DID go out and have a good time… granted there were no deaths last semester, just MDD – neither of which make being in school any easier, but you get my drift.

Aaanyway – this semester I’ve decided to finally pull my socks up and get involved with activities that managed to both stroke my passion for life and recall to life my lost passion for nursing.  I lost it in the stress that AC has managed to pour on – the first day we arrived for year 3 all they said was “THIS IS THE HARDEST YEAR OF YOUR LIFE THIS IS HARD HARD HARD STRESS STRESS FEAR ANGER FEAR HARD FEAR.  Good luck!”  Hey, if stress-specialists say that adding MORE activities to your already hectic schedule is beneficial, who am I to not challenge their ideas? It simply wouldn’t be very Carrie of me, would it?

About 10 years ago I started a journey of a thousand miles with a single step – I signed up for Goju Ryu karate with a small dojo studio 20 minutes away from my house. A year and a half later I was awarded my blue belt – 2 before black – and was extatic.  I was doing well in school, I was fit, and I was KICKING ass.   Now, 10 years later, I was re-inspired into martial arts by 2 drunken conversations (held on 2 different nights, mind you) regarding Kung Fu and it’s superior effectivity “on the streets”.  This weekend I finally bit the bullet and signed on for 6 months of Kung Fu lessons that I plan on attending twice a week for an hour; which, given that there are 168 hours in a week – is quite managable.  Not only will I become more fit and re-educated in the art of kicking ass, I’ll have a positive outlet for my anger and frustation that I will no doubt encounter this semester working with my questionable at best nursing colleagues.

As I’ve alluded to before, I’m also taking vocal lessons for 1/2 an hour a week and singing in the shower every chance I get.  Not that I have any aspirations to replace Emmy Rossum and get to kiss both Gerard Butler and Patrick Watson perform at a concert hall, but with all these engagements and whatnot happening around my life it’s always good to be prepared to have something to talk about OTHER than wedding plans.  Besides, I’ve always loved some musical theatre songs – why not learn to sing them well?

Dr. Sonia Lupien – in the aforementioned article – claims that “People have this tendency to think that the more you do, the more you’re stressed.  And, you know, this is not stress.  Stress is not time pressure”.  She goes on to say that our bodies respond to stress (duh) by pumping out adrenalin to mobilize energy.  Sports and other past times that are more mental than physical help dilute stress by giving people “a sense of control they may lack at work(school).”

So, ladies and gentlemen, I recommend to you to sign up for those lessons you’ve wanted to take – go to that writers discussion at the library you keep seeing but never seem to make – adventure out to a new club to see what they can offer you.  You may find a balance in your life that can’t be found in your neighbourhood shopping mall.

That is, if your gym isn’t in your local shopping mall as it is in mine.  And I wonder just how I turned into a shopaholic.


~ by Carrie on January 6, 2008.

21 Responses to “Shopping and Other Recommended Stress Busting Activities”

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  3. […] Original post by Carrie […]

  4. I applaud you for taking on two new things all while you are managing a full schedule in nursing school – martial larts are kick ass (no punn intended) for the body and mind and singing is fun and you can pretend you’re in Carnegie Hall while in the shower!

  5. I am totally on point with you on this one. The past few days I’ve been scouring the internet for activities such as these in my area. Unfortunately, being from a town of less than 20,000 it’s a bit difficult to find these opportunities 😦 This has been contributing to my unhappiness lately. Now that I’m out of school, I finally have TIME to do these things, and I don’t know what to do! I’d love to take voice lessons. Maybe I’ll find a teacher around here 🙂

  6. I’ve always wondered how people who do it all actually do it all. I can barely get done in a day half the things I want to do!

  7. You have inspired me to quit my job and do fun things with all of my time for the remainder of my life. Uh, that is what you meant, right? 😉

    Seriously, very good beginning of the year post!!!

  8. I think it can be really tough to make what you love what you do – both because once you start doing it it becomes work, and because no one is paying me to read. Yet.

    You’re right though, using your time isn’t stressful – it’s freeing and energizing. I like your style Carrie, always have = )

  9. @ Princess E ~ I actually DO pretend I am in Carnegie Hall whilst in the shower! And this morning I woke up in a world of pain after my first kung fu class… my goodness. But I made the right choice that’s for sure!

    @ Valerie ~ I found mine on kijiji and craigslist; she is amazing! If there is a college or university near by a lot of music majors teach on the side and tend to be super cheap/reasonable in their rates. Give it a go!!

  10. @ Miriam ~ Girlfriend… I am STILL trying to figure it out. I tend to leave Sundays as my day to sleep until 12 or 2 and then go to my parents for food and other necessities. Exciting? Not really… but Mon-Sat is pretty damn fun!

  11. @ Michael C ~ Well… if you can roll in the cash money bling while doing it – GO for it! I do expect a cheque for 10% for inspiration fees…

    @ Kyla Bea ~ It’s SO true; although I love nursing I find it very… challenging to want to get up and do it ALL the time – which is why balance is key! And fun… let’s not forget that life is FUN. Thanks girl – I like your style too 🙂

  12. I think it’s great you know how many hours there are in a week. I’ve never done (or bothered to do) the calculation in my head. It’s good to hear you found something to get you interested in nursing school again.

    By the way, the nurses run the show. When our daughter was born the nurses were freaking awesome. I was so impressed by how great they were that I kept referring to our hospital stay as “hotel” time.

  13. @ egan ~ I had to do the calculations for a first year nursing course that tried to teach us to live a balanced life… with 9 courses each semester when our non-nursing friends had at most 5. HMM.

    Thank you Egan – was Ana in the NICU? Because that’s where I hope to work for a while one day in between getting my masters 🙂

  14. what a great post!

    firstly, hi! i made it! internet provides for such easy travel =)

    secondly, thank you for this post. seriously. i always say “i’ll sign up for this or that” but then never actually do it. and this year? is finally the year i want to. the corporate world just sucks so much from you that i need to do something that feeds me, the core of me.

    also? i’m so impressed by your martial arts ways!

    happy new year … here’s to a very wonderful 2008.

  15. Hmmm, thankfully she wasn’t in the NICU. They wanted to keep her for a couple days in the NICU because she had one elevated temperature reading. That’s because dad is so hot he raised her temperature, not kidding about that one. So we had a close call, but haven’t been to the NICU yet. That would be a great job and make me have even more respect for you, not that I don’t now.

  16. Good on you for taking those classes- it will be great for your mental status 😉

    school will be over soon enough no worries!

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  18. @ Damsel ~ HI! Thanks for stopping by! I love internet travel – it’s the best way to go anywhere you want and still be able to make your favourite cup of coffee! I too find the business world life-sucking; I will write more about that in the summer when I re-enter such a world; which is why balance is SO important to keep us all sane!

  19. @ egan ~ NICU eh? Well… premies are known to be very sensitive, so I wouldn’t be surprised if outer actions influenced baby Ana’s internal environment. How’s THAT for a PC answer? And aaw… thank you; it’s always the greatest feeling in the world when our patients express gratitude to us; it makes us keep going 🙂 So thank you.

  20. @ B ~ I hope so; and where are you working now? Are you moving on from the grindhouse that is 2 days/2 nights – 5 days off?

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