I’m fighting off a nasty cold (or possibly the flu) right now. I rarely get sick, which I usually attribute to both my positive thinking and my (healthy, not obsessive) germaphobe ways. When I do get sick, it’s usually because I’m stressed and not getting enough sleep. You probably experience the same thing often enough; after all, stress weakens our immune systems, and if we’re not getting enough sleep our bodies don’t have time to fight off the little bugs we encounter on a daily basis.
Why the stress? You may know that my husband and I moved across the country and away from our families just a few months ago. My husband has a lot of stress because he’s in medical school now and has to learn a crazy amount in just a short period of time. I have stress because not only have I never lived farther than 90 miles away from my family before, but my husband and I don’t have the kind of time together that we used to have, either. He has to spend long days and weekends studying. To be honest, I really miss having time with my husband. But we have both learned to use some of the “Upcycle You” principles, by recognizing what we can do to improve our situation, instead of dwelling on the things that we don’t like and can’t change.
We talk to each other constantly about what we can do to keep our relationship strong, like making time to see each other EVERY day, even if just for a quick half hour lunch or dinner break. We also make it a point to frequently tell each other how much we care about each other and value our relationship. So even though our time is limited, the time that we do have together is very good.
I also use the whole upcycling idea in my life away from my husband, too. He is pursuing his own dreams of becoming a physician, and so it’s important for me to focus on what I want to do with my life as well. I have started doing a little bit of life coaching, and am starting a girls’ self-help group at a local high school. I’m getting really close to finishing my eating disorder recovery book and thinking about future projects I’d like to do.
I’ve also had to make a big effort to reach out to other people to form strong, supportive connections with that will keep me going through our time here. All of this definitely takes time, but it’s essential for my well-being in the long-term. Even though our situation will likely continue to be a little stressful for both of us for quite awhile, it’s our relationships (with each other and with new friends) and our positive focus on our life goals that will keep us grounded throughout everything.
In upcoming posts I’ll share more ideas with you on how you can begin “upcycling” your life and relationships. Next on my own list? Definitely getting more sleep so I can finally kick this bug!
Keep in touch, and keep it real!