09 April 2012

Busy, but still spinning away.

For some reason I thought that the end of college would be a gentle winding down to the end.  It is actually going to be a wild dash to the end.  Everyday I have been stretched for time and I was really starting to feel worn down and off balance.  I think that we all forget how important it is to stay centered and relaxed sometimes.  So, this weekend I took some time to breathe and relax, and it quickly became the most productive weekend I've had in a while.

Pumpkin's tips for staying centered in life:
- Stay hydrated. Your brain and body work so much better when you drink your 8 glasses a day.  I find it easy to do this when drinking some calming Earl Gray, especially since it gives off such a lovely smell.
- Have a kind friend who bakes you cookies. Lisa has started a tradition of baking me cookies when I get really stressed out.  Yeah, I know, she is awesome.
- Take slow, aimless walks. I always take my camera with me for these because I never know what I might find, butterflies, rainbows, the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen.  It is also fun to just see where you end up, not walking with any particular goal in mind.  Just wander.
- Journal. I love to journal, and I fill them with photographs, memories, triumphs, and challenges.  When I feel stressed I logically map out the stressors and the cure for those stressors, mind mapping is perfect for this.  I always end every entry with a success for the day.
- Keep your microbes happy.  My current area of study is the microbiome, the microbes that live on and inside you.  We all know that they protect you from getting sick and help break down your food.  However, scientists have recently discovered that your gut microbiome may also be responsible for helping you to moderate stress and can improve your mood.  So, be sure to eat yogurt or take probiotic supplements.
- Sleep. Well, we all know that sleep is important, we die without it.  But we all need to be reminded of this every once in a while.

I haven't been knitting a whole lot lately and I blame Sara for sending me the most amazing fiber ever.  All knitting time has now become spinning time since she sent me this wonderful alpaca as the winner of her latest giveaway.

In case it is not obvious from the picture, this stuff is as fluffy as clouds should be and in the most beautiful berry color.  Darn you, Sara, this stuff is addictive!  Seriously though, that woman has the best taste in fiber ever, if you want to see gorgeous handspun, check out her blog.

Have any tips on how you maintain balance and sanity in your world?  Please drop me a line, I would love to hear your suggestions!

I hope everyone is having a happy Monday!


  1. I love your list! Can't wait to share the microbe info with my husband. He recently switched from ice cream to yogurt as his evening treat. He'll love that there is scientific evidence for why he's always in such a great mood. : ) For me - spending time petting the cat or watching the birds at the feeder brings me a sense of calm.

  2. You're definitely a step, if not a leap ahead of where I was when I was sitting in your shoes (Gosh that makes me sound/feel old). But, truthfully! I've found balance to be the most important aspect of my life! Knitting is a huge part of that for me since I started a few years ago! The fiber you're spinning up looks GORGEOUS! I'm in love with that shade of pink!

  3. I don't know why but I always like to read those life style reminders like drink your water, lower your stress, sleep well! If only it was so easy to be that disciplined! Oh, watching flowers must be a good habit too! Yours are beautiful!

  4. Wow, such great advice. I'm glad my cookies make you de-stressed :) The microbe thing was really interested, maybe that's why I've been in better moods lately, I eat Greek Yogurt for breakfast! Thanks again for the amazing advice, and let me say , that alpaca is AMAZING!

  5. Ooooo, that purply-pink is gorgeous! I don't blame you for being addicted!

  6. Love your post. Knitting and tennis are my stress relievers. Going on girl’s night out also helps - only temporarily!

    BTW- Can you pls. tell Lisa that I'm having a rough week at work? And that it would totally make my day/month to get fresh baked cookies here in Atlanta? ;-)

    Take care. Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.

  7. That fiber is beautiful. And I'm sure it feels wonderful as well.

    I find that making lists often help me de-stress a bit. It allows me to clear my mind instead of going over everything I have to do... over and over and over.

  8. Great tips - going to have a glass of water now :)
    That pink fluff is just divine - I bet it feels fantastic. Yum!

  9. I find when I have had a stressful day at work, after dinner, I set the kids to doing chores that will keep them busy for a little while and I sit in front of the computer playing mindless games for 30 mins and then I am ready to face the evening. Just 30 mins of time to myself makes a world of difference. The kids don't always want to go along with it but I don't give them an option. Drinking any tea is relaxing but I am partial to Earl Grey myself.

    Your yarn is beautiful! I so want to learn to spin.

  10. I follow your list -- including eating cookies! -- but always make sure that I take some time to knit and read. Both those things keep me centered and sane, day in and day out!

  11. What a great post! I love your list, and think you're very wise for taking time to stay relaxed during the stressful end-of-college crunch. You'll be done before you know it, and ready to move on to new and exciting prospects!

    And oh my GOODNESS, you're certainly working your spindle-magic with the alpaca! It looks totally gorgeous, as your spinning always does. :) I'm so glad you're enjoying it!

  12. The crocuses are gorgeous! I love your happy list and I'm quite jealous of your cookie making friend, lol. The fiber is gorgeous and your spinning is fantastic! Alpaca is one of my favourite fiber to knit with

  13. My best tip for you is to take 10 minutes out of every day to just breathe. No forcing yourself to meditate or trying to calm your mind. If you just sit, or lie down for ten minutes and breathe, deeply and slowly your heartbeat will slow a bit and you'll feel refreshed. Sure, your mind will wander, that's ok, just let it dance about while you breathe.

  14. What would you suggest as a probiotic supplement.
    Though I do eat 'greek' yogurt, however, it's store bought not fresh.


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